Never Too Early: 2017 Week 1 Lines Posted For Top Games

Matthew Jordan

Friday, January 20, 2017 3:46 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 20, 2017 3:46 PM UTC

I don't know about you, but I already miss college football. The 2017 season is a way-too-long seven months or so from kicking off, but there already are some key Week 1 lines set at 5Dimes. Let's take a look. Games on Saturday, Sept. 2, unless noted.

Stanford vs. Rice (+33): The 2017 season begins on Friday, Aug. 25, in Sydney, Australia, so on Aug. 26 there. This game was originally set for Sept. 2 in Rice, but the Owls agreed to move it for a nice financial package. Cal and Hawaii opened up the 2016 season In Sydney. Stanford will be a Pac-12 contender again in 2017 despite losing star running back Christian McCaffrey. The Cardinal closed the 2016 regular season with a 41-17 win over Rice.

Ohio State at Indiana (+18.5): This is the first time the Big Ten is staging a conference game on the opening weekend in years and it takes place on Thursday, Aug. 31. The Hoosiers will open a campaign against Ohio State for the fifth time (1938, 1952-54) and for the first time in Bloomington. Indiana last started the year against a Big Ten foe in 1982, a 30-0 win vs. Northwestern. What's interesting here is that Ohio State's new co-offensive coordinator is Kevin Wilson, who was forced out as Indiana's head coach after last season reportedly over some concerns about player treatment. If Florida State doesn't open at No. 2 in the polls, then Ohio State probably will. The Buckeyes beat Indiana 38-17 this past season. It was closer than the score.

Florida State vs. Alabama (-3.5): This is one of two Chick-fil-A Kickoff games in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. It's quite likely that the Crimson Tide, after losing to Clemson in a thrilling national championship game, will open at No. 1 in the preseason Top 25 polls and the Seminoles, who beat Michigan in a terrific Orange Bowl, will be No. 2. On early college football futures at BetOnline, the Tide are +350 favorites to win next year's national title and FSU is second at +700. The loser here probably has to run the table after to get in the College Football Playoff.

Texas A&M at UCLA (-2.5): Both head coaches, the Aggies' Kevin Sumlin and Bruins' Jim Mora Jr., enter 2017 on the hot seat following disappointing 2016 seasons. UCLA was considered a Pac-12 South favorite but flopped to a 4-8 record largely because QB Josh Rosen was limited to six games due to injury. He's a top Heisman candidate for next year and could be the first player chosen in the 2018 NFL Draft if Rosen bounces back as expected. A&M doesn't know who its QB will be at this moment. The Aggies started last season 6-0 and were in the Top 10 but had their annual late-season fade under Sumlin and finished just 8-5. These schools met in College Station to open the 2016 season and Texas A&M won 31-24 in OT. Rosen threw for 343 yards and a TD but was picked off three times. The Aggies were -5 on college football picks for that one.

Florida vs. Michigan (-7.5): The Cowboys Classic is at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Both the Gators and Wolverines could be Top-10 teams in the preseason polls. It will be the Gators' first nonconference game away from the state of Florida since a loss at Syracuse in 1991. Florida and Michigan met in the Citrus Bowl following the 2015 season and the Wolverines rolled to a 41-7 victory. I can tell you right now the college football betting total on this game will be quite low as both schools are defensively excellent.

comment here