College football season officially got underway this week (much to the chagrin of Middle Tennessee). Now Week 2 of the season looms large in what looks to be a action-packed slate as the Big 12 and ACC kick off their respective 2020 campaigns.
Seven ranked teams are in action -- all on Saturday -- including No. 1 Clemson, No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 14 Texas.
It's not the usual super-Saturday college football schedule you've become accustomed to, of course, with the SEC set to start later this month and the Big Ten and Pac-12 both postponed until the spring. But who's complaining? Football is football, which means there are odds out ... which means it's time to prepare your bets accordingly.
That's exactly what I'll get you prepped for below with a look at five opening lines this week, courtesy of William Hill Sportsbook.
Saturday, Sept. 12
No. 1 Clemson (-33) vs. Wake Forest, total 60: Any time I see a line favoring a team by more than four touchdowns, I get the sweats, much less a road team. But this Clemson team -- with Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne returning -- might just be good enough to ignore the huge number. They were 11-3-0 against the spread last season as favorites and 4-1-0 as road favorites.
No. 10 Notre Dame (-19.5) vs. Duke, total 53.5: Notre Dame returns starting quarterback Ian Book and a wealth of momentum after winning its final six games to end the season. Book led the Irish to a College Football Playoff berth in 2018 and was a huge reason they finished 2019 in style. Duke, meanwhile, enters the season with uncertainty at its quarterback position and is coming off a 5-7 campaign that fizzled late with the Blue Devils losing five of their last six.
No. 18 North Carolina (-20.5) vs. Syracuse, total 63: Mack Brown enters his second season as UNC's football coach with high expectations after outperforming them in 2019. The Tar Heels return 10 starters on offense, including quarterback Sam Howell. They weren't in the position as favorites much last season, so this is relatively new territory to enter a season as a ranked team and a heavy favorite.
No. 15 Oklahoma State (-21) vs. Tulsa, total 65.5: This is the highest Over/Under line on the board thus far in a game featuring Heisman Trophy candidate Chuba Hubbard and a high-powered Oklahoma State offense. Tulsa also has some firepower to put up some numbers with returning QB Zach Smith and star receiver Keylon Stokes.
No. 23 Iowa State (-10) vs. Louisiana, total 57: This quietly has a chance to be one of the better games of the weekend. Louisiana boasts one of the more talented rosters in the Sun Belt headlined by running backs Elijah Mitchell and Trey Ragas and quarterback Levi Lewis. Iowa State has some serious star power of its own with quarterback Brock Purdy and running back Breece Hall, but this is an evenly-matched game that has upset potential.
Best of the rest
- Miami (-14) vs. UAB
- Florida State (-12) vs. Georgia Tech
- South Alabama (+10.5) vs. Tulane
- Louisville (-11.5) vs. Western Kentucky
- Kansas (-4) vs. Coastal Carolina