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How the public is betting Week 1 of college football

There are 10 FBS teams in action on Saturday and Monday across seven games. It feels like an honest Week Zero.

Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo walks down the sideline during a second quarter timeout during the Navy Midshipmen game versus the Kansas State Wildcats in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on December 31, 2019, at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, TN. Photo by Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Friends, a full day of college football is at the offing.

A bit of advice for the big weekend from the cornerbacks coach and recruiting coordinator at South Florida.

I know it’s exciting, but at least as much water as other beverages while celebrating. Let’s be careful out there.

This is also your first opportunity to fire off in-game wagers drawing dead by the time DirecTV catches up to the play sit on the couch all day and inhale The Best Sport for the first time in eight months. It might not feel exactly the same, but it’s still, as Coach Jules likes to say... COLLEGE FOOTBALL!d

Let’s start as we do, with the wagering: Below are the odds and bet splits at DraftKings Sportsbook so far for College Football Week 1. We’ve got a look at the point spread, point total, and money line wagering heading into game day. The day opens with Eastern Kentucky vs. Marshall at 1 p.m. ET and closes with Stephen F. Austin vs. UTEP at 9 p.m.

2020 College football betting splits, Week 1

Teams Point Spread % Handle % Bets Total Points % Handle % Bets Moneyline % Handle % Bets
Teams Point Spread % Handle % Bets Total Points % Handle % Bets Moneyline % Handle % Bets
Eastern Kentucky +24 54% 48% Over 52.5 72% 81% +1400 26% 32%
Marshall -24 46% 52% Under 52.5 28% 19% -5000 74% 68%
Middle Tennessee +3.5 32% 31% Over 55.0 53% 45% +148 11% 18%
Army -3.5 68% 69% Under 55.0 47% 55% -180 89% 82%
SMU -23 97% 79% Over 69.0 81% 37% -2000 96% 81%
Texas State +23 3% 21% Under 69.0 19% 63% +1000 4% 19%
Houston Baptist 24.5 16% 23% Over 68.0 93% 42% +1150 47% 35%
North Texas -24.5 84% 77% Under 68.0 7% 58% -3335 53% 65%
Arkansas State +19 45% 29% Over 74.0 52% 31% +800 5% 18%
Memphis -19 55% 71% Under 74.0 48% 69% -1430 95% 82%
Stephen F. Austin +7 67% 32% Over 54 35% 38% +210 7% 12%
UTEP -7 33% 68% Under 54 65% 62% -265 93% 88%

Our Picks

SMU -23 over Texas State

The Iron Skillet game between SMU and TCU next week is canceled, so the Mustangs will have all the incentive in the world to play well today and not look past lowly Texas State. It’s a game the ponies look forward to every year, and one which they held off a second half comeback from the Horned Frogs in 2019.

SMU hasn’t been shy about wanting to compete in whatever the College Football Playoff will look like in 2020, and head coach Sonny Dykes doesn’t ever take his foot off the gas offensively with a lead. Returning quarterback Shane Buechele will have all the snaps he can handle today, especially with next week’s game off the books.

Texas State brings back just four starters on defense from a team that went 3-9 last season, and are 126th out of 130 teams (if everyone plays including the spring) in returning production. The Pony Express should roll today.

Memphis -19 over Arkansas State

Arkansas State returns nine starters on offense, but just five on defense. For a team that had a good season last year in their Camelia Bowl winning 8-5 campaign, they might struggle early to get stops against a Memphis team that returns one of the best offenses in the Group of Five led by quarterback Brady White. The Tigers should attack downhill early today, and let’s hope the infamous second-half cover-and-game collapses that were so common under former head coach Mike Norvell don’t carry forward with Ryan Silverfield, a Norvell assistant that takes the reins today for the first time.

Middle Tennessee State +3.5 vs. Army

The revitalization of Army under Jeff Monken took a small step back last season, as the Black Knights finished 5-8 and lost to Navy for the first time in four seasons. They’ll still run the triple option, which they did to the tune of 297.2 yards per game last season. That sounds good until you realize they ran it 57.2 times per game for a 5.2 yards per carry average. But what’s bad for the Cadets today is they return only 53% of production, wtih just six starters back on both offense and defense.

Middle Tennessee brings back nine starters offensively from last year’s 4-8 team, which stopped head coach Rick Stockstill’s four-straight bowl appearances at the school he’s coached since 2006. Asher O’Hara returns at quarterback, bringing back 12 starts and a 143.2 rating from a season ago. They should be able to take advantage of their experience on the road and keep it close at West Point.

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