The 2017 college football season gets underway on Saturday with five games throughout the day. Here's a look at the odds and matchups.
The light start this weekend in college football is dubbed “Week 0” with most matchups rescheduled contests to avoid certain in-season conflicts. The majority of programs kick off in earnest next weekend. Here’s a look at the odds and matchups for this special Saturday, which includes two ranked teams (No. 14 Stanford, No. 19 South Florida) in action:
Oregon State vs. Colorado State (-4, 58.5)
Colorado State is a 4-point favorite to beat Oregon State in the christening of its new $220 million football home: CSU Stadium. The Rams were initially scheduled to being the year against Colorado (Sept. 1) in the Rocky Mountain Showdown, but worked with the Beavers to move this game forward to avoid playing 12 straight weeks without a bye.
This game marks just the third time in the last 25 meetings against Pac-12 foes the Rams are favored. They fell 41-27 as 2-point chalk to the Buffaloes in 2013, and narrowly missed topping Arizona State 13-10 as a field-goal favorite at Tempe in 2000. The Beavers, meanwhile, have dropped 13 straight road contests (5-8 ATS). They last won in Week 6 of 2014 against Colorado (36-31) as 6-point chalk. Oregon State was last victorious as a road pup in Week 3 of 2013, topping Utah 51-48, spotted 2.5 points.
Portland State vs. BYU (Off)
The line is off the board as Big Sky representatives Portland State Vikings travel to Provo to take on BYU. The Cougars are 7-0 all-time against FCS opponents. The Vikings are 4-28 SU in their last 32 versus FBS foes, losing by 24.3 points per game.
Hawaii vs. UMass (pick'em, 63)
The weekend’s most competitive game on paper sees the Rainbow Warriors make the long trek to McGuirk Alumni Stadium to take on UMass. A pick‘em, these two combined for 86 points and 938 yards of offense in the 2016 regular-season finale (Hawaii 46-40). Adjustments to the total suggest fewer fireworks this time around. The 'over/under' opened at 64 points, bet down to 62.5 at some online sportsbooks a few days before kickoff.
Hawaii has lost 11 straight non-conference road games, going 6-5 ATS. It’s gone off the underdog in each, all but two by double digits. The Minutemen, meanwhile, are 10-50 SU since joining the FBS in 2012. Four of the wins have occurred in the five games in which they went off as short-price favorites of a touchdown or less.
No. 19 South Florida vs. San Jose State (+20.5, 68)
The Charlie Strong era begins in South Florida with the 19th-ranked Bulls 20.5-point favorites at San Jose State. The Bulls' program, favorites to win the AAC, return 16 starters from an 11-win season. Since 2002, South Florida is 13-0 SU, 6-7 ATS when double-digit road chalk.
The Spartans suffered their third losing season in a row, finishing 4-8 overall last year. Their performance as betting underdogs in this span stinks. San Jose State is 1-21 SU and 6-16 ATS as pups since 2014. All but one cover, though, has come in 10 contests spotted 10 points or more.
Adjustments are going in favor of the Bulls. The line has moved 2 points to -20.5 from and in initial offer at -18.5. Line shoppers can find -20 at a few shops, including Heritage. The total is dealing between 68 and 69 points following a 66 opening.
Rice vs. No. 14 Stanford (-31, 50.5)
The line for this game in Sydney opened -38 in favor of the Cardinal back in May, dropping to -33.5 within a week of trading. It continued its summer retreat before leveling off at its current offering of -31.
These two clashed in Stanford Stadium in the regular-season finale last year, the home team winning 41-17. Rice caught 34 points that meeting. The contest was more one-sided than the score indicated with Stanford gaining 534 total yards to 291 for the Owls. Now-departed running back Christian McCaffrey totaled 271 all-purpose yards and scored two touchdowns for the Cardinal.
The total has remained relatively steady at its opening offer of 51 points. Most books are dealing 50.5 a few days out. Stanford’s last six games as 30-point chalk or more has seen the game sail above the mark. The Cardinal average 47.0 points and allow 12.5 in this situation during this span.