Football Betting: College teams hit gridiron this week

The National Football League is still a week away from getting its campaign underway, but college football returns to the sports betting schedule on Thursday night as the top-ranked teams in the country look to grab a victory in their respective openers.

On Thursday night No. 6 South Carolina will take on North Carolina for the first time since 2007, when the Gamecocks picked up a 21-15 win as a 7-point favorite on the college football betting lines at the sportsbooks. This time around South Carolina has been listed as a 10.5-point favorite.

The other ranked team in action on Thursday is No. 24 USC, which takes on Hawaii for the second year in a row. The Trojans pounded the Warriors 49-10 as a 43.5-point home favorite when the schools met early last season; they're just 22-point favorites on the road for Thursday's matchup.

Saturday then offers up the bulk of the action this week on the college football betting lines, including a huge matchup between No. 5 Georgia and No. 8 Clemson with the Bulldogs a slim 1.5-point favorite. Those schools haven't met since 2003, when Georgia blanked Clemson 30-0 as a 3-point favorite.

The other ranked matchup on Saturday has No. 12 LSU taking on No. 20 TCU, while No. 1 Alabama opens up its defense of its national championship with a game against Virginia Tech. LSU is pegged as a 4-point favorite in its contest at the sportsbooks, while Alabama sits as the 19-point favorite.

Four other games feature Top-10 teams on Saturday, with No. 2 Ohio State (-36) taking on Buffalo, No. 3 Oregon meeting Nicholls, No. 7 Texas A&M (-26.5) facing Rice, and No. 10 Florida (-23.5) battling Toledo.

Rounding out the games involving ranked teams on Saturday are Mississippi State vs. No. 13 Oklahoma State (-12.5), Temple vs. No. 14 Notre Dame (-30), New Mexico State vs. No. 15 Texas (-42), Louisiana-Monroe vs. No. 16 Oklahoma (-23.5), Central Michigan vs. No. 17 Michigan (-31.5), Wyoming vs. No. 18 Nebraska (-28), No. 19 Boise State vs. Washington (-3.5), Nevada vs. No. 21 UCLA (-19.5), No. 22 Northwestern (-6) vs. Cal, Massachusetts vs. No. 23 Wisconsin (-44.5), and Eastern Washington vs. No. 25 Oregon State.

On Sunday it's then Ohio vs. No. 9 Louisville (-20.5), with No. 11 Florida State (-10) taking on Pittsburgh on Monday night at Heinz Field. The Seminoles won the ACC championship last season, while the Panthers will be making their debut in the conference after moving from the Big East.


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