Meaningful football is finally back.
The next two weekends are like Christmas morning, just for adults. All-day college football action will greet handicappers and general fans this week, with the NFL getting into the mix next week.
And if you're still interested in getting in on the action for college football contests, there's still time in Las Vegas. When you get there for the week 1 college football action, reach out to Vegas Football Proxy to see how they can assist in college football and NFL contests. They're the best in the business for a reason.
To help get you started, here's three underdogs to back in week 1 college football action.
Florida Atlantic (+21) at Oklahoma
I shouldn't be surprised this spread is that large. Experts are in love with the Sooners and while Lane Kiffin requires some attention, this is still Florida Atlantic we're talking about.
No matter how many times experts are going to bang me over the head with Oklahoma being a machine, I'm not buying it. The Bob Stoops effect will begin to rear its ugly head, forcing people to realize how good of a coach he actually was. It's natural for programs to eventually take a step back after losing a legendary coach and that will start happening this year in Oklahoma (much like it did a year after Chip Kelly left at Oregon).
And this isn't your dad's Florida Atlantic team. That defense is legit, with future NFL draft picks residing on the roster. That will give Oklahoma fits.
Offensively, the Owls will return Devin Singletary to the offense, with fourth-year junior and Florida State transfer De'Andre Johnson or Chris Robison starting at quarterback. Both are capable players who can move this up-tempo offense.
Kiffin is not going to be intimidated by Oklahoma, and he has enough weapons available to keep this game closer than three touchdowns. — Go Against The Chalk with Florida Atlantic
Washington State at Wyoming (+1.5)
Washington State is a known slow starter. And now it has to square off against a team that already is a week ahead in game action.
That spells trouble, especially with this being a road game for the Cougars.
This isn't an indictment on Washington State's overall prognosis for the season. This is more of an observation of how Washington State generally is not prepared to start the season.
The Cougars lost to Eastern Washington in 2016 in the season opener. The year before, they lost to Portland State in the opener. Both seasons ended with respectable conference records.
In fact, last year was the first opener Washington State has won since 2011.
So I'm just not buying the Cougars right away in 2018 against a Wyoming team with a stingy defense and an offense capable of moving the ball. — Go Against The Chalk with Wyoming
Northern Illinois (+10.5) at Iowa
The betting public is right on this game.
Oddsmakers set the line at 13.5, before the public got involved. And days before the opening whistle, this line is still too much.
The Hawkeyes just aren't a team that blows out the opposition. And Northern Illinois will give Iowa some troubles, with all five offensive linemen returning and a quarterback who got progressively better last season a freshman.
Northern Illinois also returns plenty of players from a dominant defense a year ago. The Huskies match up pretty well with Iowa, despite the Hawkeyes owning a talent edge.
This game will be one possession in the fourth quarter, so I'd back the double-digit spread in this case. — Go Against The Chalk with Northern Illinois
Scott Levine is the Associate Editor for the Clinton Herald. During his free time, he blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. His Against The Chalk blog has earned him back-to-back Iowa Newspaper Association awards for Best Blog. Check out more fantasy football draft coverage at Against The Chalk.
Scott Levine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH