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Updated Week 1 Point Spreads See South Carolina Climb to -10, Utah Increase to -7 and Oklahoma Fall to -22.5

Will the Gamecocks be able to take down their rivals to the north in Charlotte? Photo from @CFBHome (Twitter)
  • The first full weekend of college football kicks off Thursday
  • South Carolina and Utah are favored by two more points than when the opening lines were released, while Oklahoma is favored by two fewer points
  • Do these spread changes provide any new value?

The first full weekend of college football kicks off Thursday, and point spreads are changing fast and furiously.

We’ve identified three major line moves to investigate, beginning with the battle of the Carolinas.

South Carolina vs North Carolina NCAA Football Week 1 Odds

Team Week 1 Opening Point Spread Week 1 Opening Moneyline Week 1 Current Point Spread Week 1 Current Moneyline
South Carolina Gamecocks -8 (-110) -300 -10 (-112) -350
North Carolina Tar Heels +8 (-110) +235 +10 (-108) +290

*Odds taken on 08/28/19

On paper this seems like a mismatch. South Carolina is rated 37 spots higher by ESPN’s Football Power Index metrics, and the Gamecocks are top-20 in returning production, while the Tar Heels rank 74th. South Carolina was 7-6 last season en route to its third straight bowl appearance, while North Carolina won just two games and fired their head coach.

There are plenty of trends that also point towards the Gamecocks, but the biggest reason for this line move stems from the quarterback position. UNC announced this week they’ll start true freshman Sam Howell, while South Carolina has a rock solid starter in senior Jake Bentley.

The uncertainty of how the Tar Heels will respond to a new quarterback and a new head coach has money pouring in the Gamecocks at the moment. South Carolina’s defensive line also has a significant advantage against UNC’s offensive line, which should make life miserable for Howell in his first career start.

Utah Utes vs BYU Cougars NCAA Football Week 1 Odds

Team Week 1 Opening Point Spread Week 1 Opening Moneyline Week 1 Current Point Spread Week 1 Current Moneyline
Utah Utes -5 (-110) -235 -7 (-110) -245
BYU Cougars +5 (-110) +185 +7 (-110) +195

*Odds taken on 08/28/19

Thursday’s meeting between Utah and BYU will be the 100th instalment of this storied “Holy War” rivalry. Utah enters the game having won eight straight versus their rival and hold a significant advantage in talent. The Utes are rated 22 spots higher by ESPN’s FPI and are 15th in returning production, while the Cougars rank 50th.

They won the Pac-12 South last season and are the consensus pick among media this offseason to win the entire conference in 2019. They feature the best defensive line in college football according to ESPN’s Phil Steele, and their offense boasts a lethal one-two punch at QB and running back.

They have an edge in athleticism and experience at nearly every position, and their dominant defensive line will eliminate BYU’s run game forcing them to become one dimensional. The line move seems justified as the Cougars will struggle mightily to put up points.

Houston Cougars vs Oklahoma Sooners NCAA Football Week 1 Odds

Team Week 1 Opening Point Spread Week 1 Opening Moneyline Week 1 Current Point Spread Week 1 Current Moneyline
Houston Cougars +24.5 (-110) +975 +22.5 (-110) +900
Oklahoma Sooners -24.5 (-110) -1500 -22.5 (-110) -1493

*Odds taken on 08/28/19

There’ll be no shortage of scoring when Houston squares off with Oklahoma, but can the Cougars keep the final score somewhat respectable?  Both teams feature quarterbacks with top ten Heisman odds, but that’s where the similarities end. The Sooners are fresh off back-to-back College Football Playoff appearances while Houston has won double digit games just once since 2011.

Oklahoma is a National Championship contender and are rated 74 spots higher by ESPN’s FPI. The reason for the line move seems to stem from concerns that Oklahoma’s defense will continue to give up points in bunches, no matter who the opponent, and that it may take Jalen Hurts a few games to become proficient in a new offensive system.


Hurts is not as talented a passer as Baker Mayfield or Kyler Murray, but it should be noted that they put up 41 and 63 points respectively in their first starts at Oklahoma. Add to the fact that Houston allowed 37 points per game in the AAC last year, and this has all the makings of a huge blowout in the Sooners favor.

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