College Football Predictions: NCAAF Vegas Odds, Picks, and Preview (Week 1)

  • The 2022 College Football season is set to get started on Aug 26.
  • Week 1 will be headlined by some great Top 25 matchups.
  • Let’s take a look at some of the best games to grace the Week 1 slate.

If you’re looking for some College Football predictions for Week 1, you’ve come to the right place!

Three matchups featuring two Top-25 teams facing each other will take place during the opening week.

#2 Ohio State vs #5 Notre Dame and #3 Georgia vs #11 Oregon mark some of the weekend’s best games.

College Football Predictions

#3 Georgia Bulldogs vs #11 Oregon Ducks Vegas Odds

Georgia vs Oregon Prediction

One of the best matchups of the weekend will take place at 3:30 EST on Aug 3, on ABC. The defending champion Georgia Bulldogs will be taking on the perennially competitive Oregon Ducks. Georgia opens the season ranked at #3, despite winning last season’s championship. This is mainly due to the loss of multiple key defenders. DE Travon Walker, DT Jordan Davis, LB Quay Walker, DT Devonte Wyatt, and S Lewis Cine were all drafted in the first round of April’s NFL Draft, with LB’s Nakobe Dean and Channing Tindall also getting drafted in Round 3.

Dec 29, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Oregon Ducks wide receiver Kris Hutson (14) catches a touchdown against the Oklahoma Sooners during the second half of the 2021 Alamo Bowl at the Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports
Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon finished last season with a 10-4 record following an Alamo Bowl loss against Oklahoma. Their biggest roster loss is the departure of DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, who was drafted 5th overall by the New York Giants. The Ducks will have a major test on the road against Georgia in the season opener. Both of these are competitive teams, but I believe Georgia to be the better team, even with all of their defensive loses. I think the Bulldogs will win, but I’m not confident they’ll cover a 17 point spread in an opening game with lots of new and inexperienced starters on defense. I’ll take Georgia straight up, but Oregon with the points.

College Football Predictions:

Georgia 27, Oregon 20

Oregon +17.0

#19 Arkansas Razorbacks vs #23 Cincinnati Bearcats Vegas Odds

Arkansas vs Cincinnati Prediction

The second matchup featuring two Top 25 teams will also take place at 3:30 EST on Aug 3, this one airing on ESPN. This game will feature another one of last year’s playoff contenders in Cincinnati, who set a record as the first Group of 5 team to ever earn an appearance in the College Football Playoff. Matched up with the Bearcats will be SEC opponent Arkansas, who finished last season 9-4 with a win in the Outback Bowl against Penn State.

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Last season, both of these teams got a matchup against Alabama. Arkansas lost 42-35 in Tuscaloosa, while Cincinnati lost 27-6 at a neutral site. This year, Cincinnati loses starting QB Desmond Ridder, who was drafted in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons, as well as CB Sauce Gardner, who was drafted #4 overall to the New York Jets. I think Cincinnati will be competitive again this season, but I also think they’ll take a step back, which will make beating a tough Arkansas team on the road difficult.

College Football Predictions:

Arkansas 24, Cincinnati 13

Arkansas -7.0

#2 Ohio State Buckeyes vs #5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Vegas Odds

Ohio State vs Notre Dame Prediction

The week’s best game takes place at 7:30 PM EST on Aug 3, on ABC. Two top-5 teams face off, in what should be an instant classic between #2 Ohio State and #5 Notre Dame. These two teams last faced off in the Fiesta Bowl in 2016, a game Ohio State won 44-28. The Buckeyes have projected Heisman contender and future first round pick C.J. Stroud at Quarterback. In his first year as a starter last season, he completed nearly 72% of his passes with a 44-6 TD/INT ratio. Stroud will have to find replacements for his top two targets from last season, Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, who were drafted 10th and 11th respectively in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Jan 1, 2022; Glendale, AZ, USA; Notre Dame’s Jack Coan (17) walks off the field after the 2022 Playstation Fiesta Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  Mandatory Credit: Michael Caterina/South Bend Tribune-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Caterina/South Bend Tribune-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, the Fighting Irish will be without star safety Kyle Hamilton, who was drafted 14th overall by the Baltimore Ravens. Notre Dame finished last season 11-2, with a close Fiesta Bowl defeat against Oklahoma State. Ohio State also finished 11-2, after a competitive Rose Bowl win over Utah. Expect both of these teams to push for a playoff spot once again this year. Ohio State and C.J. Stroud should come away with the win at home, but Notre Dame is too tough of a team to confidently give 14.5 points to. I’ll take the Buckeyes straight up, but the Fighting Irish with the spread.

College Football Predictions:

Ohio State 34, Notre Dame 20

Notre Dame +14.5

#7 Utah Utes vs Florida Gators Vegas Odds

Utah vs Florida Prediction

Another one of the weekend’s best games features what could be a very interesting matchup between the Utah Utes and the Florida Gators. Following up a strong 10-4 season, and a Pac-12 championship, Utah opens the season ranked #7. The Utes are led by Quarterback Cameron Rising, who took over the starting job and led them all the way to last season’s Rose Bowl. Utah’s most notable loss is LB Devin Lloyd, who was selected #27 overall in the NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Florida finished last season at a mediocre 6-7 record, after losing the Gasparilla Bowl to UCF. The Gators are expected to be much more competitive this season under first-year head coach Bill Napier. They also introduced new offensive and defensive coordinators for the upcoming season, completely cleaning house over the offseason. This game’s line is generous to Florida, perhaps because of their home-field advantage. I’d be surprised if they can keep up with the experienced Utes, even with a brand-new coaching staff.

College Football Predictions:

Utah 44, Florida 17

Utah -2.5

#4 Clemson Tigers vs Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Vegas Odds

Clemson vs Georgia Tech Prediction

The last game of Week 1’s slate is a Monday night matchup between #4 Clemson and Georgia Tech, at 8:00 PM EST on ESPN. Clemson had a down year last season, finishing 10-3 with a Cheez-It Bowl victory against Iowa State. The Tigers are expected to bounce back this year, opening the season ranked #4 in the country. Clemson’s roster from last year stayed mostly intact, so they’ll bring some experience to what is anticipated to be a competitive ACC conference this season.

Clemson corner back Mario Goodrich gets a hug from linebacker Sergio Allen after the 2021 Cheez-It Bowl at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida Wednesday, December 29, 2021.

Ncaa Football Cheez It Bowl Iowa State Vs Clemson
Ken Ruinard / USA TODAY Network

Georgia Tech finished last season with a record of 3-9. In the last 3 years, the Yellow Jackets are a combined 9-25. Despite these seemingly poor performances, they had a bit of an improvement last season, winning a big game against #21 North Carolina, and losing to Clemson by just 6 points on the road. Unfortunately, Georgia Tech’s momentum only lasted half a season, as they lost the final two games of the year by a combined score of 100-0. Once again, I’m confident that the favorite will win, but intimidated by an overly large spread for a season opener, especially on the road. I’ll take Clemson to win, but Georgia Tech to cover.

College Football Predictions:

Clemson 26, Georgia Tech 9

Georgia Tech +22.5

Keith McCarthy is an experienced sports analyst with a passion for predicting the outcomes of games spanning across sports such as football, basketball, baseball, and hockey, with a special expertise in college sports.

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