College football picks, schedule: Predictions against the spread for top 25 games Saturday in Week 1
A closer look at the top games on the Saturday slate in Week 1 of the 2019 college football season
While we are technically two days into Week 1, any real college football fan knows that Saturday is the day where the majority of the action goes down. With games spanning the entire day, many of the best teams in the nation will be in action with SEC powers No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Georgia and No. 16 Auburn all in noteworthy matchups. No. 25 Stanford vs. Northwestern will also be an interesting affair, and No. 11 Oregon has a chance to make a statement for the Pac-12.
We have already seen No. 5 Ohio State rout FAU, Boise State upset Florida State and a number of other top 25 teams cruise to victory. But with action continuing late into the night, let's take a look at the biggest games on the schedule Saturday along with our predictions for what will transpire in those contests.
Will there be upsets? Dominant performances? That's what we are going to tell you below. Our CBS Sports college football experts have picked every game both straight up and against the spread, giving you ample opportunity to decide how to make your picks ahead of kickoff. Here are the top games of the day.
Don't forget to subscribe to our Cover 3 college football podcast. Listen below for locks for the top games in Week 1 all the way through Monday's final game.
All times Eastern
FAU at No. 5 Ohio State (-27.5) -- Noon on FOX: This game won't be close, but picking which side of the massive 27.5 point spread is a tricky one. The fact this game is in Columbus, Ohio, under a new quarterback and the first game under coach Ryan Day, I'm expecting a motivated Buckeyes team to cover. Pick: Ohio State (-27.5) -- Kyle Boone
No. 2 Alabama (-35.5) vs. Duke in Atlanta -- 3:30 p.m. on ABC: Alabama games with massive spreads are always tough to pick because it really just depends on when Nick Saban wants to take his foot off the gas. After what we saw at Levi's Stadium in January, it'll stay to the floor for a while on Saturday. Tua Tagovailoa will get in a nice rhythm with his wide receivers, and the defense will have no problem slowing down the Blue Devils. Pick: Alabama (-35.5) -- Barrett Sallee
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Northwestern at No. 25 Stanford (-6.5) -- 4 p.m. on FOX: You can bet against Shaw and Stanford, but in this scenario, you'd be foolish to do so. They have the edge at quarterback, home-field advantage and more weapons at their disposal. The Cardinal should cruise here and cover as they kick their season off in style. Pick: Stanford (-6.5) -- Kyle Boone
No. 11 Oregon at No. 16 Auburn (-3.5) in Dallas -- 7:30 p.m. on ABC: It's hard to go against the Heisman Trophy hopeful QB in a matchup against a true freshman, but it's also hard to pick a Pac-12 team against an SEC squad. Since Auburn last beat Oregon, the Pac-12 and SEC have crossed paths 14 times. The SEC is 10-4 ATS in those games, and that includes a record of 6-0 ATS in neutral site games like this one. Until the Pac-12 proves its capable of not only winning but covering these games, I have a hard time picking it to do so. Pick: Auburn (-3.5) -- Tom Fornelli
No. 3 Georgia (-21.5) at Vanderbilt -- 7:30 p.m. on SEC Network: Give me the Bulldogs, and give them to me big. The wide receivers will show that they are a strength, not a liability, against the Commodores secondary. After getting Fromm into rhythm, coach Kirby Smart and coordinator James Coley will work in Zamir White, Brian Herrien and the rest of the reserve running backs in an effort to build depth behind D'AandreSwift. On the other side of the ball, Georgia will bring the heat on the Vanderbilt quarterback (likely Riley Neal), and the secondary will capitalize on multiple mistakes. This one will get sideways in the second half. Pick: Georgia (-21.5) -- Barrett Sallee
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