This article is part of our College Football Picks series.
While college football technically began last week, almost every team is in action this weekend. If you really like betting on games (who doesn't?), there are college football games every day from Wednesday to Monday. Now, let's try and win some money.
Michigan State (+3) at Northwestern
The sharps have been on Michigan State, so I'm on Michigan State. The Spartans opened around +7.5 and that number quickly shot down to around three points. It then moved back to 4.5 for about a week and again, it's down to +3. Constant money on one side is always a good sign and while I'm more comfortable with the three points, taking MSU on the moneyline isn't the worst idea.
MSU won this game last year despite getting just 11 completions from its quarterback. Word out of camp is that the quarterback situation will be a lot better, whether it's former Temple QB Anthony Russo or redshirt sophomore Payton Thorne. Thrown in a second season of head coach Mel Tucker and these teams are pretty even, hence the three-point spread.
There are fewer things to like about Northwestern and I'm not sure quarterback Hunter Johnson is the answer. The Clemson transfer was bad in limited time two seasons ago and combine that with only five starters back for the team's strong suit, the defense, and there aren't many positives. I'll take the Spartans, even on the road.
Alabama (-18.5) vs. Miami (FL)
A lot of people are fading Alabama this season, but I'm not sure it's the Miami matchup the bettors are worried about. D'Eriq King is a good quarterback, but he's returning from a torn ACL and it's not like he had success against better defenses last season. On the other side, Miami gave up a ton of points to any legit offense it faced.
Despite turnover on both sides of the ball, Alabama still has loads of talent, which is the case every season. New quarterback Bryce Young has been hyped plenty and even if he doesn't toss five touchdowns and 400 yards in the opener, it's still possible the Crimson Tide rush for 300 yards and win by 30 points. I just think the spread is too small for Alabama. In recent non-conference openers, they've beaten Duke 42-3, Louisville 52-14, Florida State 24-7 and USC 52-6. Yeah, give me the Tide.
Louisville v. Mississippi (Over 75.5 points)
Two terrible defenses against good offenses on Monday night. Let's go. I was going to take Louisville +10 because that's a big spread for a bad Ole Miss defense, but there's also a chance this game finishes something like 55-35. The Rebels scored 39.4 points per game last season and gave up 38.3. Combine that with a similarly good offense and bad defense for Louisville and you have points.
Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral will probably be in Heisman conversations after this game with five-plus touchdowns and 400 yards on the board for him after he averaged 10.2 yards per attempt for 29 touchdowns last season. This offense will again light it up and a Louisville defense that lost a good portion of its secondary will be in trouble.
On the other side, Malik Cunningham is slightly less potent than Corral, but the upside is still there for this offense. The Cardinals averaged close to 30 points per game last season and while Cunningham has to work in some new skill players, I don't think that'll be a problem against this defense. Both teams will reach 30 points. The question for the over/under is if both of them can hit 40.