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Against the spread: Week One CFB predictions

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This season, Rivals.com's weekly college football predictions involve anyone on the national staff brave – or foolish – enough to risk weekly embarrassment by making their picks against the spread.

Here are the picks versus Thursday's Vegas line (Caesars).

MORE: Trocchi's 'If I were a betting man' | Farrell's most overrated, underrated

LOCKS OF THE WEEK

ROB CASSIDY: Temple (+17.5) over Notre Dame. "Notre Dame will likely win this game, but that's too many points for a team that lost an NFL quarterback from a bad 2017 team, is breaking in a new offensive coordinator and has a million question marks along its defensive front. There’s also the fact that Brian Kelly is 41-46-3 against the spread during his time with the Irish."

MIKE FARRELL: BYU (+15) against LSU. "BYU has one game under its belt while LSU is working on a new offense with a QB who hasn't proven much yet. I don't expect the Cougars to win but keeping it within two TDs should be possible."

ADAM FRIEDMAN: Penn State (–30.5) over Akron. "The Nittany Lions have high expectations this year and they will get off to a strong start."

ADAM GORNEY: Notre Dame (–17.5) over Temple. "The Irish offensive line will give QB Brandon Wimbush all the time he needs to carve up Temple's defense and RB Josh Adams should have all kinds of holes to run the ball at will. The thinking is that Temple's offense will not be nearly as good and the defense has suffered significant losses. This is not last year's Temple squad although Vegas still gives the Owls too much credit. This line should be 24. Take the Irish."

JOSH HELMHOLDT: Middle Tennessee State (+3.5) against Vanderbilt. "My good friend Bill Trocchi will not like this pick, but Vanderbilt has now lost five straight season openers, three of those on Derek Mason's watch. MTSU is playing at home and while, yes, Murfreesboro is just a half-hour down the road from Vanderbilt's home in Nashville, a home game is a home game. Give me the Blue Raiders for the outright win here."

DEREK SAMSON: Nebraska (–15.5) over Arkansas State. "As a Nebraska alum, I would like to pick the Huskers at least once this season. And if they can't cover this spread against a team that went 0-4 in the non-conference last year by a combined 144-67 score, I won't have the faith to ever pick them again."

BILL TROCCHI: UCLA (-3.5) over Texas A&M. "UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is going to have plenty of eyes on him at the Rose Bowl on Sunday night, and he likes it that way. The Aggies outfought UCLA in overtime last year in College Station, but the Bruins return the favor in California with Rosen having a big game."

WOODY WOMMACK: West Virginia (+4.5) against Virginia Tech. "This is a neutral site so I'm surprised to see the Hokies getting so many points. I'm excited to see how Will Grier looks in the West Virginia offense and I think the Mountaineers will put up a lot of points in this one."

FIVE SPOTLIGHT GAMES

Lines according to Caesars (all times Eastern):

South Carolina vs. NC State (-5.5), 3 p.m. Saturday in Charlotte, N.C.

Michigan (-5.5) vs. Florida, 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Arlington, Texas

Florida State vs. Alabama (-7), 8 p.m. Saturday in Atlanta

West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech (-4.5), 7:30 p.m. Sunday in Landover, Md.

Texas A&M at UCLA (-3.5), 7:30 p.m. Sunday

Staff picks vs. spread
Name S. Carolina vs. NC St. Michigan vs. Florida Alabama vs. FSU West Va. vs. Va Tech TAMU at UCLA

Rob Cassidy

S. Carolina

Michigan

Alabama

West Va.

A&M

Mike Farrell

NC State

Michigan

Alabama

West Va.

UCLA

Adam Friedman

NC State

Michigan

Alabama

Va Tech

A&M

Adam Gorney

NC State

Michigan

Florida St.

Va Tech

UCLA

Josh Helmholdt

S. Carolina

Michigan

Alabama

West Va.

UCLA

Derek Samson

S. Carolina

Florida

Alabama

Va Tech

A&M

Bill Trocchi

NC State

Michigan

Alabama

West Va.

UCLA

Woody Wommack

S. Carolina

Michigan

Alabama

West Va.

UCLA

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