Meaningful football is officially back.

Well at least a few games in the college football schedule that is.

Five games are the docket for the opening weekend of college football this week. It’s maybe not the greatest slate of games…but who cares? It’s football.

Here’s the guide to your weekend and most importantly…who will cover the spread.

The Oregon State Beavers should be better this season. Flickr/

Oregon State at Colorado State (-3.5)

Opening Line: -2 in favor of Colorado State

The Skinny: Handicappers are falling in love with Colorado State. And with good reason. Everyone’s pretty much all in on the Rams this season, with eight starters returning on defense and pretty much all their key components coming back on offense from a team that went 7-6 last year. They have a legitimate NFL player on their offensive line, too, making this a scary opener for the Beavers on the road. Oh, and did I mention the Rams are opening their new stadium this week, too?

Not so fast: Oregon State isn’t a scrub, though. Gary Andersen made major strides in his second season, with the Beavers winning the final two Pac-12 games on their schedule in 2016. The Beavers should have a competitive defense, while the offense will still need some time. Andersen has won in other locations, though, so something tells me this team is better than we expect.

The Verdict: Everything is teetering in the direction of Colorado State, but I just can’t escape Andersen’s ability to win. He can build programs and with this being his third season, I’m actually expecting a bowl campaign. The Beavers take being an underdog as an insult and get off on the right foot in week 1. Take them on the moneyline. — Go Against The Chalk with Oregon State

Stanford (-31) at Rice

Opening Line: -33.5 in favor of Stanford

The Skinny: This is all about whether Rice can score some garbage touchdowns late in the fourth quarterback to cut a major deficit to less than 30. Stanford will be really good again, but sometimes it doesn’t do a great job of blowing out teams. The biggest issue is if Rice can score just a little bit. The Cardinal will employ another suffocating defense, so this will be a long game for the Owls.

Even worse: The Owls were horrendous on defense last season. Stanford returns eight starters on offense. This will not only be ugly, but a massacre.

The Verdict: More than four touchdowns is a lot to give up…but I just don’t buy Rice scoring. Stanford may only score six touchdowns, but I don’t see the Owls getting out of single digits. — Go Chalk with Stanford

Best of the Rest

Hawaii (-1) at Massachusetts — Handicappers are in love with the Minutemen, and it may have to do with the ridiculous travel. Hawaii must travel more than 5,000 miles to play in the opener against a Massachusetts team poised to be better. Both teams can sling it, so the over looks pretty attractive here at 64. — Go Against The Chalk with Massachusetts

South Florida (-20) at San Jose State — South Florida has way more talent, but they may be confused as to why they are going on the road in week 1. I’ll take South Florida based on the talent gap, but I’m not confident. — Go Chalk with South Florida

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