SANTA CLARA, CA – JANUARY 07: The championship trophy is on display prior to the College Football Playoff National Championship held at Levi’s Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. The Clemson Tigers defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide 44-16. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)Getty
With over 100 teams participating in Division I college football action, the schedule is always packed full of must-watch matchups that are bound to have massive implication on the playoff picture.
Earlier this week, oddsmaker Drew Gilroy of Sportsbook Review has released odds for the most anticipated matchups of the 2019-20 College Football season, giving sports bettors an early crack at locking in their bets long before the team rosters are even solidified.
HOUSTON AT OKLAHOMA AUG 31
- HOUSTON + 13.5 -110
- OKLAHOMA -13.5 -110
The Cougars shocked the Sooners back in 2016, going 5-0 to start the season and ultimately earning themselves the #6 ranking. Houston’s new coach, Dana Holgorsen, will be chomping at the bit to make a statement win against a team that was a former conference rival. Oklahoma is nearly a two-score favorite here, but they once again are forced to replace a Heisman level QB.
FLORIDA VS. MIAMI, AUG. 31 (ORLANDO, FLA.)
- FLORIDA -3.5 -110
- MIAMI +3.5 -110
Dan Mullen returns for his second season at the helm at Florida and we are eager to see if this Gators program is ready to return the upper echelon of the NCAAF standings. Miami, on the other hand, was off to a 10-0 start in 2017, but have since gone 7-9. Manny Diaz takes over in his first year for the Hurricanes, and an early-season statement win is just what he needs to show skeptics that he is here to return “The U” to their glory days. Make no mistake about it, football means more to Florida than orange juice, and both of these programs are keen to turn some heads.
TEXAS A&M AT CLEMSON, SEPT. 7
- TEXAS A & M + 10.5 -110
- CLEMSON -10.5 -110
Clemson is the obvious favorite in this early season showdown, but with many old players declaring for the NFL Draft, they do have quite a few roster spots to replace. There 2018 matchup went down to the wire, but do remember that Trevor Lawrence only threw for 95 yards compared to Kelly Bryant’s 205. Lawrence has since got on to win a National Title and Bryant now plays for Missouri. that being said, A&M QB Kellen Mood could be a nice Heisman sleep for sports bettors looking for value.
LSU AT TEXAS, SEPT. 7
- LSU +2.5 -110
- TEXAS -2.5 -110
The Longhorns’ victory over Georgia is last year’s Sugar Bowl likely gave the squad some brownie points with the selection committee and oddsmakers alike. However, in this situation, they face an LSU squad that tends to show up big for early season non-conference matchups (forget 2016’s 16-14 loss to the Wisconsin Badgers)
STANFORD AT UCF, SEPT. 14
- STANFORD +3.5 -110
- UCF -3.5 -110
This Week 3 battle gives the Knights a chance to show off against a reputable opponent before they dive into AAC conference play. UCF is always happy to remind us of their two undefeated regular season runs, but a win against a powerhouse from a strong conference will cause many to take this team a bit more seriously.
NOTRE DAME AT GEORGIA, SEPT. 21
- NOTRE DAME +3.5 -110
- GEORGIA -3.5 -110
This game will likely decide the CFP projections for the majority of the season. Whoever walks away with the “L” in this matchup will likely need to run the table to have any hopes of a playoff berth. UGA picked up a huge road win over the Irish in 2016, and Notre Dame would love nothing more than to head into Athens and return the favor.
OHIO STATE AT NEBRASKA, SEPT. 28
- OHIO STATE -7.5 -110
- NEBRASKA +7.5 -110
Ohio State has fallen out of the playoff picture twice now thanks to large road losses against Big Ten opponents. This matchup could potentially make it three years in a row, as Sportsbook Review is lining this one as an even matchup. Scott Frost is due some success, and this is the kind of win he needs to resurrect his program and make them a Big Ten contender.
OKLAHOMA VS. TEXAS (IN DALLAS), OCT. 12
- OKLAHOMA PK -110
- TEXAS PK -110
The Longhorns got the best of the Sooners last season, giving them their only loss of the regular season. The Sooners did manage to return the favor in the Big 12 Championship Game, beating Texas 39-27. While some of the biggest names from last season’s matchups are out of the picture, the disdain remains.
ALABAMA AT TEXAS A&M, OCT. 12
- ALABAMA -9.5 -110
- TEXAS A & M + 9.5 -110
Had Texas A&M managed to seal the deal with a win over Clemson last season, this could be the most hyped matchup of the upcoming season. It is also worth noting that this October 12th matchup sees both teams coming in after a week off. Alabama is still the team to beat, but this could be more of a test than the Crimson Tide except it to be.
NOTRE DAME AT MICHIGAN, OCT. 26
- NOTRE DAME +3.5 -110
- MICHIGAN -3.5 -110
the Wolverines expectations are higher than ever, and this rematch of their 2017 opener is sure to see the Coach Harbaugh and Co. chomping at the bit to prove that this team is worthy of being a playoff contender. Notre Dame’s dousing of the Wolverines last year was likely the highlight of their season, but with this meeting taking place deeper in the season, both teams should be more prepared to make this a true battle.
GEORGIA VS. FLORIDA (IN JACKSONVILLE, FLA.), NOV. 2
- GEORGIA – 4.5 -110
- FLORIDA +4.5 -110
Florida might have spanked the Wolverines in last year’s Peach Bowl, but they are still clearly a few steps behind the SEC elite. This matchup will be a key indicator of the difference that lies between the SEC’s top tier programs and those who ride the coattails into bowl season.
ALABAMA AT AUBURN, NOV. 30
- ALABAMA – 13.5 -110
- AUBURN +13.5 -110
The Iron Bowl is a championship game in itself, and do note that Auburn managed to pull off the upset the last two times these teams met on The Plains. If the odds are any indicator, no one is expecting Auburn to pull off another stunner, but given the storied history shared between these two programs, this matchup is impossible to pass over.
OHIO STATE AT MICHIGAN, NOV. 30
- MICHIGAN +3.5 -120
- OHIO ST -3.5
Sure, Jim Harbaugh has a 73% win rate. What he doesn’t have is a win over rival Ohio State. We are not saying that this could put him on the hot seat, but we do know it is something that boosters and fans will continue to hold over his head no matter how successful he manages to be elsewhere.