Let’s take a closer look at the college football odds for this Week 1 matchup at the Georgia Dome on Saturday, Aug. 31, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Three national titles in four years
Alabama is undeniably the king of college football right now, as they have captured their third national title in four years with a resounding 42-14 win over Notre Dame as 10-point favorites in the 2013 BCS Championship Game.
The Crimson Tide were 13-1 straight up (SU) and 7-7 against the spread (ATS) during the 2013 campaign, with their only loss coming against the Texas A&M Aggies.
Virginia Tech isn’t used to going 7-6 SU and 4-9 ATS during the Frank Beamer era, but they didn’t play very well away from Blacksburg (dropping five of six road games).
The Hokies are definitely a contender to win the Atlantic Coast Conference, as they welcome back 15 starters, including nine on the defensive side of the football.
Opening up on a winning note
College football handicappers will definitely take a long look at the Crimson Tide as double-digit favorites in the betting odds, considering they’ve won 11 straight season openers, including a 34-24 victory over the Hokies as six-point favorites in 2009.
It’s important to note that Alabama will open up its Southeastern Conference schedule in its next contest, but it will have two weeks to prepare for Texas A&M.
Thomas is the key
Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas was expected to be an NFL draft pick heading into the 2012 college football season, but he failed to live up to those expectations, as he threw 18 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
The Crimson Tide have made a living in disrupting opposing signal-callers, which is why Thomas will need to complete more than 51.3 percent of his passes—allowing some room for the running game to emerge.
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Hokies as one of their early Week 1 college football picks, as their defensive line is talented enough to challenge the Crimson Tide running game.
College Football Week 1 Picks: Virginia Tech Hokies +18.5 at Bet 365