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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
No, it’s not Christmas and there is no snow on the ground. It’s time for college football to get underway!
The 2014 college football season officially begins this Thursday night with a handful of games, the highlight of which comes from the SEC between a pair of ranked opponents in South Carolina and Texas A&M.
From there, the opening week is stacked with some top-tier matchups that includes Clemson vs. Georgia, LSU vs. Wisconsin, and the defending national champion Florida State Seminoles in Cowboys Stadium against Oklahoma State. Coincidentally, the national championship game will take place in Cowboys Stadium in January.
In other words, FSU is thinking Dallas to Dallas and bookending the season in Jerry Jones’ house.
Of course, Oklahoma State and the rest of the Seminoles’ schedule with have a lot to say about that. But there is no denying that Week 1 is one of the best in the last several years, with a ton of great games that can already begin to shape the outlook of the 2014 College Football Playoff and who gets into the top-four.
Betting lines for all of the Week 1 matchups are available as well. Bovada Sportsbook has released the odds, and it starts with the Gamecocks hosting the Aggies in Columbia at 6pm ET on the SEC Network Thursday. South Carolina is predicted to be a top contender in the SEC East and is installed as a 10-point favorite over Texas A&M at home. This is a pretty large point spread for a conference opener, particularly when both teams are ranked. Perhaps there is not a lot of faith in the Aggies absent Johnny Manziel to the NFL.
The No.2 ranked team in the country the Alabama Crimson Tide will matchup with West Virginia on Saturday at 3:30pm from the Georgia Dome. The Crimson Tide are nearly four-touchdown favorites, with the spread at 26 points.
As we get later into Saturday afternoon, Georgia and Clemson kickoff at 5:30pm ET from Athens. The Bulldogs look to avenge last season’s opening loss to the Tigers on the road, and have been set as 7.5-point favorites. Many are riding Georgia as somewhat of a dark horse College Football Playoff team coming from outside of the top-10.
Jameis Winston and the top-ranked Seminoles are big 17-point favorites over the Cowboys, but this could be a tricky game if FSU is not too careful. You can bet that Oklahoma State feels like they are being extremely disrespected. This game kicks off at 8pm ET on ABC.
Then rounding out the night at 9pm ET on ESPN from Houston is the matchup between LSU and Wisconsin. The Tigers are used to this opening week spotlight, but the Badgers are ready to prove that they belong in the conversation of the top teams in the country right out of the gate. It’s LSU that gets the slight edge, in the closest betting line of the big games on the opening Saturday. The Tigers are set as 4.5-point favorites to get the win.
Below, find all of these games lines + more as LatestBettingOdds.com has all Week 1 CFB matchups below courtesy of Bovada.
Week 1 College Football Betting Odds!