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5 College Football Picks Against the Spread (ATS) for Week 1

James Franklin, Penn State Football

James Franklin's Penn State Nittany Lions open the season as underdogs on the road against Wisconsin

After a bit of an appetizer to start the year in Week 0, college football is back in full force in Week 1! This weekend's first full weekend of college football is a big one featuring some notable games in the Big Ten and a couple of massive showdowns between SEC and ACC contenders you will not want to miss. And we could have a few upsets in the works as well.

Related: Ranking All 84 College Football Games in Week 1

We started off the season on a winning note with a 3-1 record against the spread in Week 0. Please don't ask about the logic used to pick UConn against the spread, and consider that a lesson learned. But we came out ahead and look to carry the momentum into Week 1. This week will be a bit gutsier to pick against the spread with a couple of underdogs looking pretty solid for some notable outright victories.

Note: All times are ET and all games are on Saturday, Sept. 4.

Penn State (+5.5) at Wisconsin, 12 p.m.

This is a line that has been standing out to me all offseason once the lines went live. It is logical to see Penn State as an underdog on the road against Wisconsin, which is the case here. But this could be a nice rebound season for Penn State, and neither team's defense figures to let this one get away from them. Throw in the fact that Penn State may just go out and win the game, and this is a line that should be screaming to take Penn State against the spread. Penn State 26, Wisconsin 23

Oklahoma (-31.5) vs. Tulane, 12 p.m.

Spencer Rattler and the Oklahoma Sooners should have absolutely no problem in their opener this weekend. Oklahoma was going to roll away with a victory no matter where the game was played, but Tulane having to relocate in the wake of Hurricane Ida and move their home game to Norman does the Green Wave no favors here. Unless Oklahoma takes it easy and shows mercy, the Sooners should easily cover this big spread in the opener. Oklahoma 52, Tulane 17

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Iowa (-3) vs. Indiana, 3:30 p.m.

Another intriguing crossover matchup in the Big Ten pits the Indiana Hoosiers against the Iowa Hawkeyes, and defense could be the story. Don't expect a ton of points in this one either, although Iowa's defense will have their hands full with IU quarterback Michael Penix Jr. But this is a tough spot for the Hoosiers to open, and the Hawkeyes can put the game away with a late score to seal the deal. Iowa 23, Indiana 18

Alabama (-19.5) vs. Miami (Atlanta), 3:30 p.m.

Do you really want to be the one who bets against Alabama at any point in a season? Alabama covered the spread nine times last season, including games against Texas A&M, Georgia, Auburn, LSU, and Ohio State. Miami may be trending upward as an ACC contender, but going against Alabama in a big game is unwise until proven otherwise. Alabama 38, Miami 17

Georgia (+3) vs. Clemson (Charlotte, N.C.), 7:30 p.m.

The big game of the weekend features two potential playoff contenders with Clemson and Georgia clashing in Charlotte, North Carolina. Consider this a toss-up game, as both teams have national title expectations this season. The Tigers' defense will be tough, but quarterback JT Daniels will help find a way to lead Georgia not only to a cover against the ACC's best but an outright victory to start the season. Georgia 31, Clemson 27

Last week: 3-1
Season: 3-1

Podcast: Week 1 Preview, Predictions & Spread Picks

— Written by Kevin McGuire, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @KevinOnCFB, on Instagram, and Like him on Facebook.