There will be at least one major college football to bet on every Friday from now until December 2. And Week 1 begins with eight games involving FBS teams after 16 games were played on Thursday night.
The game with the closest spread at BetMGM on Friday night involves two Big Ten teams. Illinois is now just a 1.5-point underdog at Indiana. The Hoosiers were favored by more earlier in the week but bettors could be swayed by Illinois’ 25-point win over Wyoming in Week 0.
Indiana is looking for a bounce-back season after a 2-10 campaign in 2021. The Hoosiers won 14 games over the 2019 and 2020 seasons but were brutal in conference play last year and failed to win a game. Former Missouri quarterback Connor Bazelak is now with the Hoosiers and former Auburn running back Shaun Shivers is also at Indiana.
There’s an intriguing game in Virginia as well involving two former Penn State assistants. Former PSU defensive coordinator Brent Pry makes his head coaching debut when Virginia Tech heads to Old Dominion. This is a massive game for ODU and one of the biggest games in the school’s FBS history. Virginia Tech last visited ODU in 2018 and the Monarchs upset the then-No. 13 Hokies 49-35.
Tech is a 6.5-point favorite over Ricky Rahne’s Monarchs as they begin life in the Sun Belt. ODU moved over to the Sun Belt along with Marshall and James Madison ahead of the 2022 season and returns 17 starters from a team that won its last five games of the regular season in 2021 to head to the Myrtle Beach Bowl.
Duke is now a 9.5-point favorite over Temple after the line hovered at and around a touchdown for most of the week. Both teams are in the early stages of big rebuilding projects and bettors clearly like Duke’s talent level compared to Temple’s. The game is the first as a head coach for new Temple coach Stan Drayton as the Owls bring back 14 starters from a team that lost its last seven games of the season in 2021.
The Blue Devils are also led by a first-year head coach. Former Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko takes over for the retired David Cutcliffe as Duke failed to win a non-conference game in 2021. The Blue Devils need to get a win Friday night over the Owls as games at Northwestern and Kansas loom over the next three weeks before ACC play begins.
TCU is favored by 13.5 points over a Colorado team that could struggle mightily in 2022. New TCU coach Sonny Dykes has been coy about who will play at QB on Friday night and we could see multiple signal callers for the Horned Frogs. Max Duggan returns as the incumbent starter but Chandler Morris played well when he saw the field in 2021.
Colorado brings back seven starters on offense after going 4-8 in 2021 but needs to replace RB Jarek Broussard and WR Brenden Rice. The Buffaloes also have one of the toughest non-conference schedules of any Power Five team with trips to Air Force and Minnesota looming after this visit from TCU. There’s a reason that the odds aren’t very good if you bet under 3.5 wins this season for the Buffaloes.
Broussard transferred to Michigan State in the offseason and is set to make his Spartans debut on Friday night as MSU hosts Western Michigan. The Spartans are favored by three touchdowns as they look to capitalize on a season that ended with a Peach Bowl win over Pitt in January. Broussard takes over as MSU’s top running back from Kenneth Walker III after rushing for 661 yards on 142 attempts a season ago.
Serena favored to win third-round match
You’re not going to get great value betting Serena Williams at the U.S. Open on Friday night. Williams is -165 to beat Ajla Tomljanovic. Williams is -160 to win each of the first two sets and a 2-0 win for Williams is at +135. If you think Williams wins 2-1, you can get that at +320. Tomljanovic is +130 to win outright and +260 to win 2-0 and +400 to win 2-1.
Rays favored over Yankees
The biggest MLB series of the weekend is in Tampa Bay as the Rays host the Yankees. Tampa Bay is six games back of the Yankees for first place in the AL East and barely leads the Mariners for the top wild card seed.
The Rays are -130 to win straight up and +165 to win by two or more runs. Jeffrey Springs is set to start on the mound for Tampa against Domingo German of the Yankees.
The Dodgers also host the Padres as San Diego continues its chase for a wild card spot. Los Angeles is -165 to win and only +120 to win by two or more runs. Dustin May makes his third start of the season for the Dodgers on Friday night after he’s allowed two runs and six hits over his first 11 innings of 2022. Both of those starts came against the Miami Marlins. Yu Darvish starts for the Padres.
Who cashed tickets Thursday?
Central Michigan got a backdoor cover in a 58-44 loss to No. 12 Oklahoma State. Tennessee easily covered in a 59-10 win over Ball State and Penn State snuck in a cover in its 35-31 win over Purdue thanks to a late TD pass from Sean Clifford. Missouri covered against Louisiana Tech and Minnesota also covered against New Mexico State.