The first college football games of the 2021 season will be played on Saturday, Aug. 28 with five matchups on the slate. Leading up to Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 6, just about every Division IA (FBS) team will be in action over the holiday weekend.
The excitement is back with college teams returning to a full schedule of games. This sets the stage for any number of highly anticipated showdowns by fans and bettors alike.
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The first few weeks of the college football season are normally reserved for non-conference play as the major national powers look to get a warm-up game or two under their belt.
That is not the case in the Big Ten with the Penn State Nittany Lions going on the road to face the Wisconsin Badgers. That game is slated for a 12 p.m. (ET) start on FOX with Wisconsin set as a four-point home favorite.
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The Oregon Ducks enter the new season as one of the best teams in the Pac-12. They will be tested in Week 2 as 10-point road underdogs against the Ohio State Buckeyes. As the class of the Big Ten, Ohio State is fourth on the NCAAF futures board to win the 2021 national championship.
In an early-season showdown in the SEC, the Alabama Crimson Tide will be on the road as heavy 14.5-point favorites against the Florida Gators. The defending 2020 National Champions top the board to repeat when it comes to NCAAF betting futures as +260 favorites.
Moving into early October, the highlighted game in Week 6 is the annual Red River Rivalry between the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners. Played at a neutral site, the Sooners have been opened as 10.5-point favorites in this year’s meeting between two bitter rivals in the Big 12.
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One of the classic rivalries in college football will be renewed in Week 8 when the Pac-12’s USC Trojans head east to South Bend to face the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. The Irish have returned to their status of playing as an IA Independent this season and they are favored by three points in this season’s game.
The month of November gets underway with another anticipated showdown in the SEC. The LSU Tigers are looking to work their way back as a national power after winning the 2019 national championship. The Tigers will face Alabama on Saturday, Nov. 6 in Tuscaloosa with the Tide set as hefty 21-point home favorites.
The annual Thanksgiving Holiday weekend is traditionally reserved for some of the biggest rivalries in college football. Looking ahead at this year’s schedule, Alabama is a 16-point road favorite against Auburn. Ohio State will be on the road against Michigan as an 11.5-point favorite. Oklahoma is favored by 10.5 points on the road against Oklahoma State.