The college football season is days away. There are 10 games to bet on for opening night on Thursday. Here are our ranked projections for the best bets for Thursday.

1. Oklahoma State (-24) at Central Michigan

See this, this and this for why we love the Cowboys this season. Oklahoma State will dominate this match-up against Central Michigan, which should take a step back from last season. – Oklahoma State

2. Western Kentucky (-2.5) at Vanderbilt

We’re not saying Las Vegas is paying attention to us, but just yesterday, we wrote this about the Hilltoppers. Coincidence? Yes, likely, but the betting public knows about the Hilltoppers’ offense and Vanderbilt’s struggles. Western Kentucky is still below a 3-point favorite, making this a strong pick. – Western Kentucky

3. Duke (-7.5) at Tulane

Something’s fishy about this game. The opening line started at -13.5 in favor of Duke, but the betting public is pounding the Green Wave. Tulane will employ a much better roster this season after a 3-9 campaign, and the defense should be legit. The Blue Devils will have to break in a new offense with a new quarterback and revamped offensive line. Tulane keeps this game close and covers. – Tulane

4. TCU (-14.5) at Minnesota

The betting public is starting to back the Golden Gophers. The opening line stayed fairly consistent at 16 points for the summer, but in the last day, the line has dropped by 1.5 points. TCU’s offense is unstoppable and the Golden Gophers shouldn’t feature the same team as last year. Minnesota will be worse this year than last, while the Horned Frogs will be difficult to stop every time they have the ball. – TCU

5. Florida International at Central Florida (-14.5)

Florida International should be much better this year. It returns 14 starters from last year and it looked competitive down the stretch. Central Florida lost plenty of key starters last season and may take a step back. FIU will treat this game as a big rivalry game, while the Knights have had too much success in the past to go into this game with a rivalry mindset. Don’t dismiss the power of motivation. Take the Panthers. – Florida International

6. Ohio (-8) at Idaho

What’s up with favorites going on the road for Thursday night games? Idaho is terrible. The Vandals have won only one game each of the past three seasons. Ohio should be much improved from last year’s six-win season with plenty of starters returning on offense. We don’t like the Bobcats having to go on the road, but the Vandals shouldn’t be any better than last year. This stays close for awhile, but the Bobcats pull away. – Ohio

7. UTSA at Arizona (-31.5)

UTSA actually was pretty good in the first part of last season. The Roadrunners beat Houston and almost defeated Arizona. Then, the wheels came off, and UTSA finished 4-8. This year, the Roadrunners are expected to be awful. UTSA returns only three starters from last season, while the Wildcats will be competitive in a stacked Pac 12 conference. The only problem with the Wildcats is that sometimes the line is too large. This one, though, should be just right, so┬átake Arizona to steamroll through the opening week. – Arizona

8. North Carolina vs. South Carolina (-2.5)

South Carolina got punched in the face last year in an opening night Thursday game against Texas A&M. That won’t happen again. Experts are high on North Carolina, and we believe this should be the best Tar Heel team in Larry Fedora’s stint as head coach. However, the Gamecocks are looking to wipe away the taste from last year’s disappointing season. This is close, but the Gamecocks pull away in the end. – South Carolina

9. Michigan at Utah (-6)

At first, oddsmakers put the Wolverines as 3-point underdogs. The betting public adjusted that number, with the Utes now as a 6-point favorite. This game doesn’t feature much confidence, but take head coach Jim Harbaugh having an impact right away. The Wolverines won’t win, but the end result will be less than a touchdown. – Michigan

10. Stony Brook at Toledo (-26.5)

Stony Brook’s incredible defensive pressure and offensive mastery should give the Rockets fits in this match-up. We’re just kidding. Seriously, we can’t believe this game is even on the roster to bet, and about five people in Toledo, Ohio, and wherever Stony Brook is located are willing to fork over a couple of dollars on this game. For the sake of a pick, call someone from Ohio and ask them to name two players on the Rockets roster. If they can, take Toledo. – Toledo

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