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Best College Football Bets Week 0 | CFB Picks & Predictions

Written by: Tanner Kern
Published August 23, 2023
13 min read
Best College Football Bets

We have waited months, but college football has finally arrived! The Week 0 slate isn’t incredible, but it beats preseason football. The marquee matchups aren’t present, but the betting value is high.

The action begins in Dublin, Ireland, on Saturday with Notre Dame and Navy. The weekend concludes with Florida International and Louisiana Tech. Let’s break down the best bets for the first day of the season.

Navy @ #13 Notre Dame - Aer Lingus Classic (Dublin, Ireland)

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

PICK: Navy +20.5 (-115)

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The Aer Lingus Classic will feature the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Navy Midshipmen. Last season, the Fighting Irish beat Navy by a slim 35-32 victory.

Notre Dame is favored by 20.5 points, and the total is set at 50.5. This is a massive Week 0 spread, even for the 13th-ranked Fighting Irish. 

Notre Dame is a new-look team in 2023, but the trends aren’t on their side against Navy. The Midshipmen are 6-0 ATS in the past two seasons when they’re listed as a 10.5 to 20.5 point underdog. 

Navy won’t solely run the triple option this year, and we should see a more aggressive passing attack under new head coach Brian Newberry. However, the caliber of recruits in Annapolis is still built to run the football. If Navy can find some success on offense, we like them to cover the 20.5-point number.

Sam Hartman will make his Notre Dame debut under center. He was sensational at Wake Forest, but it’s hard to count on the Irish to cover a massive number with all the uncertainty on both sides.

Notre Dame doesn’t have a great defensive front, and we saw it multiple times last season. The Fighting Irish will win, but if they are susceptible to a strong Navy rushing attack, it will likely be by 17-20 points.

UTEP @ Jacksonville State

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

PICK: UTEP -1 (-110)

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Hungry Dogs Run Faster. The Jacksonville State Gamecocks are the hungry dogs in their opener against the UTEP Miners. The Gamecocks will make their FBS debut in Conference USA at home, and we expect them to come out with a bang. 

Jacksonville State may be a new FBS team, but success and talent are loaded throughout their program. A team doesn’t move from FCS to FBS for no reason…Jacksonville State was dominant at the FCS level, and they have a tremendous coach in Rich Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is tremendous at getting his players into open space, and he will make this happen by throwing quick passes with quarterback Zion Webb. The Gamecocks also have one of the best offensive lines coming into the season in Conference USA.

UTEP isn’t a team of studs, but they can stop the run. It will take some dynamic play calling from Rodriguez and Webb making plays in space. However, we like the Gamecocks to come out with a bang in their FBS debut. 

Ohio @ San Diego State

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook. 

PICK: San Diego State ML (-130)

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Ohio and San Diego State are one of the biggest games of Week 0. This tells you everything you need to know about Week 0, but the betting value is high in this matchup. The San Diego State Aztecs are in a must-win game at home. They cannot allow Ohio to beat them in the opener, and we will see a physical football game. 

The Aztecs are physical in the trenches and have a talented skill group led by QB Jalen Mayden. Mayden must make plays with his arm and legs, but if he keeps the sticks moving, San Diego State will win. 

Ohio has a tremendous offense behind QB Kurtis Rourke. Yet, San Diego State’s physicality will be too much for the Bobcats in Week 0. Ohio’s defense will be the team's Achilles heel as they lost most of their starters upfront. Inexperience is never a good thing against a tough Aztec team. 

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AUTHOR

Tanner Kern

345 Articles

Tanner Kern has been working in the betting industry since 2020. He currently is a social media content creator at DraftKings and contributes to multiple sites in addition to WSN, including Forbes and VSiN. He is also the cohost of the podcast Ride the Line at WSN.

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