We’re three weeks away from the first major weekend of the 2018 college football schedule, and for NCAAF betting enthusiasts, this means between $60 and $70 billion is about to be wagered on the game this season. We’ve put together a list of 15 games that you absolutely have to bet money on — not only do these represent some significant rivalries, but they give you opportunities to walk away with some big money.
Top 15 Must-Bet Games on the 2018 College Football Schedule
It’s August, which means College Football returns this month!
ESPN has released its preseason CFB Power Rankings, with some familiar faces at the top.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 1, 2018
2018 College Football Week 1: Washington vs Auburn (in Atlanta) (September 1, 3:30pm ET, ABC)
This is the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and Washington is the first Pac-12 team that has appeared in this showcase. The Huskies are favored to win the Pac-12, and Jake Browning returns at quarterback, but they’re about to run into an angry SEC buzzsaw, as Auburn has a giant chip on their shoulder after losing to UCF in the Peach Bowl.
2018 College Football Week 1: Michigan at Notre Dame (September 1, 7:30pm ET, NBC)
The classic rivalry gets a new installment and Michigan has a new quarterback in transfer Shea Patterson. Can Notre Dame make a run like they were on last year when they got demolished by Miami? Can Michigan move the ball on offense? I like the Irish at home, but this will be a grindfest.
2018 College Football Week 2: Clemson at Texas A&M (September 8, 7:00pm ET, ESPN)
Texas A&M is a notoriously tough place to play on the road, and Clemson is notorious for losing a strange game somewhere along the way. The Aggies have a raucous crowd and a physical defense, and if Clemson isn’t paying attention, they could lose this. Either way, even if Clemson wins, it will be by single digits.
2018 College Football Week 3: North Texas at Arkansas (September 15, 4:00pm ET, SEC ESPN Network)
The Mean Green reportedly have their best team in years, and they head to Arkansas to take on a Razorback team that has an offense-first coach in Chad Morris — who tried to bring his former defensive coordinator colleague from Clemson with him, but could not convince him to come along. If Arkansas’ defense isn’t ready, North Texas could make this game interesting, keeping things within single digits.
2018 College Football Week 4: Wisconsin at Iowa (September 22, time/TV TBA)
If everyone holds serve in the Big Ten West, this is the matchup that will determine the winner of the division. Wisconsin should come in as a heavy favorite, but if Alex Hornibrook is having his interception issues, this could be a tough game for the Badgers.
2018 College Football Week 5: Ohio State at Penn State (September 29, time/TV TBA)
Will Urban Meyer be coaching the Buckeyes? Will Penn State have any offense after the departure of Saquon Barkley to the NFL? They do have a solid quarterback, and Ohio State’s new signal-caller should be comfortable by now. If Penn State sees themselves as a Big Ten East contender, this win is a must.
2018 College Football Week 6: Texas vs Oklahoma (in Dallas) (October 6, time/TV TBA)
This is one of the unique days in college football, as the State Fair of Texas hosts this rivalry each year, with the venerable Cotton Bowl in Dallas situated about halfway between the two universities. This game is almost always close, and the underdog prevails much more frequently than you would expect.
2018 College Football Week 6: Florida State at Miami (October 6, time/TV TBA)
Another terrific in-state rivalry game unfolds down on South Beach. Both teams are trying to make advances in the ACC, looking to catch Clemson, and Miami looks to show that their 10-0 start last year wasn’t a fluke.
2018 College Football Week 7: Washington at Oregon (October 13, time/TV TBA)
If Washington wants to win the Pac-12 North, they need to go down to Eugene and knock off the Ducks. Oregon has a high-octane offense and is always difficult to beat at home, and Washington has the memories of an off season last year — either to wear them down or motivate them.
2018 College Football Week 7: Wisconsin at Michigan (October 13, time/TV TBA)
By Week 7 we’ll know if Shea Patterson is the quarterback that turned Michigan around or not, and we’ll know if Wisconsin is a juggernaut. This is their toughest cross-division test in Big Ten play this season, and if the Badgers can get by the Wolverines, they should make it to the conference championship.
2018 College Football Week 8: Oklahoma at TCU (October 20, time/TV TBA)
Just like last year, I expect this game to be a preview of the Big 12 Championship game, as these are the top two teams in terms of talent. Can TCU get payback for the routs that Oklahoma dealt them last year? I’m not sure their offense has made the upgrades it needs to to keep up with the Sooners.
2018 College Football Week 9: Clemson at Florida State (October 27, time/TV TBA)
Even if Florida State hasn’t matched Clemson win for win yet, this will be a test for the Tigers. Last year, the Seminoles had a chance to drive for the lead in the fourth quarter last year, and that was at Clemson.
2018 College Football Week 10: Penn State at Michigan (November 3, time/TV TBA)
The Wolverines will either be the toast of the Big Ten East or sitting in a tailspin by this point, but if they’re sailing along, they need to stop the Nittany Lions, who have a habit of finishing seasons with a flourish.
2018 College Football Week 10: Alabama at LSU (November 3, time/TV TBA)
This is a tough road stop on Alabama’s schedule, as one of the SEC’s fiercest rivalries awaits them here. LSU is a raucous place to play a football game, and the defense in this matchup should be at fever pitch. I wouldn’t expect the point total to get above 30 in this one.
2018 College Football Week 13: Auburn at Alabama (November 24, time/TV TBA)
This is the rematch of last year’s game that sent Auburn to the SEC Championship and left Alabama on the outside of the CFP, until Wisconsin fell to Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship. You know Alabama will be looking for payback, but you also know Auburn will be ready for battle.