Week 1 action continues Friday evening with eight more games to whet your appetite before the full slate of Saturday’s college football coverage gets underway. While the second of five straight days of college football is light on ranked teams — only No. 15 Michigan State is represented from the Preseason AP Top 25 — it still has plenty to follow storyline-wise around the country.
Teams from four of the five Power Five conferences will be in action, though only Big Ten cross-divisional rivals Illinois and Indiana will be squaring off in conference play. All in all, there’s enough football to occupy two, three or even four screens given the loaded 7 p.m. kickoff slate. Night owls can enjoy coverage that will extend past midnight with TCU and Colorado playing into the early hours of Saturday morning.
Be sure to stick with CBS Sports throughout the evening for college football coverage from the opening kickoff onward. Let’s take a look at our expert picks for the best games on Friday of Week 1.
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All times Eastern
Western Michigan vs. No. 15 Michigan State
7 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — Michigan State was an entertaining team to watch last season because it had an explosive offense with a tremendous playmaker in Kenneth Walker, and it combined it with a secondary that couldn’t cover anybody. Walker’s gone, but the offense should still be able to move the ball against the Broncos, and most of that secondary remains intact. There are also new transfers on the defensive side of the ball, and there could be some problems as that unit gels in the first game of the season. Sparty might get 45 on its own. Pick: Over 54.5 — Tom Fornelli
Virginia Tech vs. Old Dominion
7 p.m. | ESPNU, fuboTV (Try for free) — After winning its final five regular-season games last year to qualify for a bowl game, Old Dominion brings back ample starting experience for Year 3 of the Ricky Rahne era. Virginia Tech is playing its first game under new coach Brent Pry, and this doesn’t look like an instant rebuild. Considering the Monarchs lost by just 14 on the road against the Hokies in 2019 during a 1-11 season, they seem like a safe bet to keep this one close at home until the end now that the program is much more solid footing. Pick: Old Dominion +6.5 — David Cobb
8 p.m. | FS1, fuboTV (Try for free) — Each team has an advantage it’s looking to exploit in this game. Indiana has not announced its starting QB and has new coordinators. This means Illinois has not been able to prepare for this game with any certainty of what it will see. Further, Illinois played on Saturday last week and had to prepare a game plan for Wyoming before turning around on a short week to play a road game against the Hoosiers. Meanwhile, Indiana has been able to prepare for Illinois the whole offseason and now has game film it can dissect. Of course, what Illinois has going for it is that it has a game under its belt. It’ll be interesting to see how that impacts the game. I don’t have an excellent read for how this one will go, but my gut tells me that neither team blows the other out of the water, so taking the points with the Illini is the most attractive option. Prediction: Illinois +3 — Tom Fornelli
TCU vs. Colorado
10 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — The Horned Frogs enter a new era under coach Sonny Dykes, but don’t expect too many speed bumps in his debut. Colorado lost seven games by two touchdowns or more in 2021, and it probably doesn’t have any answers for what should by a dynamic passing game headlined by potential first-round receiver Quentin Johnston. TCU will play it safe and ride its skill talent to a blowout victory. Pick: TCU -8 — Shehan Jeyarajah
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 1, and which big favorite will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $3,600 in profit over the past six-plus seasons — and find out.