NCAA Football Odds: Week 1, Thursday College Football Picks

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College football betting action is here again! Here at Cappers Info, we’re making our running tally of NCAA football picks this year, starting off with action on Thursday, September 1st, the first day of the CFB season!

Week 1 College Football Matchup: UNLV Runnin’ Rebels @ Wisconsin Badgers
Date: Thursday, September 1st, 8:00 ET
Location: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI
College Football Lines: Wisconsin -35.5
Over/Under 56
Week 1 College Football TV Schedule: ESPN

The Badgers are laying a whole heck of a lot of points in this one, and we just don’t think that quite that much is justified. Sure, the offense came together in a big way at the end of last season, as QB Scott Tolzien, RB John Clay, RB James White, and RB Montee Ball were absolute monsters. Two of the four are gone now, and this is the first time that QB Russell Wilson will get the ball as a member of the Badgers. Playing at Camp Randall can be intimidating, and though the Wisconsin faithful will be on Wilson’s side, it still could be a daunting task.

We understand that UNLV is relatively awful… In fact, there are no two ways around that fact. However, are they 35.5 points awful? The Rebels have played Wisconsin five times in the 2000s, losing by 20, 7, 15, 18, and 20. None of those games have been all that horrible. Sure, the Badgers know what they are doing, and they’re probably going to win this game comfortably, but knowing that 44-10 is a cover for us, we have no choice but to take the visitors and the huge point spread.

Week 1 NCAA Football Pick: UNLV Runnin’ Rebels +35.5

Week 1 College Football Matchup: Kentucky Wildcats @ Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
Date: Thursday, September 1st, 9:15 ET
Location: LP Field, Nashville, TN
College Football Lines: Kentucky -18.5
Over/Under 51
Week 1 College Football TV Schedule: ESPNU

Down the stretch last season, Western Kentucky proved to be a competent team, playing three straight one point games before losing a close call to the Troy Trojans on the road to end the campaign. Now, the team starts off this season against an SEC foe in what amounts to be a “home game” here at LP Field. RB Bobby Rainey was the leading rusher in the nation in the regular season last year, accounting for over 1,700 yards, and his running abilities really gave the defense some time off of the field. Now, the ‘D’ is going to hope to put up a stellar effort against Kentucky, a team that does typically struggle offensively.

Low scoring games became a staple for Kentucky football at the end of last year as well, as its last two games ended in just the high-30s in total points, a far cry from the 91 points these two teams combined for last season. The Cats know that they need to ramp up their defense as well, and they have the ability to keep the Hilltoppers possibly as low as single digits. With both teams being focused in on their ‘D’s at the outset of this year, we wouldn’t be shocked if this one ends up staying in the 30s or the 40s with no threat of reaching that key 51 point mark.

Week 1 NCAA Football Pick: Kentucky/Western Kentucky Under 51

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.

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