College football picks, schedule: Predictions against the spread, odds for key Week 1 games Friday

Week 1 games continue on Friday night, with eight more games to whet your appetite before full coverage of college football begins Saturday. While the second day of five straight college football games was easy on ranked teams — only Michigan State ranked No. 15 from the preseason AP top 25 — there’s still a lot to be said for storylines across the country A place to watch.

Teams from four of the five top-five conferences will compete, although only Big Ten cross-division rivals Illinois and Indiana will compete in conference games. All in all, enough footballs to take up two, three or even four screens, given the 7pm kick-off time. Night owls can enjoy the after-midnight coverage, with the TCU-Colorado game running into the early hours of Saturday.

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

Caesars Sportsbook Odds | Always East

Featured Games | Michigan State Spartans vs. West Michigan Broncos

7 PM | ESPN, Fubo TV (Free Trial) – Michigan State was an interesting team to watch last season because it had an explosive offense led by a great playmaker like 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 to the Broncos with most of the secondary players still intact. There are also new transfers on the defensive end, and there could be some issues as the unit freezes in the first game of the season. Sparty might get 45 on its own. Choices: Over 54.5 – Tom Fornelli

Featured Games | Old Dominion Monarchs vs. Virginia Tech Hokies

7 PM | ESPNU, Fubo TV (Free Trial) – After winning the last five regular season games and qualifying for the Bowl last year, Old Dominion brings a wealth of starting experience to Year 3 of the Ricky Rahne era. Virginia Tech played its first game under new coach Brent Pry, and it didn’t look like an immediate rebuild. Considering the Monarchs only lost 14 games on the road against the Hawkes in 2019’s 1-11 season, it seems safe to keep this team at home until the end because the plan is on a more solid footing. Pick: Old Reign +6.5 – David Cobb

Illinois and Indiana

Featured Games | Indiana, Indiana, Indiana, Indiana vs. Illinois, Illini

8pm | FS1, Fubo TV (Free Trial) – Each team has an advantage it wants to take advantage of in this game. Indiana has yet to announce its starting QB and has a new coordinator. That means Illinois can’t prepare for the game and isn’t sure what to expect. Also, Illinois played Saturday last week and had to prepare a game plan for Wyoming before turning around for a road game against the Indians in just one week. Meanwhile, Indiana has been able to prepare for Illinois throughout the offseason, and now has game footage to dissect. Of course, Illinois’ goal is that it owns a game. It will be interesting to see how this affects the game. I don’t have a good understanding of this team’s performance, but my gut tells me that neither team has blown each other out of the water, so scoring points with Illini is the most attractive option. Prediction: Illinois +3 – Tom Fornelli

TCU and Colorado

Featured Games | Colorado Buffaloes vs. TCU Horned Frogs

10 PM | ESPN, Fubo TV (Free Trial) – The Horned Frogs are entering a new era under coach Sonny Dykes, but don’t expect too many speed bumps on his debut. Colorado, which has lost seven games with two or more touchdowns in 2021, may not have any for a dynamic passing game led by potential first-round receiver Quentin Johnston. Answer. TCU will play it safe and use its skills to deliver a blowout victory. Select: TCU-8 – Sheikhan Jayaraj

Which college football picks can you confidently pick in Week 1, and which big favorites will be hard to knock out? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and make up the difference — all from a proven computer model that has made nearly $3,600 in profits over the past six-plus seasons — and find out.

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