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College football odds, lines, picks, predictions for Week 1, 2021: Proven computer model backing LSU, Iowa

CBS Sports logo CBS Sports 9/3/2021 CBS Sports Staff
Derek Mason Vanderbilt © Provided by CBS Sports

Derek Mason Vanderbilt

With a condensed Week 0 slate in the books, the college football season will really get started this weekend. No. 3 Clemson is going to begin the post-Trevor Lawrence era when it faces No. 5 Georgia in the top game of the Week 1 college football schedule. Caesars Sportsbook has the Tigers slated as three-point favorites to highlight the Week 1 college football spreads. No. 12 Wisconsin is a 5.5-point favorite against No. 19 Penn State on Saturday afternoon.

Another Top 25 matchup will take place when No. 17 Indiana faces No. 18 Iowa (-4) later in the afternoon. Top-ranked Alabama (-19.5) is getting set for a matchup against No. 14 Miami. Where are the best values in the Week 1 college football lines? Before making any Week 1 college football picks or bets, be sure to see the latest college football predictions from SportsLine's proven model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past five-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of over $3,600 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It also enters Week 1 of the 2021 season on a 57-37 run on all top-rated college football picks. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, it has turned its attention to the latest Week 1 college football odds from Caesars and locked in picks for every FBS matchup. Head here to see every pick.

Top Week 1 college football predictions

One of the top college football picks the model is recommending for Week 1: No. 16 LSU covers as a 2.5-point favorite at UCLA on Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Tigers might not be the same team that won the title in 2019, but they should be better than the one that stumbled last year. Their defense should be improved under new defensive coordinator Daronte Jones. He will have two of the best cornerbacks in the nation at his disposal in Derek Stingley Jr. and Eli Ricks.

UCLA is overvalued following its 44-10 win over Hawaii in Week 0. Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson only completed half of his passes for 130 yards and now he has to face Stingley Jr. and Ricks. The model is expecting LSU to win this game by more than a touchdown, creating plenty of value on this line. LSU covers this spread in well over 60 percent of simulations, while the under (65) hits almost 60 percent of the time. 

Another one of the college football predictions from the model: Iowa covers as a four-point favorite at home over the visiting Hoosiers in a 3:30 p.m. ET matchup on Saturday.

SportsLine's Week 1 college football picks model likes Iowa to cover as more than 50 percent of simulations have the Hawkeyes winning the game by at least four points. The under hits in more than 60 percent of those simulations, so a low-scoring game is likely. That's no surprise to anyone who's watched either of these teams play. 

The Hoosiers do return one of the top quarterbacks in the Big Ten in Michael Penix Jr. along with receiver Ty Fryfogle. But they should have their hands full with Iowa's smothering defense, which could be one of the best units in the nation in 2021.

How to make Week 1 college football picks 

The model has also made the call on who wins and covers in every other game on the Week 1 college football schedule, and it's calling for a national title contender to go down hard. You can only get every pick for every game at SportsLine.

So what college football picks can you make with confidence? And which national title contender goes down hard? Check out the latest college football odds below, then visit SportsLine to see which teams win and cover the spread, all from a proven computer model that has returned $3,600 in profit over the past five-plus seasons, and find out.

Week 1 College football odds (via Caesars)

Here are the college football lines for some of Week 1's most notable matchups 

Saturday, Sept. 4 

Tulane at Oklahoma (-26.5, 69)

Penn State at Wisconsin (-4.5, 50)

Featured Game| Wisconsin Badgers vs. Penn State Nittany Lions
Moneyline
Spread
Total
WISC
-220
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-5.5
-110
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o50
-110
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PSU
+180
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+5.5
-110
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u50
-110
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Alabama vs. Miami (+18.5, 62)

Featured Game| Miami (FL) Hurricanes vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Moneyline
Spread
Total
MIAMI
+700
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+19.5
-110
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o61
-110
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BAMA
-1100
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-19.5
-110
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u61
-110
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Indiana at Iowa (-3, 46)

Featured Game| Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Indiana Hoosiers
Moneyline
Spread
Total
IOWA
-200
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-4
-110
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o46
-110
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IND
+170
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+4
-110
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u46
-110
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Louisiana at Texas (-8, 58)

Featured Game| Texas Longhorns vs. Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns
Moneyline
Spread
Total
TEXAS
-350
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-9
-110
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o58
-110
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LALAF
+280
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+9
-110
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u58
-110
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Georgia vs. Clemson (-3, 51.5)

Featured Game| Clemson Tigers vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Moneyline
Spread
Total
CLEM
-150
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-3
-110
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o51
-110
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UGA
+130
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+3
-110
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u51
-110
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LSU at UCLA (+2.5, 66)

Featured Game| UCLA Bruins vs. LSU Tigers
Moneyline
Spread
Total
UCLA
+120
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+2.5
-110
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o65
-105
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LSU
-140
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-2.5
-110
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u65
-115
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Sunday, Sept. 5 

Notre Dame at Florida State (+7.5, 56)

Featured Game| Florida State Seminoles vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Moneyline
Spread
Total
FSU
+235
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+7
-110
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o55.5
-110
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ND
-290
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-7
-110
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u55.5
-110
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Monday, Sept. 6

Louisville vs. Ole Miss (-9.5, 75.5)

Featured Game| Ole Miss Rebels vs. Louisville Cardinals
Moneyline
Spread
Total
MISS
-380
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-10
-110
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o75.5
-110
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LVILLE
+300
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+10
-110
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u75.5
-110
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