College football picks, schedule: Predictions vs. the spread, odds for key Week 1 games on Friday – CBS Sports

College football picks, schedule: Predictions vs. the spread, odds for key Week 1 games on Friday - CBS Sports

Week 1 action continues Friday night with eight more games to whet your appetite before the full slate of Saturday’s college football coverage begins. For the second of five straight days college football is light on ranked teams — just No. 15 Michigan State is represented by the Preseason AP Top 25 — it still has a lot to follow narratively across the country.

Teams from four of the five Power Five conferences will be in action, though only Big Ten cross-sectional rivals Illinois and Indiana will square off in conference play. All in all, there’s enough football to occupy two, three or even four screens given the loaded 7pm kick-off slate. Night owls can enjoy coverage that will extend past midnight with TCU and Colorado playing in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Be sure to stick with CBS Sports throughout the evening for college football coverage from the opening kickoff onward. Let’s take a look at our expert picks for the best games on Friday of Week 1.

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | Always eastern

Outstanding Game | Michigan State Spartans vs. Western Michigan Broncos

7 p.m ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — Michigan State was an entertaining team to watch last season because it had an explosive offense with a tremendous player in Kenneth Walker, and combined it with a secondary that couldn’t cover anyone. Walker is gone, but the offense should still be able to move the ball against the Broncos, and most of that secondary remains intact. There are also new transfers on the defensive side of the ball, and there could be some problems as that unit gels in the first game of the season. Sparty could get 45 by himself. Select: Over 54.5 – Tom Fornelli

Outstanding Game | Old Dominion Monarchs vs. Virginia Tech Hokies

7 p.m ESPNU, fuboTV (Try for free) — After winning its final five regular-season games last year to qualify for a bowl game, Old Dominion brings back extensive starting experience for Year 3 of the Ricky Rahne era. Virginia Tech is playing its first game under new coach Brent Pry, and this doesn’t look like an instant rebuild. Considering the Monarchs lost just 14 on the road against the Hokies in 2019 during a 1-11 season, they seem like a safe bet to keep this one close at home until the end now that the program is much more solid. Select: Old Reign +6.5 — David Cobb

Illinois vs. Indiana

Outstanding Game | Indiana Hoosiers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini

8 p.m FS1, fuboTV (Try for free) — Each team has an advantage that it looks to exploit in this game. Indiana has not announced its starting QB and has new coordinators. This means that Illinois could not prepare for this game with any certainty of what it would see. Furthermore, Illinois played on Saturday last week and had to prepare a game plan for Wyoming before turning on a short week to play a road game against the Hoosiers. Meanwhile, Indiana was able to prepare for Illinois all offseason and now has game film it can dissect. Of course, what Illinois has going for it is that it has a game under its belt. It will be interesting to see how this affects the game. I don’t have a great read on how this one will go, but my gut tells me that neither team is blowing the other out of the water, so taking the points with the Illini is the most attractive option. Prediction: Illinois +3 – Tom Fornelli

TCU vs. Colorado

Outstanding Game | Colorado Buffaloes vs. TCU Horned Frogs

22:00 | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — The Horned Frogs are entering a new era under coach Sonny Dykes, but don’t expect too many speed bumps in his debut. Colorado lost seven games by two touchdowns or more in 2021, and it likely doesn’t have any answers for what it should with a dynamic passing game headlined by potential first-round receiver Quentin Johnston. TCU will play it safe and ride their skilled talent to a blowout win. Select: TCU -8 — Shehan Jeyarajah

Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 1, and which heavy favorite will struggle? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned nearly $3,600 in profit over the past six-plus seasons — and find out.

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