Many sportsbooks, including FanDuel, have released College Football Game of the Year spreads for most of the biggest matchups of the 2023 season. Below is the top ten, with at least eight contests to pit likely preseason top-ten teams. Because it’s my list, I gave myself a plus one, a bonus game.
Here’s the early outlook of the top-ten (plus one) contests for 2023:
Sept. 3: Florida State -1 LSU (Orlando)
This game was entertaining last year, a 24-23 Florida State win, and the rematch will be even more significant. Both are coming off bounce-back ten-win seasons and are expected to begin 2023 ranked in the top ten.
Sept. 23: Ohio State -10 NOTRE DAME
This game was not much fun last year, a 21-10 Ohio State win, so hopefully, the rematch provides more offense. Two differences favor the Irish: the game is in South Bend, and ND has the more proven QB, Sam Hartman. Bettors aren’t buying in, as this line has moved from 8.5 on Sunday.
Sept. 23: CLEMSON -3 (-105) Florida State
With all their returning talent, the ‘Noles have cracked the top five in some preseason rankings, but before we can take FSU seriously as a national title contender, don’t they need to prove they’re the class of the ACC?
Oct. 7: Texas -6.5 Oklahoma (Dallas)
This is my plus one. OU and Texas will likely begin the season outside the top ten, but how do we leave out their final meeting as Big 12 rivals? The winner will emerge as conference favorites and playoff contenders.
Oct. 14: USC -1.5 NOTRE DAME
The trip to South Bend is probably USC’s biggest hurdle/resume builder in hopes of making the playoffs. I’m here for Caleb Williams vs. Touchdown Jesus. When was the last time this rivalry was this important? While the line versus OSU moved against the Irish, this spread was 2.5 on Sunday.
Oct. 21: ALABAMA -8.5 Tennessee
Speaking of floundering rivalries. The Vols made the “Third Saturday in October” relevant again by snapping a 15-game losing streak to the Crimson Tide. Can they back it up with another top-ten season in Knoxville? The early line movement (line was 7 on Sunday) doesn’t support Tennessee.
Oct. 21: OHIO STATE -9.5 Penn State
The first of three potential top-five clashes in the Big Ten East. It’s no wonder why MSU, Indiana, Maryland, and Rutgers can’t wait to move on from the B1G’s division format. PSU hangs with OSU but very rarely wins. Bullish on the Bucks, early action has moved this spread from 8.5.
Nov. 4: ALABAMA -9.5 LSU
Beating FSU in Week 1 would be nice, but this is where Brian Kelly will be judged in Baton Rouge. If Bama were to slip up, get ready for (blasphemous) whispers that Nick Saban has lost something off his fastball.
Nov. 11: Michigan -1.5 PENN STATE
If you take out the COVID year (which James Franklin supporters do), Jim Harbaugh is 5-2 against PSU, but Beaver Stadium is arguably the toughest place to win in, in the B1G, especially if the Nittany Lions back up the hype.
Nov. 18: Georgia -7.5 TENNESSEE
The Alabama game is for Tennessee’s hearts, but this one is for their minds. The Vols may not open the season in the top ten, but who else is challenging the two-time defending champ Dawgs in the regular season?
Nov. 25: MICHIGAN -1 Ohio State
With their second-straight convincing win over OSU, Michigan proved 2021 was no fluke. Both sides have the pieces to win it all and will be competing for a spot in the CFP for the third-straight edition of The Game.