College Football Week 1 Chalk Betting Odds Worth Backing

Doug Upstone

Sunday, August 21, 2016 7:09 PM UTC

Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016 7:09 PM UTC

By definition, the term - chalk - relates to betting favorites. In football parlance, this is more commonly thought of favorites by double digits and often well beyond 10 points.

Many supposed wise guys get a chill just thinking about betting on teams giving away that many points in making college football picks and will work diligently to always make the case for the underdog.

Yet favored teams do win and cover, in fact, more than half annually and it is not all those by a touchdown or less. In fact, in Alabama's last 30 regular season contests in which they were favored from -10 to -29.5, they are remarkable 22-8 against the college football odds.

For Week 1 of this season, here are three chalky faves to take a look at.


Minnesota -13 over Oregon State
September 1 is really the official opening night of college football (sorry, Cal and Hawai'i in Australia does not count) and Oregon State pays a visit to the Twin Cities. Tracy Claeys might be in his first official year as head coach, but he took over for Jerry Kill last season, who was essentially forced to retire because of health problems.

Minnesota has seven starters back on offense and defense and used junior college transfers to improve offense line and defensive tackle positions.

Oregon State coach Gary Anderson took a Wisconsin squad into TCF Bank Stadium in 2013 as Wisconsin head man, but this Beavers club does not have near the skill or talent of that Badgers outfit that won 20-7. Oregon State was bumped up from +9.5 to +13 at Heritage and they lack enough playmakers to take advantage of a more physical Golden Gophers group.


Ohio U. -21 over Texas State
Coach Frank Solich's Bobcats have arguably the best collection of wide receivers in the MAC and with running backs A.J. Ouellette and Papi White, they have consistency and a home run hitter. If quarterback J.D. Sprague can overcome off-season shoulder surgery or fellow senior Greg Windham is up to the task, Ohio U. will have top notch offense to go along with what should be among the conference's Top 3 defensive front seven.

Texas State does not have anything close to that with only eight returning starters, four on each side of the ball. Next, the Bobcats have a new coaching staff, with Everett Withers now in charge of a team that every preseason ratings poll has in the 120's (out of 128) for 2016.

It really is not a question if Ohio U. is good enough to cover three touchdowns, they are, it is if the players take the game seriously and play to capabilities.


Nebraska -28 over Fresno State
Those sitting in the stands in Lincoln yearn for the Bob Devaney and Tom Osbourne days that when the Cornhuskers were this large a favorite, they would win 49-0 or 56-7. But that was yesteryear and that is in the past.

While the jury is still out on Mike Riley as Nebraska coach, they figure to be a factor in the Big Ten West after 6-7 season.

Fresno State also has a proud football tradition under coaches Jim Sweeney and Pat Hill and was known for winning and engineering big upsets. It looked like Tim DeRuyter would continue the trend with two Mountain West titles in first two years. But the Bulldogs have lost their bite with 9-17 mark the last two years, as DeRutyer's mediocre recruiting and all or nothing defense is be abused.

While this is not vintage Cornhuskers football of the past, with QB Tommy Armstrong, the Huskers should win by at least 30 points.

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