Each week, I will use this space to tell you what I think are a few of the best bets heading into the weekend. I will also throw in an upset of the week, which will be a team that is at least a touchdown underdog that I am picking to win outright.

Week 1 Picks


Alabama Crimson Tide
vs.
Florida State Seminoles
(+7):
For the sixth consecutive season, Alabama will play its season opener on a neutral field against a top opponent. The Crimson Tide won the previous five by double digits. If any team is equipped to put a stop to that streak, it is Florida State, which is easily the best team Alabama will have faced in these opening week kickoff games. The loser of this game still has a legitimate chance to play in the College Football Playoff, but I can’t bring myself to go against Nick Saban’s track record. It’ll be closer than last year’s win over
Southern California Trojans
(we all hope), but Bama will get the job done again. Pick: Alabama (-7).


Ohio State Buckeyes
at
Indiana Hoosiers
(+21):
When these two last faced each other, Kevin Wilson was the head coach at Indiana and the Hoosiers were giving the Buckeyes fits before fading. Indiana played the Buckeyes reasonably tough each of the past three seasons. Now, Wilson is running the Ohio State offense, so look for the Buckeyes to have a better flow on that side of the ball this year and for J.T. Barrett to have a bounce-back season. Indiana figures to be more of a defensive-oriented team than in years past, but Ohio State has one of the best front sevens in the country. There is a lot of hype for this game, but it will likely disappoint. Pick: Ohio State (-21).


Navy Midshipmen
at
Florida Atlantic Owls
(+9.5):
Lane Kiffin will be looking to make something of a splash in his FAU debut against a Navy squad that has averaged nine wins over the past five years. The Owls figure to be better offensively this season, although maybe not right off the bat. There is no reason to expect the Owls to be able to handle Navy’s offense though.  Pick: Navy (-9.5).

Upset of the Week


Wyoming Cowboys
at
Iowa Hawkeyes
(-11.5):
If Wyoming quarterback 
Josh Allen
is the NFL prospect everyone seems to think he is, Iowa better watch out. The Cowboys will get their points against the Hawkeyes and will likely be able to stifle the Iowa passing game. Wyoming has the best secondary in the Mountain West and the Hawkeyes are breaking in a new QB  The key for the Cowboys will be stopping the run and making Iowa try to beat them in the air. That is not as easy as it sounds. Pick: Wyoming (+11).

Other CFP candidates in action

  • Western Michigan at USC (-26.5) Pick: USC


  • Tulsa Golden Hurricane
    at
    Oklahoma State Cowboys
    (-17.5) Pick: Tulsa


  • Utah State Aggies
    at
    Wisconsin Badgers
    (-27.5) Pick: Wisconsin


  • Washington Huskies
    at
    Rutgers Scarlet Knights
    (+27.5) Pick: Washington


  • Georgia Southern Eagles
    at
    Auburn Tigers
    (-33.5) Pick: Auburn


  • Kent State Golden Flashes
    at
    Clemson Tigers
    (-39.5) Pick: Kent State


  • Florida Gators
    vs. 
    Michigan Wolverines
    (-5) Pick: Florida


  • Appalachian State Mountaineers
    at
    Georgia Bulldogs
    (-14.5) Pick: Appalachian State


  • Brigham Young Cougars
    vs. 
    LSU Tigers
    (15.5) Pick: BYU


  • Louisville Cardinals
    vs. 
    Purdue Boilermakers
    (+24.5) Pick: Louisville


  • Texas-El Paso Miners
    at
    Oklahoma Sooners
    (-43) Pick: Oklahoma


  • Akron Zips
    at
    Penn State Nittany Lions
    (-30.5) Pick: Penn State

For picks from every Top 25 game from the CBS Sports staff, check out our Expert Picks page.


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