College football betting: Who's betting what in Week 1?

·5-min read

Life is about to get so much better. Saturday marks the first full slate of the college football season with over 50 games on the schedule. We also have college football on Friday, Sunday and Monday. The NFL is less than a week away. Giddy up. 

We've spent the offseason combing through the data, and analyzing recruiting classes and transfers while trying to project just how this college football season will play out. It's human nature to wonder what others are thinking, and more importantly, what sides others are betting. 

Temple at Rutgers

Here's a matchup you probably didn't expect to see highlighted. This game is actually currently the most bet on matchup at BetMGM, receiving more action than any other on the slate. The game was originally scheduled for Thursday, which might explain why it's seen so much action so early. The game was postponed until Saturday due to the floods caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida. 

Not only has the game been heavily bet, but one side in particular has been pounded by the betting public. Rutgers -14 currently has the second-highest ticket percentage of any side on Saturday's board. Rutgers is a school many are expecting to be competitive this season, and Temple isn't very good. With that being said, you would have gotten a lot of weird looks a year ago if you said that people would be rushing to bet Rutgers as two touchdown favorites. Let's call it the Greg Schiano effect. 

Georgia vs. Clemson

It's no surprise to see this game on here. Georgia vs. Clemson will kickoff at a neutral site in Charlotte, North Carolina. It's one of the marquee games of the entire season and could definitely have an impact on the College Football Playoff. With ESPN'S College GameDay in Charlotte and the game being played in prime time on ABC, the spotlight is even more magnified. 

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 07: Head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs reacts in the second half against the LSU Tigers during the SEC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 07, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs reacts during the 2019 SEC championship game against the LSU Tigers. (Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

When the line was originally posted for this game, Clemson opened as 3.5 point favorites. That has been bet down to a flat 3. Bettors continue to lean toward the underdog in this contest, as Georgia has seen the third-highest betting ticket count of any side on the slate. It feels like Georgia has preseason hype every season, so let's see if this is the year it finally realizes its potential. This game offers a great opportunity to make a statement. 

Alabama vs. Miami

Another matchup between two top 15 schools at a neutral site is unsurprisingly getting a lot of action and attention. Alabama is the gold standard in college football, while "The U" is one of the programs everyone loves to talk about. 

This matchup has received the third-most bets of any on the slate, and oddsmakers will be rooting for the Hurricanes to cover the 18.5-point spread. Alabama has the most money bet on it of any team on the slate. 

Unfortunately for the books, Alabama went 9-4 against the spread last season, while Miami fell flat on its face in its two biggest games last season against Clemson and North Carolina. Nick Saban is 10-0 lifetime in neutral-site openers, but the bigger question is whether the Hurricanes will be able to keep the game close. 


While Clemson vs. Georgia will generate a lot of attention in the prime-time slot, people are not forgetting about the night tilt between the LSU Tigers and UCLA Bruins. 

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA - APRIL 17: Head coach Ed Orgeron of the LSU Tigers looks on during the spring game at Tiger Stadium on April 17, 2021 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Head coach Ed Orgeron of the LSU Tigers looks on during the 2021 spring game. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

UCLA has a game under its belt already and was dominant in its 44-10 win over Hawaii in Week 0. Despite that result, people aren't buying the Bruins just yet. LSU has the highest amount of betting tickets placed on them of any team on Saturday's slate. It has the second-highest betting handle behind Alabama. The Tigers are 3-point road favorites.

It hasn't been an easy week emotionally for the Tigers, as their home state of Louisiana was hit hard by Hurricane Ida. That narrative might be at play here as bettors are rushing to back LSU as a road favorite. 

Other Notes

Michigan (-17) vs. Western Michigan: The third-largest betting handle of the slate is on the Wolverines to cover as big favorites against their in-state competition. Michigan had a brutal season in 2020, but Jim Harbaugh's team has bullied lesser opponents in prior seasons. 

Wisconsin (-5.5) vs. Penn State: This line opened at four, but bettors have steamed the home team Wisconsin Badgers up to 5.5. Penn State struggled mightily last season, and bettors might not be believing it was a fluke. 

Oregon (-20.5) vs. Fresno State: After Fresno State's 45-0 win over UConn in Week 0, it seems like bettors like what they saw. This line has been pushed down through the key number of 21 after the Ducks opened as 22-point favorites. 

Iowa (-3.5) vs. Indiana: The Hawkeyes opened as 5.5-point favorites in this contest, but both the spread and total have seen significant movement. Iowa now sits as a 3.5-point favorite. The total has been bet down from 48.5 points to 46. 

Texas (-8.5) vs. Louisiana: The Longhorns opened as 9.5-point favorites, but the line has dropped a full point. The total has been bet down from its opening line of 60 to the current 57.5

Notre Dame (-7) vs. Florida State: This game will be played on Sunday night, but we've seen significant line movement against the Fighting Irish. After opening as 10-point underdogs, the Florida State Seminoles are now getting just a touchdown. 

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