The college football season kicks off with a decent-sized schedule Thursday. Here are the games we love, like and hate when wagering against the spread on Thursday.


Oklahoma State at Central Michigan, +23.5

We’ve been all over the Cowboys in the offseason and the opening game will just be a showcase of what to expect all

Oklahoma State will look to get over seven wins this season. Flickr/
Oklahoma State will look to get over seven wins this season. Flickr/

year from Oklahoma State.

The Cowboys ended last season on a high note and key starters return this year. This spread opened at 20 points, and quickly shot up by 3.5 points. Obviously, having less than three touchdowns to cover would be nice, but this one won’t be close. Central Michigan returns only 10 starters off last year’s team and a new coach will look to guide a new look Chippewas into 2015.

It won’t start out so well with Oklahoma State looking to wipe away the taste from last year’s 7-6 season. The Cowboys should win by at least four touchdowns, making this a spread to love in favor of the Cowboys.


Western Kentucky at Vanderbilt, even

Normally if a power five conference team was at an even spread with a low FBS-tiered school, a bettor should think

The Vanderbilt Commodores face an over/under of 3 wins. Flickr/ Smith
The Vanderbilt Commodores face an over/under of 3 wins. Flickr/ Smith

twice about picking against the SEC team. However, in this case, Western Kentucky should have been favored.

Western Kentucky returns seven starters on offense, including its quarterback and running back. The Hilltoppers featured a high-level offense last year, while Vanderbilt was inept on offense. The Commodores should have a better defense than Western Kentucky, and do have home-field advantage.

However, the Hilltoppers should be able to outscore Vanderbilt, which may not be any better than last season. It’s hard to forget last year’s opening Thursday night game for Vanderbilt, in which it lost by 30 points at home against Temple. The Hilltoppers represent the better pick and should win outright against Vanderbilt.


Michigan at Utah, -6

This game just doesn’t feel right. The spread opened with the Utes at -3, which would have been a better number. I expect Utah to win the game, but Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh’s influence is too difficult to assess before a game has even been played.

Harbaugh may make an immediate impact, which could put this game in favor of Michigan. Or, the Wolverines could look like last year, and Harbaugh will need more time. The Utes should be a quality team, but we’ve seen Utah drop eggs at home (just see last year against Washington State, Oregon and Arizona). In many cases last season, the Utes looked better on the road than at home.

The home-field advantage doesn’t register as much for Utah. Take our advice and skip this game this week in anticipation of finding out how much Harbaugh makes a difference.

This article has 2 comments

  1. Couldn’t disagree more with the okie st pick. The big 12 is vastly overrated. Love western Kentucky. Should have been your love it pick. I also love Utah for more than a touchdown. I think Michigan keeps it close early but the utes pull away late. The pac-12 is deep. The big ten is not

    • It was tempting. Seriously, though, Vanderbilt is horrible and will likely wear those ridiculous Anchor Down jerseys it wore last year when getting beat down to an average Temple team. But the Cowboys are legit. Just wait and watch.

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