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College Football Betting: Biggest Favorites

There are plenty of intriguing showdowns in college football’s opening week. But there also a few games featuring powerhouses versus cupcakes. Those games also pose quandaries for bettors, who must decide between taking the better team or grabbing an inferior opponent and a ton of points. 
Here’s a look at four such matchups in the opening weekend:
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Texas AM vs Rice betting preview, Manziel?

Whether he plays or not, all eyes will be on Aggie quarterback Johnny Manziel.

The reigning Heisman Trophy winner’s status is in question after allegations surfaced that he took money in exchange for his autograph. The NCAA investigated, and Manziel will miss the first half.

True freshman Kenny Hill appears to be the favorite to step in. Rice is one of the most experienced teams in the nation, returning 19 starters.

Quarterback Taylor McHargue is a hidden star and put up big numbers last season. The Owls are 10-15 against the spread in non-conference play under coach David Bailiff.

Rice has been tough as an underdog lately, winning three in a row SU and going 6-1-1 ATS in eight. But 28 points?

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Miami Hurricanes huge faves vs FAU

Bettors will be looking to hit pay dirt on Friday when the Miami Hurricanes host the FAU Owls at Sun Life Stadium in Week 1 action.

To do so, Canes bettors need to be prepared to lay more than four TDs as sportsbooks had the line around 31.5 points today.

Miami remains the third betting choice to win the ACC in 2013, at 7/2 odds. If they stumble here against Florida Atlantic, oddsmakers will surely hike those odds.

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College Football Betting: Thursday Openers

The opening week of the college football season kicks off Thursday with a handful of tasty matchups to get your betting juices flowing. The Thursday slate is highlighted by a doubleheader featuring three SEC teams looking to make some noise.
South Carolina hosts North Carolina of the ACC (6 p.m. ET, ESPN) in the first game, followed by an opening SEC matchup between Vanderbilt and Ole Miss.
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College Football: Sportsbook fears Georgia

Georgia, not two-time defending national champion Alabama, can do the most damage to one online sportsbook by winning the national championship. 
Bovada reported seeing increased action on both Alabama (5/2) and Ohio State (15/2), leading up to Week 1 of the college football season. But it’s Mark Richt’s Bulldogs, at 14/1, who have the book sweating the most.
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Johnny Manziel, A&M odds reappear

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel isn’t in nearly as much trouble as some expected.
Texas A&M announced Wednesday that Manziel would only be suspended for the first half of the Aggies’ opener against Rice on Saturday.
The reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Manziel’s eligibility was put into question after an NCAA investigation was launched after allegations surfaced that he signed memorabilia for money. 
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South Carolina vs UNC betting preview

Steve Spurrier enters his ninth season at South Carolina with potentially his best offense and as an 11-point favorite against UNC.

Senior quarterback Connor Shaw leads an attack that averaged 31.5 points last season and returns its entire starting offensive line.

The Gamecocks will be a tough matchup for a Tar Heels’ defense that has been described as a work in progress. Two UNC projected starters were lost for the season during camp, and injuries sidelined many others in August. Things got so bad that a tight end and wide receiver were forced to move over to the defensive side, just so the Heels’ would have enough to practice.

The total was sitting at 56.5 eary in the week. UNC is just 1-5 ATS in its past 6 road games.

South Carolina has lost just twice as a double-digit home favorite since 2004 (Auburn in 2011 and Vandy in 2007)

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College Football Betting Trends: Week 1

Trends must be taken with a grain of sports betting salt, but they can prove useful for handicappers looking for support for their theory - or to encourage them to steer clear of it.
So if Florida State went 0-5 against the spread on the road last season, do we worry about them at Pitt? The Seminoles have failed to cover in their last six games as road favorites.
They are 5-10 ATS in their last 15 games as double-digit favorites.
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Georgia vs Clemson Preview and Pick

Clemson capped last season by knocking off SEC power LSU. Beating another in Georgia would be a huge boost to the Tigers, who are sleeper national title contenders.

Clemson has won three of its last five against the SEC. The Tigers opened as small favorites, but Georgia is now the favorite. This will be only the third time under coach Dabo Swinney that the Tigers are home underdogs.

They are also 8-0 SU and 7-1 ATS in their past 8 games as a road favorite. But Clemson is a nasty underdog, going 21-9 ATS in 30 recent games in that role.

They’re 0-2 against the spread in the two previous situations. With both teams featuring senior quarterbacks and explosive offenses, a high-scoring game is expected. The total was sitting at 72.5 over the weekend.

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Alabama vs Virginia Tech betting odds pick

The Crimson Tide are 23-1 straight up and 15-6 against the spread in September under coach Nick Saban.

They were big 19 ½-point favorites over a Virginia Tech team that has taken a step back from its peak in the early 2000s. (That line has swelled to 21 at some sportsbooks as of Thursday). Alabama is 19-1 straight-up and 12-8 against the spread as a double-digit favorite over the last several years.

They are also 6-0 SU & ATS away from home as a favorite of 20 points or more since 2002.

The Hokies are 7-4 against the spread as double-digit underdogs. Hokie QB Logan Thomas needs to have the best game of his up-and-down career, if Virginia Tech is to have any chance against the Crimson Tide. The Hokies do have nine starters returning on defense.

They must contend with one of Saban’s best offenses at Alabama, led by senior QB A.J. McCarron, running back T.J. Yeldon and wide receiver Amari Cooper.

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