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Best College Football Bets Week 1 | CFB Picks & Predictions

Written by: Tanner Kern
Published August 30, 2023
11 min read
Best College Football Bets Week 1 2023

Week 1 of the college football season begins on Thursday night! There are a lot of contests on Saturday, but the spreads are massive. This is something we typically see during Week 1 of the season, as the powerhouse programs schedule their layup games to start the year on a high note. 

We work hard at WSN to find the value in the lines and odds. Check back weekly for our best college football bets all season long.

North Carolina State @ UConn

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

PICK: UConn +14.5

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The UConn Huskies have a ton of momentum heading into the 2023 season. Jim Mora is in his second year at the helm, and he took the program to a bowl game in his first season. However, Connecticut was smoked on the road at NC State 41-10 in late September last season. 

The Wolfpack are very strong on defense. They have an elite front seven with a quality secondary, but this isn’t a great spot for NC State. They have to go on the road against an improving UConn team with a ton of momentum.

The Huskies were 8-4 ATS in the regular season last year, and they were 2-1 in games where they were 14+ point underdogs. NC State was 4-8 ATS last season and 1-2 when they were favored by 14+ points. Additionally, Rentschler Field is a difficult and underrated place to play. 

For the first time in years, there is excitement around UConn football and the Wolfpack will come into this game with an unknown offensive attack. Brennan Armstrong will be under center for NC State, and he played at Virginia last season. 

Armstrong was horrendous at Virginia in 2022, and we believe he will struggle early in this game. UConn has returners on their defense, including potential All-American linebacker Jackson Mitchell, to neutralize their ACC opponents.

Joe Fagano will be under center for the Huskies. The Maine transfer followed his former coach Nick Charlton, who is now the UConn OC. The majority of the bets are on NC State, but the money is on Connecticut and the line is moving in their favor, showing the sharps like the Huskies. Take the points with the home team in this spot.

Florida @ Utah

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

PICK: Florida +7.5 ALTERNATE

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We will find out exactly what the 2022 Florida Gators are all about in their season opener at Utah. The Gators upset the Utes in the Swamp in 2022, 29-26. Utah entered the 2022 season as the tenth-ranked team in the land, and the Gators pulled off the win. 

The main difference in this game is the fact that Florida doesn’t have the home crowd advantage. There is a notable difference with how Utah plays on the road versus at home and they’re going to have a top-tier passing attack. 

Cameron Rising will be in the Heisman conversation in 2023, but he is recovering from an ACL injury. He may not play in the season opener, and this would give Bryson Barnes the start. Barnes has plenty of experience, especially behind a talented offensive line. 

Florida will need to keep the scoring down for their opponents in this matchup. Their offense is questionable to begin the 2023 season, and this means limited points. They lost Anthony Richardson in the NFL Draft, but he wasn’t an exceptional quarterback in 2022. 

The Gators have the offensive line talent to compete in the SEC, and if they mesh, they can move the football on the ground. A low-scoring game favors Florida, but a high-scoring affair goes to the Utes. 

The one thing Florida has going for them in this game is their SEC talent. SEC talent wins over Pac-12 talent. Utah is the better team, but there will be plenty of 1v1 battles that the Gators win. 

These individual wins will result in a cover for the Gators on opening night. We’re going to take the points here and buy one extra point to get the spread to +7.5. This spread will be tight, as Utah should win the game. Yet, the touchdown spread is too good not to take for a confident SEC 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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