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How the Power Five Fare on Opening Week

August 29, 2016

The college football season opened on Friday August 26 when the California Golden Bears routed the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors 51-31 down under in Australia, covering as 19.5-point chalk.

However, a full lineup of games kicks off Saturday September 3 with a number of betting trends for Week 1 to consider.

Many of the teams in the Power 5 conferences start their season with what is considered an easy game, as conference play for most of the Power 5 schools does not begin until late September.

That is why it is not surprising that the overall record for those teams in the Power 5 conferences is 242-76 straight up the past five seasons.

Nevertheless, the teams from the five conferences – the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, SEC and Pac-12 are just 155-157-3 against the spread in their Week 1 games the past 5 seasons covering only 49.5% of the time.

The ACC is the best of the five conferences in its season openers with a record of 49-21 SU while 39-30-1 ATS. Over the last five seasons, no team in the ACC is under -500 during Week 1.

In the ACC, Florida State is the only team that has won each of the five past season openers. Five teams have a 4-1 ATS record over that same period including Clemson, FSU, Duke, Louisville and Georgia Tech.

However, Virginia is perfect the past five openers at 5-0 ATS.

Only one other team in the Power 5, Ole Miss, has cashed in all of the last five openers to the season and has a 4-1 SU record over that span as well.

That record could be in jeopardy for Ole Miss as it opens its 2016 season on Monday in Orlando against Florida State.

The conference that has struggled the most ATS in its season openers the past five seasons is the Pac-12. The past five years USC, Utah and Arizona are 5-0 SU, while Washington, Oregon, Stanford, Arizona State and UCLA are 4-1 SU.

Nevertheless, the Pac-12 is just 23-27 ATS over that same period. Two teams in the Pac-12 will be underdogs during week one including UCLA +3 visiting Texas A&M, while USC +10 ½ plays Alabama.

Teams like Arizona, Oregon and Washington are heavy favorites versus teams from the FCS in Week 1. Stanford lost straight up to Northwestern in 2015 as double-digit chalk, and is 16-point chalk to open the season against Kansas State.

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