#5 Utah15
#13 Oregon37
FINAL
#7 Baylor
#6 Oklahoma
12:00 pm, December 7
Louisiana
#21 Appalachian State
12:00 pm, December 7
#20 Cincinnati
#17 Memphis
3:30 pm, December 7
#4 Georgia
#2 LSU
4:00 pm, December 7
#23 Virginia
#3 Clemson
7:30 pm, December 7
#1 Ohio State
#8 Wisconsin
8:00 pm, December 7

2019 College Football Week Zero and One Predictions

*For the time being this thread will be using the AP Top 25. Check out the current CSD Prime Computer Rankings here.

Note: Because the CSD Prime model does not rate FCS teams, no score prediction will be made for FBS vs FCS games.

☆Crazy Sports Dude Best Bets Week 0-1☆

Hawai’i (+11.5) vs Arizona – 10:30 PM ET, Saturday 24th
Tulane (-2) vs FIU – 8 PM ET, Thursday 29th
Rice (+24.5) @ Army – 6 PM ET, Friday 30th
Arkansas State (-2.5) vs SMU – 7:30 PM ET, Saturday 31st
Fresno State (+13.5) @ USC – 10:30 PM ET, Saturday 31st
Houston (+25) @ Oklahoma – 7:30 PM ET, Sunday 1st

WEEK ONE

UCLA @ Cincinnati

Thursday, August 29th at 7 PM ET on ESPN
Vegas Line: Cincinnati -3.5

Clemson vs Georgia Tech in the ACC Network’s debut will highlight the prime time slot on Thursday but with a 30+ point spread in that one, you might want a game to flip to if things get out of hand, and I’d say this is your best bet. Chip Kelly, after being embarrassed in his college football debut last year, looking for revenge on the team that beat him.

Michael Warren will lead the way for the Bearcats after he racked up three touchdowns in last year’s meeting. QB Desmond Ridder also returns for the Bearcats from their best team in a while, but UCLA seems to be starting to put the pieces together. Word out of camp says that they look good, and with a brutal schedule they need every win they can get.

This game will be in Cincinnati, but this time UCLA will be more settled into the Chip Kelly system, QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson and RB Joshua Kelley will have a year of starting experience under their belts and they’ll have a much better line in front of them. This will be tight, and I think it could be one of the first tight finishes of the year, but I say UCLA pulls the upset on the road and beats Cincy in a tight one.

CSD Prime Pick: UCLA 31, Cincinnati 29

Wagner @ UConn
Thursday, August 29th at 7 PM ET on ESPN3
Pick: UConn

Albany @ Central Michigan
Thursday, August 29th at 7 PM ET on ESPN3
Pick: Central Michigan

Morgan State @ Bowling Green
Thursday, August 29th at 7 PM ET on ESPN3
Pick: Bowling Green

Robert Morris @ Buffalo
Thursday, August 29th at 7 PM ET on ESPN+
Pick: Buffalo

Central Arkansas @ Western Kentucky
Thursday, August 29th at 7:30 PM ET on ESPN+
Pick: Western Kentucky

Florida A&M @ #17 UCF
Thursday, August 29th at 7:30 PM ET on CBSSN
Pick: UCF

Gardner-Webb @ Charlotte
Thursday, August 29th at 7:30 PM ET on ESPN+
Pick: Charlotte

FIU @ Tulane
Thursday, August 29th at 8 PM ET on ESPN3
Vegas Line: Tulane -2

Tulane looks for revenge in a rematch of a 2017 meeting won by FIU. These teams are pretty evenly matched in this AAC vs C-USA showdown, but Tulane has the home-field advantage and I’ll side with them.

CSD Prime Pick: Tulane 28, FIU 23

With a line of just two, I’d also jump on Tulane against the spread. The Green Wave returns a bunch from last year’s team and adds in an Oklahoma State transfer at wideout in Jalen McCleskey to help share the load with Justin McMillan’s returning receivers. Tulane also boasts a pass rush the caliber of which FIU will rarely face in C-USA play, and I think the Green Wave is just too talented to not cover the two points, especially at home.

☆Crazy Sports Dude Best Bet Alert☆ – Tulane -2

Alabama State @ UAB
Thursday, August 29th at 8 PM ET on ESPN+
Pick: UAB

Georgia Tech @ #1 Clemson

Thursday, August 29th at 8 PM ET on ACC Network
Vegas Line: Clemson -35.5

The spectacle of this game will be nice, you know ESPN will pull out all the stops for the debut of the new ACC Network, but this is the defending national champions at home against a team undergoing the historically brutal transition from a triple-option scheme to a more pro-style attack. The Tech defense goes under some changes too, but the line should be good, and of course, the Yellow Jackets have some great backs, but it will be a rough transition to head coach Geoff Collins’ new scheme, one that won’t be solved in one game.

Clemson is one of the most talented teams in the country with plenty returning from a national title-winning squat highlighted by the duo of Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne in the backfield along with star Isaiah Simmons in the linebacking corps. This one won’t be particularly close, although I wouldn’t be shocked if we see a back door cover from Tech once Clemson rests their starters in preparation for Texas A&M.

CSD Prime Pick: Clemson 42, Georgia Tech 13

Texas State @ #12 Texas A&M
Thursday, August 29th at 8:30 PM ET on SEC Network
Vegas Line: Texas A&M -34.5

Speaking of Texas A&M, the Aggies also play Thursday night so that both them and Clemson will have a long week to prepare for their blockbuster clash in week two. I do like the Texas State defense, especially the linebacking corps and secondary, but I don’t expect them to be able to hang with Kellen Mond and the Aggies for long, and I don’t trust the Bobcat offense to begin with.

CSD Prime Pick: Texas A&M 44, Texas State 13

South Dakota State @ Minnesota
Thursday, August 29th at 9 PM ET on FS1
Pick: Minnesota

Kent State @ Arizona State
Thursday, August 29th at 10 PM ET on Pac-12 Network
Vegas Line: Arizona State -24.5

If you haven’t seen Kent State play, you might want to check out their “FlashFast” offense they’ve rolled out under Sean Lewis. Because of that speedy offensive attack, I think there’s a good shot the Flashes punch Arizona State in the teeth early, but with one of the worst defenses in the country, don’t expect Kent State to hold on for long, especially against one of the best backs in the country in Eno Benjamin. Give me ASU big.

CSD Prime Pick: Arizona State 40, Kent State 17

Northern Colorado @ San Jose State
Thursday, August 29th at 10 PM ET
Pick: San Jose State

#14 Utah @ BYU

Thursday, August 29th at 10:15 PM ET on ESPN
Vegas Line: Utah -4.5

The Holy War is probably my most anticipated matchup of the Thursday/Friday week one opener. Neither team is ranked in my computer model (although Utah is awfully close) but this is always a hotly contested rivalry that seems to produce great games, and I see this as a potential next in line.

BYU hasn’t beaten Utah since 2009, but with the home field edge and the added motivation of a tough schedule upcoming, I feel decent about their chances to pull off a win against a Utah team that has built up a ton of hype this offseason. The Cougars’ defense is solid, and QB Zach Wilson looked great towards the back end of last season. However, Wilson will be going up against a Utah defense that has a good shot of contending for best in the nation status on the backs of a terrific defensive line. QB Tyler Huntley and RB Zack Moss (both of whom were injured last year for this game) are difference makers on offense, and in a game that will be low scoring, I think they make one more play and pick up the win in what will be the game of the day.

CSD Prime Pick: Utah 25, BYU 21

Rice @ Army
Friday, August 30th at 6 PM ET on CBSSN
Vegas Line: Army -24.5

Army has a good shot to be one of the winningest teams in the country this year due to their cupcake schedule, and they start the year off with Rice, a team projected to be one of the worst in the country. Against a defense that really struggled last year, I think Army runs at will and picks up the win.

CSD Prime Pick: Army 36, Rice 18

However, Army plays at a very grindingly slow pace, and Rice also likes to slow the tempo down, so 24.5 points feels like a lot to ask Army to cover. Another factor is that generally, teams have a week to prepare for Army’s unique play style, while Rice has had a whole offseason. With a passing game that is inconsistent but has potential, I think the Owls put up a few points against a rebuilding Army secondary, and safely cover the 24.5.

☆Crazy Sports Dude Best Bet Alert☆ – Rice +24.5

#19 Wisconsin @ USF

Friday, August 30th at 7 PM ET on ESPN
Vegas Line: Wisconsin -12.5

I feel very low on Wisconsin this year, so a road game against a hungry G5 team was enticing to me at first, but looking into the numbers it was a lot less so. USF really struggled against the run last year, and with the names returning, I don’t expect it to get much better. That’s about the last problem you’d want to have against Wisconsin. The Badgers do have to rebuild the offensive line a little (although it still might be one of the best in the country) but they bring back the most prolific back in the country in Jonathan Taylor.

The USF offense is good, I like Blake Barnett, but the Wisconsin defense is great, and they’ll hold the Bulls’ offense in check while Taylor runs all over a defense that will struggle to make inexperienced Badger QB Jack Coan test himself. I’ll take Wisconsin.

CSD Prime Pick: Wisconsin 30, USF 21

Tulsa @ #18 Michigan State
Friday, August 30th at 7 PM ET on FS1
Vegas Line: Michigan State -22.5

There is a good chance that Michigan State will have the best defense in the country this year, and against a Tulsa offense that struggled to make big plays last season, I think this is a great candidate for the first FBS vs FBS shutout of the 2019 season. The big question will be how will the Michigan State offense look after an underwhelming 2018?

CSD Prime Pick: Michigan State 28, Tulsa 8

UMass @ Rutgers
Friday, August 30th at 7:15 PM ET on BTN
Vegas Line: Rutgers -14

Walt Bell takes over for UMass this year, and while I’m sure a win in his head coaching debut would do wonders, the talent gap between UMass and a Big Ten opponent, even Rutgers, is just too large. The Rutgers defense is pretty solid, and I don’t see anything on the UMass offense that could compete. I’ll take Rutgers big.

CSD Prime Pick: Rutgers 34, UMass 17

Utah State @ Wake Forest
Friday, August 30th at 8 PM ET on ACC Network
Vegas Line: Wake Forest -3.5

Utah State was great last year, but with a ton gone from the 2018 squad, including the head coach, knocking off an ACC foe on the road may be a tough task in week one. I don’t think it’s out of the question, but I love the Wake receiving corps and secondary, and while Utah State QB Jordan Love turns some heads, Wake will prevail.

CSD Prime Pick: Wake Forest 38, Utah State 33

Purdue @ Nevada
Friday, August 30th at 9:30 PM ET on CBSSN
Vegas Line: Purdue -9.5

Nevada went a sneaky 8-5 last season and they get a shot at hosting a Big Ten foe here to really breakthrough onto the national radar. The primetime week one atmosphere will help, but Nevada’s QB situation is a mess and I think Purdue throws all over a secondary that is still in development. I’ll take Purdue

CSD Prime Pick: Purdue 39, Nevada 29

Colorado State vs. Colorado (Denver, CO)
Friday, August 30th at 10 PM ET on ESPN
Vegas Line: Colorado -12.5

The first neutral-site game of week one comes in the Rocky Mountain Showdown, the annual game between Colorado and Colorado State. Since officially switching the host site to Denver in 2010, Colorado has gone 7-2 in the series, so while the Buffs have dominated for the most part, little brother has gotten a few shots in. As for this year, I just can’t see CSU hanging with Pac-12 talent, especially up front, and I think Laviska Shenault shows out in his return from injury en route to a UC win.

CSD Prime Pick: Colorado 37, Colorado State 27

Oklahoma State @ Oregon State
Friday, August 30th at 10:30 PM ET on FS1
Vegas Line: Oklahoma State -14.5

The nightcap on Friday sees the two “other OSUs” square off in what should be a high powered offensive affair. This will just be the third P5 vs P5 game of the season, and I think it will be a lot more competitive than some may think. Oregon State’s offense, led by a nice receiving corps and stud RB Jermar Jefferson will put up points on the Oklahoma State defense, and while I’m not confident enough to pick the upset, I think this one is close going into the fourth quarter before Chuba Hubbard and LD Brown pull away for an Oklahoma State W in what will be one of the highest-scoring games of week one.

CSD Prime Pick: Oklahoma State 46, Oregon State 33

Akron @ Illinois
Saturday, August 31st at 12 PM ET on BTN
Vegas Line: Illinois -17

You know, if you want a stupid off the board upset idea, this isn’t a bad shout. There is talent on this Akron team, led by a pair of two of the best defenders in the G5 in LB John Lako and S Alvin Davis. In addition to that, Illinois is starting unproven Isaiah Williams at QB. At the end of the day, Akron loses a lot of the pieces outside of Lako and Davis from last year’s defense and I think Illinois is able to plug away and win, but don’t be shocked if you look up Saturday and this is closer than it should be.

CSD Prime Pick: Illinois 35, Akron 18

Indiana vs. Ball State (Indianapolis, IN)
Saturday, August 31st at 12 PM ET on CBSSN
Vegas Line: Indiana -16.5

One of week one’s weirder neutral site matchups comes from the Hoosier state where Indiana and Ball State will face off in Indianapolis. The neutral-site atmosphere and a loaded receiving corps will play towards Ball State’s favor, but Indiana will just be too talented and I love IU RB Stevie Scott. This might be closer than you’d expect for three quarters, but the Hoosiers will survive.

CSD Prime Pick: Indiana 36, Ball State 20

Howard @ Maryland
Saturday, August 31st at 12 PM ET on BTN
Pick: Maryland

South Alabama @ #24 Nebraska
Saturday, August 31st at 12 PM ET on ESPN
Vegas Line: Nebraska -35

Nebraska is a team that my computer thought was quite underrated last year, and the Cornhuskers are projected to be a top-30 team in 2019, but the offseason hype train has gotten a little bit out of hand. Adrian Martinez improved a lot towards the back half of last year, and I think he exposes what is a solid USA defense. While 35 feels like a lot to cover I think the Cornhuskers actually have a good shot at hitting it.

CSD Prime Pick: Nebraska 46, South Alabama 19

Florida Atlantic @ #5 Ohio State

Saturday, August 31st at 12 PM ET on FOX
Vegas Line: Ohio State -27

The first of Fox’s slate of blockbuster noon games, an attempt to own the timeslot, is an interesting one that probably looked better before FAU went 5-7 last year, but the potential is still there for what is an exciting offense led by Chirs Robinson to shock the world, I just don’t have enough faith in the FAU defense to force first-time starter Justin Fields to feel the moment. The Buckeye run game should roll all over the Owls and I think Ryan Day picks up a big win in his full-time head coaching debut.

CSD Prime Pick: Ohio State 49, Florida Atlantic 18

Northern Iowa @ #21 Iowa State
Saturday, August 31st at 12 PM ET on FS1
Pick: Iowa State

Indiana State @ Kansas
Saturday, August 31st at 12 PM ET on FSN
Pick: Kansas

Toledo @ Kentucky
Saturday, August 31st at 12 PM ET on SEC Network
Vegas Line: Kentucky -12.5

This game feels really dangerous for Kentucky, a team dealing with a ton of turnover as they’ll have to take on one of the MAC favorites without star RB Benny Snell and most of the line and receiving corps. Toledo had one of the most prolific offenses in the country last year, but Kentucky’s defense is solid and Toledo’s is… not. I see Kentucky QB Terry Wilson stepping up and taking care of business here, but don’t be shocked if this is the first big upset of the day, as there is plenty of talent to watch on the Toledo offense.

CSD Prime Pick: Kentucky 34, Toledo 23

Ole Miss @ Memphis

Saturday, August 31st at 12 PM ET on ABC
Vegas Line: Memphis -6

ABC grabbed what should be an awesome shootout featuring an AAC team getting a crack at home against a power five team. Memphis is a program I see as one of the most likely to go undefeated in the regular season thanks to their schedule. The Tigers also have an awesome high powered offense while Ole Miss’ defense really struggled last year.

Jordan Ta’amu and the terrific receiving corps are gone for Ole Miss, and while Memphis struggles in the secondary, it is nothing to compare to Ole Miss’ woes. In what should be a fun shootout on national TV to open up the first full Saturday of the season I see the home team winning and picking up a big win for the AAC over an SEC foe.

CSD Prime Pick: Memphis 40, Ole Miss 36

Mississippi State vs. Louisiana (Atlanta, GA)
Saturday, August 31st at 12 PM ET on ESPNU
Vegas Line: Mississippi State -22

Mississippi State dominated this matchup 56-10 last year, but the game is being played in Mercedez-Bendz Stadium this time around, and this is a great chance for a talented Louisiana team to put the Sun Belt flag down on the map against a team that loses a lot from last year. Kylin Hill does return for the Bulldogs though, and while I think the awesome running back stable that the Ragin’ Cajuns boast keeps things interesting for a while, at the end of the day this will be a convincing MSU win, but it’ll be a lot closer than last year.

CSD Prime Pick: Mississippi State 38, Louisiana 17

East Carolina @ NC State
Saturday, August 31st at 12 PM ET on ACC Network
Vegas Line: NC State -17.5

I think ECU made the right move changing pace to Mike Houston at the head coach spot. The former JMU head coach has an incredible track record, but getting back to ECU’s former ACC-upsetting ways will be tough in his first game. The Wolfpack front will dominate, and while I think ECU looks solid on defense for a little while, they’ll eventually collapse giving way to a big NC State win.

CSD Prime Pick: NC State 37, East Carolina 17

James Madison @ West Virginia
Saturday, August 31st at 2 PM ET on AT&T Sports Network
Pick: West Virginia

Rhode Island @ Ohio
Saturday, August 31st at 2 PM ET on ESPN+
Pick: Ohio

Bucknell @ Temple
Saturday, August 31st at 3 PM ET on ESPN3
Pick: Temple

Eastern Washington @ #13 Washington
Saturday, August 31st at 3 PM ET on Pac-12 Network
Pick: Washington

Duke vs. #2 Alabama (Atlanta, GA)

Saturday, August 31st at 3:30 PM ET on ABC
Vegas Line: Alabama -34.5

Coming off of an embarrassing performance in last year’s national title game, I wouldn’t want to be facing Alabama straight out of the gate, but that is what Duke will have to do. I don’t see this one being competitive in the slightest, and I’d expect for the Crimson Tide to cruise to a huge victory to open up the year.

CSD Prime Prediction: Alabama 49, Duke 11

Idaho @ #15 Penn State
Saturday, August 31st at 3:30 PM ET on BTN
Pick: Penn State

Colgate @ Air Force
Saturday, August 31st at 3:30 PM ET on ESPN3
Pick: Air Force

Holy Cross @ Navy
Saturday, August 31st at 3:30 PM ET on CBSSN
Pick: Navy

Eastern Michigan @ Coastal Carolina
Saturday, August 31st at 3:30 PM ET on ESPN+
Vegas Line: Eastern Michigan -5.5

These are two teams very much in the rebuilding process trying to start off 2019 on the right foot, and while neither inspires much confidence in me, I do like some of the key pieces of the Eastern Michigan D despite key losses up front like Maxx Crosby. The EMU passing game should do enough to get the job done on the backs of the defense, and it will hand new CCU head coach Jamey Chadwell a loss in his very first game.

CSD Prime Pick: Eastern Michigan 28, Coastal Carolina 22

South Carolina vs. North Carolina (Charlotte, NC)

Saturday, August 31st at 3:30 PM ET on ESPN
Vegas Line: South Carolina -7.5

USC-UNC has been a fun kickoff game the past few years, but this season there’s a twist, with Mack Brown coming out of retirement to coach the Tar Heels after UNC struggled mightily post-Mitch Trubisky last season. There is a talent on this North Carolina team, especially in the skill corps, but I have worries about the defense and the big question mark at QB. Playing in the SEC has led to South Carolina being underrated coming into the season, and I think they make a big statement out of the gate and pick up a huge win to open up the 2019 year on the back of their brutal defense.

CSD Prime Pick: South Carolina 36, North Carolina 26

Georgia State @ Tennessee
Saturday, August 31st at 3:30 PM ET on ESPNU
Vegas Line: Tennessee -26

I really like Jeremy Pruitt so I’m pulling for Tennessee to rebound, but year one was a slow start for the Vols. Luckily, they kick off 2019 with a home game against Georgia State, a team coming off of a 2-10 season in the Sun Belt (with one of the wins vs an FCS). I like Guarantano and the Vol receiving corps, and there’s no way Georgia State hangs in the trenches.

CSD Prime Pick: Tennessee 39, Georgia State 18

East Tennessee State @ Appalachian State
Saturday, August 31st at 3:30 PM ET on ESPN+
Pick: Appalachian State

Northwestern @ #25 Stanford

Saturday, August 31st at 4 PM ET on FOX
Vegas Line: Stanford – 6.5

One of the more underrated matchups of week one comes from the farm where Stanford looks for revenge for Northwestern’s 2015 upset of the Cardinal.

I don’t feel great about the Northwestern offense, led by Clemson transfer Hunter Johnson, and Stanford has a terrific pass rush along with a stable of excellent corners. I expect Stanford to control this one with their line play in what will be a slow, grind it out style of game before the Cardinal eventually win a tight one.

CSD Prime Pick: Stanford 27, Northwestern 21

Portland State @ Arkansas
Saturday, August 31st at 4 PM ET on SEC Network
Pick: Arkansas

Montana State @ Texas Tech
Saturday, August 31st at 4 PM ET on FSN
Pick: Texas Tech

Virginia Tech @ Boston College
Saturday, August 31st at 4 PM ET on ACC Network
Vegas Line: Virginia Tech -3.5

Putting a few conference games in the schedule for the ACC Network’s debut was a great idea, especially the two Saturday games that should both be incredibly tight. Virginia Tech took a step back last year, especially on defense, and they’ll have to face one of the most impressive backs in the country, AJ Dillon. Despite that, I have confidence in Bud Foster to get the D back on track and for the offense to do enough to pick up the road win, but it will be tight.

CSD Prime Pick: Virginia Tech 28, Boston College 25

#22 Syracuse @ Liberty
Saturday, August 31st at 6 PM ET on ESPN+
Vegas Line: Syracuse -17.5

Both of these teams love to score and Liberty is incredibly scrappy, so this could be really fun to watch. I see Syracuse pulling away late thanks to the offensive firepower and prowess in pass rush, but with a new quarterback at the helm for the Orange, a shocking upset isn’t out of the question.

CSD Prime Pick: Syracuse 42, Liberty 25

Sam Houston State @ New Mexico
Saturday, August 31st at 6 PM ET
Pick: New Mexico

Incarnate Word @ UTSA
Saturday, August 31st at 6 PM ET on ESPN3
Pick: UTSA

Campbell @ Troy
Saturday, August 31st at 6 PM ET on ESPN+
Pick: Troy

UC Davis @ California
Saturday, August 31st at 6:30 PM ET on Pac-12 Network
Pick: California

VMI @ Marshall
Saturday, August 31st at 6:30 PM ET on Stadium
Pick: Marshall

Norfolk State @ Old Dominion
Saturday, August 31st at 7 PM ET on ESPN3
Pick: Old Dominion

Alcorn State @ Southern Mississippi
Saturday, August 31st at 7 PM ET on ESPN+
Pick: Southern Mississippi

Illinois State @ Northern Illinois
Saturday, August 31st at 7 PM ET on ESPN+
Pick: Northern Illinois

Monmouth @ Western Michigan
Saturday, August 31st at 7 PM ET on ESPN3
Pick: Western Michigan

SMU @ Arkansas State
Saturday, August 31st at 7:30 PM ET on ESPN+
Vegas Line: Arkansas State -2.5

One of the more under the radar spicy games of week one comes in a Sun Belt vs AAC showdown as SMU tries out former Texas starting QB Shane Buechele, who has an excellent group of receivers to throw to. On the other side, stud QB Justice Hansen has graduated, but the Ark State defense is one of the best in the Sun Belt, and with home-field advantage on their side I see them pressuring Buechele and forcing him to make some mistakes as he still tries to get a hold of the Sonny Dykes offense.

CSD Prime Pick: Arkansas State 33, SMU 28

Hansen is a big loss, but I feel great about Arkansas State as a “1B” to App State in the Sun Belt this year, and while I probably would have played this game anyway, the Red Wolves really have something to fight for after head coach Blake Anderson’s wife tragically passed away in the final few weeks of the offseason. The Arkansas State offense will hold up thanks to experienced guys up front, and an erratic SMU offense will collapse under duress, give me the Red Wolves at home in primetime giving two and a hook.

☆Crazy Sports Dude Best Bet Alert☆ – Arkansas State -2.5

Boise State vs. Florida State (Jacksonville, FL)

Saturday, August 31st at 7 PM ET on ESPN
Vegas Line: Florida State -6

I am really intrigued by this one. After missing a bowl last year, Willie Taggart is on the hot seat, and losing a game to a group of five program, even Boise State, is not a good way to start to 2019.

Florida State will have the advantage of consistency in this one while Boise will have to deal with massive turnover, especially on offense. I like the Boise defensive front, but this is the year that I have circled for Cam Akers to breakout, and I see him putting in a huge performance and leading the ‘Noles to a win in what will be a defensive battle.

CSD Prime Pick: Florida State 26, Boise State 23

Nicholls @ Kansas State
Saturday, August 31st at 7 PM ET on ESPN+
Pick: Kansas State

Stephen F. Austin @ Baylor
Saturday, August 31st at 7 PM ET on ESPN+
Pick: Baylor

#3 Georgia @ Vanderbilt

Saturday, August 31st at 7:30 PM ET on SEC Network
Vegas Line: Georgia -21

I really like this as a week one game, not often do we see preseason national title contenders go on the road against P5 bowl teams in week one, but that is what we’ll see here. Kalija Lipscomb, Jared Pinkney, and Ke’Shawn Vaughn are all studs in the Vandy skill corps, but who the quarterback will be is still completely up in the air. I think Vandy breaks a couple of big plays against a fairly young Georgia D, but the Bulldogs boast one of the best lines in the country in addition to veteran Jake Fromm in the passing game. This could be closer than expected for a couple of quarters because of the playmakers that the ‘Dores boast, but expect Georgia to pull away late.

CSD Prime Pick: Georgia 39, Vanderbilt 15

Georgia Southern @ #6 LSU
Saturday, August 31st at 7:30 PM ET on ESPNU
Vegas Line: LSU -28

I feel great about LSU this year, pop them in any conference other than the SEC and I’d pick them to make the playoff, but the schedule means their margin of error is incredibly thin, and they can’t mess around with Georgia Southern, one of my favorite teams to watch. The Eagles return a pair of studs in the secondary in Kindle Vildor and Monquavion Brinson along with dual-threat QB Shai Werts, and while I’m pulling for them to keep this one interesting, the back seven of LSU is just too good and I think the Tigers grind the GaSo defense down before pulling away for a big 20+ point win.

CSD Prime Pick: LSU 38, Georgia Southern 13

Middle Tennessee @ #7 Michigan
Saturday, August 31st at 7:30 PM ET on Big Ten Network
Vegas Line: Michigan -34

Don’t be tricked by the line, this is a talented Middle Tennessee team by CUSA standards, but there’s no real reason to overthink this one. After being embarrassed by Ohio State last year, I think Michigan comes out of the gate strong led by Shea Patterson and a talented receiving corps.

CSD Prime Pick: Michigan 41, Middle Tennessee 13

#11 Oregon vs. #16 Auburn (Arlington, TX)

Saturday, August 31st at 7:30 PM ET on ABC
Vegas Line: Auburn -3

Oregon has been the team that has received one of the biggest hype train boosts over the offseason, but in this rematch of the 2010 national title game, Auburn comes in as the Vegas favorite, as well as the favorite from my computer model.

Oregon has Justin Herbert, an incredible talent at QB, but it’s undeniable that he dropped off last year, I love the Oregon line in front of him, but the Auburn pass rush will be nasty and could break through even against one of the best offensive lines in the nation. Being Alabama’s little brother has put Auburn in the shadow, but this is a great team with one of the best defenses in the country and an enticing running back corps. I’ll take them to pull the upset in what will be a tight, low-scoring affair.

CSD Prime Pick: Auburn 27, Oregon 23

Miami (OH) @ #20 Iowa
Saturday, August 31st at 7:30 PM ET on FS1
Vegas Line: Iowa -21.5

The Iowa defense is going under a huge year of change, and Miami is solid in the skill corps, so this one could be interesting for a little while, I just think Iowa pulls away late against what is a great RedHawk defense and ends up winning by a solid margin in a game that ultimately will be closer than the final score would indicate.

CSD Prime Pick: Iowa 32, Miami (OH) 13

Missouri @ Wyoming
Saturday, August 31st at 7:30 PM ET on CBSSN
Vegas Line: Missouri -18

Missouri will not go bowling this year due to NCAA sanctions, but the Tigers return a top-20 team in the country in terms of talent, the only problem being they might not be able to show it in a conference that boasts seven teams in my preseason top-15. The Tigers will have to go cross country and are dealing with a new starter at QB in Kelly Bryant so I think things may be shaky at first, but expect Mizzou to pull away for a sizable win.

CSD Prime Pick: Missouri 35, Wyoming 20

Abilene Christian @ North Texas
Saturday, August 31st at 7:30 PM ET on ESPN+
Pick: North Texas

Virginia @ Pittsburgh
Saturday, August 31st at 7:30 PM ET on ACC Network
Vegas Line: Virginia -3

If there was one game I could almost guarantee will be tight in week one it would be this one. These teams feel very evenly matched, both with a good shot at winning the Coastal.

After a 23-13 primetime victory in Charlottesville helped secure the division title for Pitt last season, I think the WaHoos will be out for revenge in this one, and I lean Virginia ever so slightly despite the location. The UVa defense is tremendous and Bryce Perkins is a top-three quarterback in the ACC. I think the ‘Hoos win a tight one.

CSD Prime Pick: Virginia 23, Pittsburgh 21

Louisiana Tech @ #10 Texas
Saturday, August 31st at 8 PM ET on LongHorn Network
Vegas Line: Texas -20.5

I really like Louisiana Tech this year, but there is no reason to overthink this. The LT offense lacks firepower, and I think Texas blitzes them early with their high powered Big 12 offense, ultimately taking this one by around 20 points.

CSD Prime Pick: Texas 36, Louisiana Tech 17

Houston Baptist @ UTEP
Saturday, August 31st at 8 PM ET on ESPN+
Pick: UTEP

Arkansas-Pine Bluff @ TCU
Saturday, August 31st at 8 PM ET on FSN
Pick: TCU

Grambling @ UL Monroe
Saturday, August 31st at 8 PM ET on ESPN3
Pick: UL Monroe

Weber State @ San Diego State
Saturday, August 31st at 9 PM ET on Facebook
Pick: San Diego State

New Mexico State @ #23 Washington State
Saturday, August 31st at 10 PM ET on Pac-12 Network
Vegas Line: Washington State -31.5

The late-night slate is pretty week in week one, but if I had to pick a #2 to Fresno-USC it’d have to be this. New Mexico State is led by a talented passing game with Josh Adkins at the helm, and I actually feel alright about their defense. Wazzu will pull away late thanks to their high-pressure defense, but with the question mark at the quarterback spot, 31.5 points seems like an awful lot to cover. This just misses my best bet list.

CSD Prime Pick: Washington State 44, New Mexico State 17

Southern Utah @ UNLV
Saturday, August 31st at 10 PM ET
Pick: UNLV

Fresno State @ USC

Saturday, August 31st at 10:30 PM ET on ESPN
Vegas Line: USC -13.5

This is a game that college football fans have had circled on the calendar all offseason, a USC team coming off a 5-7 year but with loads of potential against a Fresno team that went 12-2 in 2018. That seems like prime positioning for the seemingly yearly MW over Pac-12 upset, but Fresno loses a lot, eight starters on offense alone including their quarterback. USC may have struggled last year, but the skill corps is great, especially the wide receiver room, and I think USC wins the nightcap of the first full Saturday of 2019 in a tight one.

CSD Prime Pick: USC 28, Fresno State 20

While I do think USC should win because of some major departures that Fresno faces, 13.5 is a lot to cover against a Fresno team that won two games straight up against Pac-12 competition last year by a combined 35 points, including one in Pasadena against UCLA. USC has to deal with a new coordinator and a rebuilding O-line, and while some key pieces do depart, the Fresno defense should be great once again and I feel very confident that the Bulldogs keep it within the 13.5, with a decent shot of pulling the outright upset on the road.

☆Crazy Sports Dude Best Bet Alert☆ – Fresno State +13.5

Houston @ #4 Oklahoma

Sunday, September 1st at 7:30 PM ET on ABC
Vegas Line: Oklahoma -25

The last time these two teams played was back in 2016 in a 33-23 Cougar victory, this time, Oklahoma, with hopes of the playoff, cannot afford to blow it. The good news, I don’t think they will. The Houston defense was bad last year and that was with stud Ed Oliver in the middle. I love Houston QB D’Eriq King, but I trust the OU Dto make a couple more stops and for the Sooners to win in a shootout, hanging half a century on the Cougs in the process.

CSD Prime Pick: Oklahoma 50, Houston 36

However, 25 is quite a big spread for a transfer quarterback to cover. While Jalen Hurts has been excellent, you never know how things like team chemistry work out. Also, if you think D’Eriq King and his monstrous receiving corps are going to let this one get out of hand early, you’re crazy. I have faith in the UH offense to keep this one respectable, and while this still won’t be a “down to the last possession” style game, it won’t be a blowout.

☆Crazy Sports Dude Best Bet Alert☆ – Houston +25

#9 Notre Dame @ Louisville
Monday, September 2nd at 8 PM ET on ESPN
Vegas Line: Notre Dame -20

Louisville was really bad last year, but they get a chance to prove that they’ve changed with a home game in primetime against a really good Notre Dame team. The emotion of being the week one finale will help Louisville keep this closer than expected, but with a mess of a defense and little in the way of QB play, I can’t really consider the upset here, especially against a tremendous Irish defense.

CSD Prime Pick: Notre Dame 35, Louisville 20

WEEK ZERO

Miami vs. #8 Florida (Orlando, FL)

Saturday, August 24th at 7 PM ET on ESPN
Vegas Line: Florida -7

The college football season got an early start in 2016, with Hawai’i facing Cal in Australia. Then, in 2017 we got a small slate of games headlined by Stanford vs Rice and Colorado State vs Oregon State. In 2018, it was a similar tune, a small group with no real blockbusters, main evented by Hawai’i taking on Colorado State and Wyoming facing New Mexico State. This year will be different though. The TV execs have picked up on the bubbling trend, and this year they’ve decided to place a big neutral site game in primetime on ESPN, as Florida will take on Miami in a Sunshine State showdown between two teams that haven’t faced off in six years. Week zero is a real thing now. Pay attention.

The Manny Diaz era in Coral Gables could start off with a bang. Knock off a preseason top ten team fresh off of a dominant New Year’s Six bowl win, and you have Miami fans back on board after Mark Richt’s tenure ended with a disappointing flop of a 7-6 season. On the other hand, Dan Mullen has to prove that him leading Florida to ten wins and their best year since 2009 wasn’t a fluke and to do that he has to take care of business against a team that the Gators have only beaten once since 1985.

If Miami wins this game and becomes the sure thing favorite in the ACC Coastal, it will be because of their front seven, which returns pretty much everyone from an incredibly talented group including star linebacker Shaq Quarterman. The Miami pass rush also has the added benefit of going up against a rebuilding Florida offensive line that loses four starters from last year’s group. The way Florida has recruited the drop off shouldn’t be too stark, but playing your first college start in primetime against an excellent pass rush isn’t ideal, to say the least.

Florida’s defense was one of the best in the country as well last season, and I’m expecting a similar result in 2019, so don’t expect this to be a high scoring season opener that lights up the scoreboards, the Gators allowed just 22 points per game last season, and Miami allowed just 21.

When it comes down to it, both defenses will be great, but I have a lot more faith in Felipe Franks and Florida’s ground and pound run game than I do anything on the Miami offense, which is frankly still a massive question mark with the Hurricanes still deciding between three guys to start at the time of writing. While the holes on the UF offensive line are worrying, I think Florida wins a tight defensive battle and starts their march to a potential SEC East title run.

CSD Prime Pick: Florida 26, Miami 20

Arizona @ Hawai’i

Saturday, August 24th at 10:30 PM ET on CBSSN
Vegas Line: Arizona -11.5

If you want points, oh boy is this the game for you. Arizona’s Khalil Tate and Hawai’i’s Cole McDonald are two of the most exciting QBs in the country, and both teams will be desperate for a hot start, Arizona with a coach that hasn’t yet lived up to expectations (5-7 in year one), and Hawai’i looking to get out in front of what is a brutal schedule for a Mountain West team.

Hawai’i’s gameplan is going to be simple, let Cole McDonald (3,875 yards, 36 touchdowns in 2018) throw the ball and hope their defense breaks less than the other guy’s. John Ursua is gone, but the Rainbow Warriors bring back a pair of prolific receivers in Cedric Byrd and JoJo Ward along with their entire running back corps and offensive line. Hawai’i is going to put up points, but…

Arizona will too. Khalil Tate didn’t run the ball nearly as much last year, but he became a much better passer, and while I don’t have a ton of faith in Arizona’s corners in coverage (although the safety duo is great), I think that the Wildcats are able to get pressure on McDonald and force him to make a couple of mistakes.

JJ Taylor will be great in the run game behind an offensive line returning five starters, and I just think Arizona is an all-around more balanced team than Hawai’i. I trust their defense to make a couple of plays that I don’t think Hawai’i’s can, and I think the Wildcats win a close one.

CSD Prime Pick: Arizona 42, Hawai’i 35

In these types of shootouts where points will be flying, I always recommend taking the points when you get a big line like this, especially early in the season when a lot is unknown about these teams. I think there is a very good chance that Arizona not only fails to cover the 11.5 but loses the game outright after their poor start last year, so I’ll ride with Cole McDonald to cover as my first ATS Best Bet of 2019.

☆Crazy Sports Dude Best Bet Alert☆ – Hawai’i +11.5

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