Thursday Night College Football Betting - NCAA Odds

College Football Thursday Night Betting

Thursday Night College Football Betting Lines

Although there were Thursday night college football games in the early 1990s, the franchise became a regular commitment starting in the 1997 season. Since then, ESPN has had the primary responsibilities for televising Thursday night college football games, but FS1 has also become a regular supplement too.

There was a time when Thursday night college football was “a thing.” But with the NFL now playing regular Thursday night games, and with most schools not wanting to inconvenience their fans with a weeknight game, many matchups are second-rate with the best games saved for Saturdays.

But for gamblers, Thursday night football does offer exciting action and opportunity, often with lesser-known but quality teams being showcased on the national stage.

Week One Bonanza – A New Tradition Kicks Off the 2021 Campaign

For the past several years, the most exciting Thursday night of college football is the first one. Much like the NFL with their Thursday night opener, college football makes its season opener a special one.  Bigger name schools are more willing to play in the Thursday night lid-lifter rather than later in the year.

Following a COVID-19 damaged campaign in 2020, the 2021 season gets kicked off perfectly. Let’s take at the top matchups for Thursday, September 2, 2021.

September 2, 2021 – Top Games

Boise State Broncos at UCF Knights, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

If ever there was a Group of Five superpower matchup, it would be Boise State against UCF. Ironically enough, both schools will take the field under new coaches. Gus Malzahn arrives from Auburn to take over the UCF Knights while former Boise State linebacker Andy Avalos takes over his alma mater. When fans and gamblers think of top programs from the Group of Five, these two programs head the list.

Ohio State Buckeyes at Minnesota Golden Gophers, 8 p.m. ET, FOX

If anyone doubts how big the first Thursday night of the season is, check out the fact that FOX Network, not Fox Sports 1, is televising the Ohio State Buckeyes at Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Third-year Ohio State head coach Ryan Day is coming off consecutive College Football Playoff seasons for an impressive debut. Day has maintained, if not improved, Ohio State’s recruiting since taking over from recruiting machine Urban Meyer. Ohio State will be replacing quarterback Justin Fields, who was drafted in the first round by the Chicago Bears.

This is a big season for Golden Gophers head coach PJ Fleck, who in 2019 led Minnesota to their best season since 1962. Fleck gets a lot of hate for his gimmicks and “Row the Boat” slogan, but the fact remains he is a winner. Last year the Golden Gophers fell to 3-4, which many blame on the pandemic. This Big Ten Thursday showdown is a golden opportunity for the Gophers to reclaim their status as an emerging power.

Bowling Green Falcons at Tennessee Volunteers, 8 p.m. ET, SEC

Tennessee will welcome new head coach Josh Heupel, who arrives after three successful seasons with the UCF Knights. Heupel was hired for his quarterbacking and offensive prowess. It’s been over a decade of misery on Rocky Top, and while optimism is guarded, a win over Bowling Green would serve as an enthusiasm injection. Bowling Green’s last season with more than four wins was in 2015. The Falcons lost all five of their 2020 games. If UT doesn’t prevail, look out for the reaction of its already fed-up fans. Things have gone so bad for the Volunteers that former head coach Butch Jones’ time is now looking like an era of relative glory.

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