After the long spring and summer of waiting and wishing, the college football season has finally arrived. It’s upon us once again, and so it’s time to ponder betting opportunities for week one of the new season.
Sports betting sites are going to give you some clue as to what Las Vegas thinks about the merits of various teams, but remember – betting lines are indications of what Vegas thinks the public thinks the betting public is of a mind to do. The betting line is designed to get action on both sides, to create the right tension point an obvious betting play won’t emerge. With this point in mind, you have to judge where value is to be found. In which games does the public mindset – and Vegas’ reaction to it – open up a window for a betting success story?
Start with the neutral-site game in Atlanta between defending national champion Alabama and Virginia Tech. The Crimson Tide rate as an 18.5-point favorite over the Hokies. This seems like an absurdly low line for a few basic reasons. First, Alabama throttled Michigan in a neutral-site game (Arlington, Tex.) to start the 2012 season. The Tide should be focused and fierce from the start of this game all the way to the final gun. Virginia Tech, meanwhile, has suffered multiple injuries at the running back and offensive line spots. The Hokies are already at a point where they’re alarmingly thin on their depth chart. This is the kind of opponent Alabama should be able to swallow whole. This game should at least be a three-touchdown game, and it’s very likely to end up as a blowout of at least 30 points if not more. Had Virginia Tech retained full health heading into this contest, the Hokies might have been expected to play the Tide on even terms, at least for two and a half quarters. Now, though, Virginia Tech looks quite defenseless. You can bet that the 18.5-point spread will reach 20 by kickoff, and it might get higher than that. Snap up the Tide at -18.5 if you can.
A second high-value game is the one between the Brigham Young Cougars and the Virginia Cavaliers. Virginia’s offense is and has been woeful in recent years, while BYU’s defense has been one of the best in the country, especially in 2012. Kyle Van Noy is an elite defensive playmaker with an NFL future. He should run wild in this game, and as long as BYU’s offense doesn’t implode this year under new offensive coordinator Robert Anae, the Cougars should definitely be able to handle Virginia. They’re only a three-point favorite. They should be able to win by more than that on the road.
A third game is the one between defending Mid-American Conference champion Northern Illinois and Iowa. NIU had Iowa on the ropes last season but let the Hawkeyes get away. Now that Northern Illinois is coming off an Orange Bowl appearance, expect the Huskies to beat Iowa outright. Yet, NIU is a three-point underdog. The Huskies are an attractive choice at any outlet where college football betting occurs. Click here to get a full list of futures for the 2013 college football season.