College football picks, schedule: Predictions vs. the spread, odds for top 25 games Saturday in Week 1 – CBS Sports

College football picks, schedule: Predictions vs. the spread, odds for top 25 games Saturday in Week 1 - CBS Sports

When the final whistle blows Saturday night, there will be only four FBS teams left to play a game in the 2022 college football season. With three games featuring top-25 opponents facing each other and some other major clashes across the country, to say there might be immediate implications by the time Week 1 is in the books would be an understatement.

Two of the key games of the day featuring Pac-12 powers traveling south to face top-ranked SEC East teams. No. 11 Oregon heads to Atlanta to face the defending national champions while No. 3 Georgia looks to oust its former defensive coordinator Dan Lanning, now the Ducks’ leader. No. 7 Utah, the defending Pac-12 champions and favorites to repeat as conference title winners, travels to The Swamp where Florida hopes one of college football’s toughest environments will help pull off a significant upset in coach Billy Napier’s first game with the alligators

And then there’s the nightcap, the only top-five matchup of the first few weeks when No. 2 Ohio State hosts No. 5 Notre Dame. With three Heisman Trophy contenders and plenty of national championship hype, the Buckeyes will look to hold off a Fighting Irish program aiming to maintain a high level of play under new coach Marcus Freeman.

While winning is all that matters for the standings, we’re worried about how these games will shake out from a probabilistic standpoint. Be sure to stay with CBS Sports throughout the day for college football coverage from kickoff onward. Let’s take a look at our expert picks for the best games on Saturday in Week 1.

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | Always eastern

Arizona at San Diego State

Outstanding Game | San Diego State Aztecs vs. Arizona Wildcats

15:30 | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App This matchup features two programs coming from opposite directions of the competitive spectrum that could meet in the middle in San Diego. The Wildcats are betting big on recruiting and transfers quickly turning over the roster. San Diego State is confident that new transfer quarterback, Braxton Burmeister, and key returners on defense can maintain a top-25 performance. The feisty Wildcats will get enough dynamic plays to keep things close in a low-scoring affair. Prediction: Arizona (+6) — Shehan Jeyarajah

#3 Georgia vs. #11 Oregon (Atlanta)

Outstanding Game | Georgia Bulldogs vs. Oregon Ducks

15:30 | ABC, fuboTV (Try for free) — The hangover from last year’s title in Indianapolis is long gone. Georgia will show it won’t be complacent and dominate Oregon in what should be a de facto home game. Dan Lanning knows how to attack Georgia’s offensive staff, but stopping it will be a much bigger problem. Look for Georgia to go out on a mission early, wear down Oregon and lean on the Ducks in the fourth quarter to retreat and cover. Prediction: Georgia (-17) — Barrett Sallee

#23 Cincinnati at #19 Arkansas

Outstanding Game | Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Cincinnati Bearcats

3:30 p.m. ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — This is a weird situation for me because I don’t think Cincinnati’s drop in 2022 will be drastic, nor do I think Arkansas is as good as many others. However, here I’m taking the Razorbacks against the spread because, while I expect the Bearcats to be one of the better Group of Five teams in the country, it’s the first game of the season that has to replace nine NFL Draft picks , including their initial. quarterback Arkansas’ experience and home field advantage will win out in the end. Prediction: Arkansas -6.5 – Tom Fornelli

No. 7 Utah at Florida

Outstanding Game | Florida Gators vs. Utah Utes

7 p.m ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — The Utes are heading into a prime year just as the Gators are entering Year 1 of a rebuild, and the stakes have never been higher for the visitors. Although there is a significant recruiting gap between these two programs, Utah has not shied away from recruiting stars in the past. In the Rose Bowl, it took Ohio State to the limit. The Utes also crushed Oregon twice to ruin the Ducks’ College Football Playoff case. Chalk this one up as a historic win for the program. Prediction: Utah -3 — Shehan Jeyarajah

No. 5 Notre Dame at No. 2 Ohio State

Outstanding Game | Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

19:30 | ABC, fuboTV (Try for free) — In a vacuum or simulation, Ohio State wins this game by 20 points, but college football is played by people and the stage is too big to think there’s going to be a blowout on Saturday night. The Buckeyes play with all the pressure and it was a nightmare few nights in non-conference play in Columbus, Ohio. Ultimately, Ohio State is the significantly better team and will win, but this game is only interesting long enough for the Fighting Irish to cover the number. Prediction: Notre Dame +17.5 — Chip Patterson

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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