Early college football odds Week 1: James Madison, Georgia, and Clemson all interesting options

With the college football Week 1 odds now out from DraftKings Sportsbook, what are some of the intriguing matchups to make some money on?

You know that college football is coming when the early Week 1 odds are released by sportsbooks across the nation. In our excitement for college football, we’ve listed every available points spread across Week 0 and Week 1 while digging into some of the more intriguing early money lines being offered by DraftKings Sportsbook.

2022 Week 1 college football odds – top matchups

College football Week 1 has given us some great matchups to look forward to. The early odds markets for these clashes have also added another layer of excitement. Here, we’ve outlined three games that offer some intriguing early college football Week 1 odds.

Oregon vs. Georgia (-15.5)

In one of the “storyline” matchups of college football Week 1, Georgia takes on Oregon. Although it’s technically one of several “neutral games” to open the CFBl season, the Bulldogs have a clear hometown advantage with the game taking place in Mercedes-Benz Stadium less than 90 minutes down the road from Athens.

The storyline comes from new Oregon head coach Dan Lanning taking on the reigning national champions and his former employer. The Bulldogs’ defense was dominant last fall, but can Lanning both recreate that with a Ducks’ defensive unit that is blessed with their own infusion of talent? Will the Bulldogs still pack the same bite minus Lanning and the plethora of first-round picks that departed to the NFL?

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The early odds for this college football Week 1 showdown would indicate a faith in both the Georgia defense and the offense that returns Stetson Bennett under center and Brock Bowers as his go-to weapon. Or perhaps, it’s an indication of the lack of faith in new Oregon QB Bo Nix. During his stint in the SEC, Nix never completed more than 60% of his passes against Georgia. Meanwhile, he threw just one touchdown to two interceptions in three losing bouts against the Bulldogs.

These two teams have only met once previously and not since 1977. Then, the Bulldogs won by 27-16. Last season, Georgia was 5-4 when favored by more than the 15.5 line set by DraftKings Sportsbook‘s early college football odds. Meanwhile, Oregon was 2-3 against the spread when the underdog. There’s the potential for an early upset here, in the style of the Ducks’ win over Ohio State. However, I’d favor the Bulldogs to get the Week 1 win.

Middle Tennessee State @ James Madison (-6)

In years gone by, this matchup would have all the hallmarks of a Week 1 FCS over FBS upset. However, with James Madison’s introduction to the FBS this season, we’ve lost the upset potential. In fact, DraftKings Sportsbook’s early college football Week 1 odds make the Dukes a perhaps surprising TD favorite in their first FBS outing.

The surprise may come from the fact that the Blue Raiders are coming off a season where they won a bowl game for the first time since 2017 and their first winning campaign since 2018. James Madison is also replacing productive QB Cole Johnson. However, the Dukes have added some substantial talent to their roster ready for their jump up to the FBS level, including former Boston College WR Kobay White.

Clemson (-20) @ Georgia Tech

If you’re looking for surprise bets for college football Week 1, the final game of the schedule might be a good place to start. As Clemson has dominated CFB in recent years, this annual matchup has become something of a walkover for the Tigers. Even on the road in Atlanta, they’ve won the last three encounters.

However, going back to 2010, Clemson has only won four of their clashes with the Yellow Jackets by more than the 20-point spread offered by DraftKings. Presumably, DraftKings is banking on the Tigers being a far better team than the one that struggled to an unconvincing 14-8 win over Georgia Tech in Week 3 last season.

While the Clemson defense poses to be one of the best in college football, the spring game showcased that there are still some serious offensive developments required if they are to rekindle the dominant performances we’d become accustomed to seeing with Trevor Lawrence under center.

The jury is still very much out on D.J. Uiagalelei after a difficult 2021 season. While he is expected to win one of college football’s most intense QB battles, a similarly lackluster performance as last year’s 126 passing yards may see him lose his job to freshman Cade Klubnik. It could also see the Tigers fall short of the 20-point win margin currently being offered by DraftKings Sportsbook.

2022 Week 0 and Week 1 college football full odds

Point spread odds for all college football Week 0 and Week 1 matchups, as per DraftKings Sportsbook, are in brackets and correct as of May 23. 

Northwestern vs. Nebraska (-10.5)
Charlotte @ Florida Atlantic (-5.5)
Nevada (-15) @ New Mexico State
Uconn @ Utah State (-25.5)
North Texas (-2) @ UTEP
Wyoming @ Illinois (-10)
Vanderbilt (-6) @ Hawaii

Ball State @ Tennessee (-30)
Penn State (-3) @ Purdue
West Virginia @ Pittsburgh (-7)
Central Michigan @ Oklahoma State (-19.5)
Louisiana Tech @ Missouri (-17)
New Mexico State @ Minnesota (-38)
Temple @ Duke (-7)

Western Michigan @ Michigan State (-18.5)
Virginia Tech (-8) @ Old Dominion
Illinois @ Indiana (-3.5)
TCU (-7.5) @ Colorado
Troy @ Ole Miss (-21.5)
Buffalo @ Maryland (-20)
Colorado State @ Michigan (-28)

Army @ Coastal Carolina (-5)
Utah (-1) @ Florida
Louisville (-4) @ Syracuse
BYU (-12) @ South Florida
NC State (-10) @ East Carolina
North Carolina (-3.5) @ Appalachian State
Miami (OH) @ Kentucky (-20.5)

Florida Atlantic (-1) @ Ohio
SMU (-8.5) @ North Texas
Middle Tennessee State @ James Madison (-6)
Georgia State @ South Carolina (-12)
Tulsa (-2) @ Wyoming
Kent State @ Washington (-22)
Boise State @ Oregon State (-3.5)

Arizona @ San Diego State (-7)
Texas State @ Nevada (-10)
Bowling Green @ UCLA (-28.5)
Rice @ USC (-35)
Memphis @ Mississippi State (-14)
Louisiana-Monroe @ Texas (-38)
Houston (-5.5) @ UTSA

Oregon vs. Georgia (-15.5)
UMass @ Tulane (-31)
Utah State @ Alabama (-36)
Cincinnati @ Arkansas (-7.5)
UTEP @ Oklahoma (-34)
Liberty (-3) @ Southern Mississippi
Western Kentucky (-11) @ Hawaii

Notre Dame @ Ohio State (-14.5)
Florida State vs. LSU (-2.5)
Clemson (-20) @ Georgia Tech

Oliver Hodgkinson is an NFL Draft and College Football Analyst for Pro Football Network. Check out the rest of his work here, and you can find him on Twitter: @ojhodgkinson.


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