It’s still early, but the Week 1 lines were released for the 2018 college football season. What are they and what are the early predictions?
Week 1 Early Lines Released. Who’ll Win?
So here’s how this annual exercise works. I’ll make the mid-May prediction of what the Week 1 line should be – without looking at where the line is set – along with the early pick, and then the real line from Vegas Insider will be added. The key is to get this close to the pin, but is there a massive discrepancy or five to jump all over?
Of course, this can and will change by the time we do this all for real in August, but for now, in an attempt to find you the good value …
Saturday, August 25
Wyoming at New Mexico State
And here we go with at Week 0 showdown of 2017 bowl teams – and it won’t be that bad. Expect a low scoring game between two veteran, tough defenses, but Wyoming will stuff the rebuilding Aggie O.
Predicted Line: Wyoming -5.5
May Prediction: Wyoming 27, New Mexico State 17
Current Actual Week 1 Line: Wyoming -6
Hawaii at Colorado State
The Rainbow Warriors will bring their new/old high-powered run-and-shoot attack to Fort Collins in what should be a wild and crazy shootout. Colorado State, even in a rebuilding season, will come out hot in the home opener.
Predicted Line: Colorado State -9.5
May Prediction: Colorado State 45, Hawaii 30
Current Actual Week 1 Line: Colorado State -14
Thursday, August 30
UCF at UConn
The defending national champs – poke, poke – have to be great in the Josh Heupel opener. UConn still doesn’t have a defense, but at home, look out. The Huskies will keep this closer than you think.
Predicted Line: UCF -13.5
May Prediction: UCF 35, UConn 30
Current Actual Week 1 Line: UCF -22.5
Northwestern at Purdue
How do you have a line when there’s no Northwestern quarterback? Clayton Thorson almost certainly won’t be ready, and the Wildcat offense won’t be able to keep up.
Predicted Line: Purdue -6
May Prediction: Purdue 31, Northwestern 17
Current Actual Week 1 Line: Purdue -3.5
New Mexico State at Minnesota
New Mexico State will have a game under its belt having already played Wyoming. But Minnesota will have game tape. Will the Gophers be good enough to piledrive the mediocre teams this year? Yeah, but it’ll be a little bit of a battle for a half.
Predicted Line: Minnesota -13.5
May Prediction: Minnesota 38, New Mexico State 17
Current Actual Week 1 Line: Minnesota -17
Wake Forest at Tulane
Can Wake Forest handle the Tulane option attack on the road? Be very, very afraid of this road date for the ACC team – even though the Demon Deacons will be strong.
Predicted Line: Wake Forest -7
May Prediction: Wake Forest 27, Tulane 23
Current Actual Week 1 Line: Wake Forest -7
Friday, August 31
Utah State at Michigan State
Utah State will be good, and Michigan State is never above going through the motions in sluggish non-conference games against overmatched teams. Not in this game. The Spartan O will explode from the start.
Predicted Line: Michigan State -23.5
May Prediction: Michigan State 40, Utah State 17
Current Actual Week 1 Line: Michigan State -27
Syracuse at Western Michigan
At some point, Syracuse will start to play up to the Dino Babers offense. The defense will still be sketchy, but the Orange will get out of Kalamazoo with a solid win.
Predicted Line: Syracuse -3
May Prediction: Syracuse 31, Western Michigan 23
Current Actual Week 1 Line: Syracuse -5.5
WKU at Wisconsin
WKU will bomb away on the rebuilt Badger secondary to make it interesting for a while, and then the Bucky O line will take over in an easy blowout. The firepower will be on display in the second half.
Predicted Line: Wisconsin -30
May Prediction: Wisconsin 52, WKU 13
Current Actual Week 1 Line: Wisconsin -34
Colorado State vs. Colorado
Colorado State will have already played Hawaii, and the rivalry aspect always makes this interesting, but the Buffs will own the showdown once again. Colorado QB Steven Montez will go off, but the Rams will keep up for three quarters.
Predicted Line: Colorado -7.5
May Prediction: Colorado 27, Colorado State 20
Current Actual Week 1 Line: Colorado -6
San Diego State at Stanford
San Diego State beat the Cardinal last season, and it’s loaded again this year with a team that might just be better – even without RB Rashaad Penny. Bryce Love will have the spotlight on, but he’ll be kept under wraps in a battle.
Predicted Line: Stanford -12
May Prediction: Stanford 26, San Diego State 24
Current Actual Week 1 Line: Stanford -14.5