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Key matchups to watch in Week 1
3:01 | College Football
Key matchups to watch in Week 1
Tuesday August 30th, 2016

The Stanford Cardinal are 12–1 straight up and 10–3 against the spread in their last 13 games since losing their season opener to Northwestern last season. The Cardinal will try to avoid another opening week loss this Friday night at home against the Kansas State Wildcats.

Stanford is listed as a 15.5-point betting favorite for Friday’s game at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. In four games against Pac-12 opponents since 2009, Kansas State is just 1–3 SU and ATS, including an 0–2 SU and ATS record in two road games.

The Wildcats had a down year in 2015, going just 6–7 SU and ATS and losing to Arkansas in the Liberty Bowl.

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Meanwhile, NRG Stadium in Houston will play host to what should be a top matchup between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Houston Cougars on Saturday.

Oklahoma made the College Football Playoff last season with an 11–1 SU and 9–3 ATS record before eventually losing to Clemson 37–17 on New Year’s Eve. The Sooners are an 11-point favorite over the Houston Cougars, who almost ran the table last season with a 13–1 SU and 9–5 ATS record.

Perhaps the most anticipated game of the weekend will take place north of Houston in Arlington, Texas, when the USC Trojans clash with the Alabama Crimson Tide at AT&T Stadium. The defending national champions are 11.5-point favorites over the Trojans, entering the game with a 12–0 SU and 7–5 ATS record in their last 12 games.

The Trojans are 4–0 SU and 3–1 ATS in their last four games against SEC opponents, but this will be the team’s first game against a team in that conference since 2006.

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Like Alabama and Oklahoma, the Clemson Tigers will also face a tough test out of the gate on the road against the Auburn Tigers. Auburn had a down year in 2015, going just 7–6 SU and 3–9–1 ATS, but this is a group that has enough speed and talent to hang with Clemson if the Tigers show any signs of rust.

Clemson is 3–0 ATS in its last three games against Auburn per the OddsShark College Football Database. The Tigers are 7.5-point road favorites on Saturday.

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