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Betting Against the Spread: College Football Week 1 Picks

Florida State Seminoles

Each week, Athlon Sports brings the fans a taste of Las Vegas with our panel picks against the spread for every top 25 game and Braden Gall’s top individual games of the week.

Here are his Week 1 picks:

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Boise St (-10) vs. Ole Miss (Atlanta)

Normally the Broncos are excellent in season openers against high-level competition. Normally Ole Miss isn’t considered high-level competition. But Chris Petersen isn’t in Boise any longer and this isn’t your father’s Ole Miss squad. The Rebels are extremely talented and will dominate the line of scrimmage in Atlanta. Prediction: Ole Miss -10

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Rutgers (+8) vs. Washington St (Seattle)

This is the tale of two programs heading in two totally different directions. Kyle Flood is in serious hot seat territory in New Jersey while Mike Leach returns a star quarterback and a deep receiving corps on a team that has bowl aspirations. The Cougars will put up a big number. Prediction: Washington State -8

Florida St (-17.5) vs. Okla. St (Arlington)

The Pokes are a solid program but this might be one of Mike Gundy’s worst rosters since taking over in Stillwater. Florida State is not only the defending champion but could actually be in improved this year. The Noles won games by an average of 40 points last year and this one could fall into that category as well. Prediction: Florida State -17.5

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Penn State (+2) vs. UCF (Dublin)

I was almost shocked to see UCF as the favorite in this game. James Franklin is a proven sideline wizard and Christian Hackenberg is a special player. The Knights won this game last year but lost its catalyst in Blake Bortles (as well as eight other starters). It will be close but PSU will win outright… so take the points. Prediction: Penn State +2

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Miami (+3.5) at Louisville

These aren’t close to being the same two teams that played in the lop-sided Russell Athletic Bowl to end last season. Gone is Teddy Bridgewater, Charlie Strong and numerous other stars from the UL roster. And back are Duke Johnson and a host of incoming talented freshmen for Miami. But Bobby Petrino is coaching the Cardinals who have a deep and talented running game to lean on. The Canes haven't closed the 27-point gap just yet. Prediction: Louisville -3.5

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Washington (-17) at Hawaii

Norm Chow is on the hot seat for a reason at Hawaii. Chris Petersen is stepping into his debut performance at his shiny new gig in Seattle. The Huskies' defense will dominate the headlines in this one. Washington doesn’t need Cyler Miles to win this one in easy fashion. Prediction: Washington -17

Listen to the Week 1 Cover 2 podcast:

Top 25 Picks ATS:

Top 25

Braden Gall

Mitch Light

David Fox

Steven Lassan

Florida St (-17.5) vs. Okla. St

W. Virginia (+26) vs. Alabama

La. Tech (+38) at Okla.

Ohio St (-16) vs. Navy

Arkansas (+19.5) at Auburn

UCLA (-21) at Virginia

Texas A&M (+10.5) at S. Carolina

SMU (+32.5) at Baylor

Clemson (+7.5) at Georgia

Wisconsin (+5) vs. LSU

Fresno St (+21.5) at USC

Rice (+21) at Notre Dame

Boise St (+10) vs. Ole Miss

FAU (+21) at Nebraska

Wash. (-17) at Hawaii

YTD:

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