The Week 1 Big 12 schedule is full of college football spreads, making it challenging to place bets given the opening college football odds. With that in mind, I’d wade into these college football waters with caution and set a percentage of your bankroll that is on the conservative side.
The NCAA football odds should be a bit kinder in Week 2.
Spreads tend to be based on last season’s production as well as preseason expectations, which does not always end up being predictive of the teams that take the field. Totals are also challenging to bet online with the revised clock rules aimed to speed up the game.
There are still plenty of areas of opportunities to potentially be on the right side of things with a few intriguing college football lines across the Big 12.
Here is a look at my top Big 12 bets for Week 1.
Colorado (+20½) vs TCU
I already did a deep dive on this matchup which is worth checking out, but here is the TLDR version of why I am riding with Colorado. Taking the Buffs to cover the +20½ points is one of the more appealing college football spreads for the opening week.
— Swapty Sports (@SwaptySports) August 27, 2023
While TCU did make the national title game last season, this is not the same roster with almost an entirely brand new offense, including quarterback Max Duggan heading to the NFL.
Coach Prime (Deion Sanders) has completely overhauled the Buffaloes roster, with his son Shadeur Sanders taking over as QB1 and two-way player Travis Hunter making the move from Jackson State as well. Colorado also added speed to their receiver group with two USF transfers: Jimmy Horn Jr. and Xavier Weaver. The Buffs have a chance to be within striking distance in the fourth quarter and cover the massive 20½-point spread.
- PICK: Colorado (+20½) vs TCU
Texas State vs Baylor: O/U 61
For the most part, I am staying away from totals this week until we see how the rule changes play out, but this is one of the few exceptions. Baylor’s offense is going to put up points and offensive wizard G.J. Kinne took over as Texas State head coach this offseason.
Kinne led the FCS’ No. 1 offense last season at Incarnate Word and already has the attention of Baylor head coach Dave Aranda. This Texas clash is going to be a track meet. Take the over on the point total of 61 points.
- PICK: Over 61 (-110)
Aranda on G.J. Kinne’s Texas State Offense: Super wide splits, gap scheme run game, lots of vertical choice routes.
I started watching them yesterday, it’s basically just Briles ball evolved (much more varied screen game + more run schemes). pic.twitter.com/TOyg0i1eBI
— Travis Roeder (@Travis_Roeder) August 28, 2023
UTSA (-2½) vs Houston
Last season’s overtime thriller between Houston and UTSA became an instant classic and now it is time for the Roadrunners to get their revenge. The Cougars lost star quarterback Clayton Tune and top receiver “Tank” Dell to the NFL.
Frank Harris to Zakhari Franklin for the TOUCHDOWN 🔥🔥🔥
Beautiful pass & catch pic.twitter.com/WbQJ5Pr23E
— NCAAF Nation (@NCAAFNation247) December 4, 2021
UTSA standout quarterback Frank Harris is heading into his seventh (!) collegiate season with the Roadrunners and will be the best player on the field. According to preview magazine czar Phil Steele, UTSA is returning a whopping 16 starters, which means Harris will have plenty of help as the Roadrunners cover the 2½-point spread to be on the right side of the Las Vegas college football odds.
- PICK: UTSA (-2½) vs Houston
Kent State vs UCF: O/U 56
I know we are trying to avoid point totals, but Thursday night’s came across my radar late. Kent State is the least experienced team in the country, returning zero (!) offensive starters with a brand new coaching staff to boot.
The Bounce House is an absolutely crazy experience when they play Zombie Nation pic.twitter.com/nYK4CeqoUB
— Barstool Gambling (@stoolgambling) August 29, 2023
They are expecting less than ideal weather in Orlando thanks to Hurricane Idalia. Even if UCF drops 40 points on Kent State, there is a scenario where the Golden Flashes struggle to reach double digits. The Knights are likely going to save some of their offensive firepower for their Week 2 road game at Boise State.
- PICK: Under 56