When it comes to sports betting of any kind, the first aspect everyone has to learn, and you do have to learn it, is how and where to find value in a game with oddsmakers' numbers attached.
I, like everyone, started out betting teams and situations, and by losing more than enough of those wagers I learned about understanding value. This can be done a variety of ways, and one of the best is building a power ratings model if you are making college football picks. This allows you to take out personal prejudice and ultimately to understand the college football odds better. Here are four contests in which I see view the favorite being overvalued in their opening game and all are being played Sept. 1 or 2.(145) Navy -12.5 over (146) Florida Atlantic
Unfortunately, we have already lost some value in this matchup as Navy opened as -14.5 point favorite. I can comfortably state that if this trend would go down to -11, that would be limit. The Midshipmen will start their least experienced quarterback since 2013 and will face a Florida Atlantic club that returns 17 starters, which includes the QB position. While no big fan of new coach Lane Kiffin, I could see his fired up Owls keeping this a single digit outcome.(191) Appalachian State +13.5 vs. (192) Georgia
I am the first to admit that if Georgia wants to, it could pummel the Mountaineers. However, Appalachian State will not be intimidated playing between the hedges. They lost 20-13 at Tennessee as 21.5-point road underdogs in last year's opener and brought back 14 starters after being Sun Belt co-champs. The Bulldogs are hardly know for their consistency, and with Notre Dame on tap after this one, App State can make this a 10-point outcome.(195) Houston -12.5 over (196) UTSA
Houston is an unknown to start the season. The Cougars lost coach Tom Herman and their all-everything quarterback Greg Ward Jr., and have gone from AAC favorites the last couple years to one rung down in the pecking order. UTSA went from 3-9 to 6-6 last year, played in its first-ever bowl game and has notable key returnees back. The Cougars have already fell through key numbers of 13 and 14, but I expect the Roadrunners will be fired up for a quality Lone Star State foe, and Houston hangs on to win by 7-10 points late.(205) Florida State +6.5 vs. (206) Alabama
This is easily the most anticipated game of the first full weekend. You can look at any set of power ratings you want, and any I have seen plus my own all have Alabama no greater than a four-point differential over Florida State. With this game in Atlanta, sure the Crimson Tide will have more home support, but this is a talented Florida State squad and the theory of Nick Saban having more than week to prepare for an opponent is no longer bullet-proof and does not guarantee Bama wins. Look for this as four-point game either way.