Florida State ended the 2016 season on a 7–1 run (while going 6–2 against the spread), with their only loss over that stretch coming by three points to eventual national champion Clemson.
The Seminoles will try to prove that they belong among the nation's elite this Saturday when they take on Alabama in the marquee game of the season’s first full weekend of action.
Florida State is a seven-point underdog, according to the betting lines at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The matchup will be the first college football game played at the brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The AP Top 25 Poll and Coaches Poll both have Alabama ranked No. 1 and Florida State ranked No. 3, so the winner of this game should emerge as the early favorite to win it all this season. Alabama was 5–0 straight up and 4–1 against the spread in its previous five games against ACC opponents before a last-second loss to Clemson in the 2016-17 national championship game.
In another Week 1 matchup of two preseason Top 25 teams, Florida is sitting as a four-point underdog ahead of a neutral-site game against Michigan at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Gators and Wolverines fielded two of the stingiest defenses in the nation last season, with Michigan ranking No. 1 in total defense and Florida ranking sixth.
Points will likely be hard to come by in what figures to be a very physical game between two teams looking for a strong start to the season. The Gators are 5–2 both straight up and against the spread in their last seven games against Big Ten opponents, according to the OddsShark College Football Database.
At No. 11 in the AP Top 25 Poll and No. 9 in the Coaches Poll, Michigan still enters the season as just the third highest-ranked team in the Big Ten. Both polls rank Ohio State No. 2 and Penn State No. 6. Ohio State is a 20.5-point road favorite against Indiana on Thursday night while Penn State opens the season at home against Akron as a 30-point favorite.
The Buckeyes have won their last seven games at Indiana but have failed to cover the spread in the last two, which were both decided by only one score.