The year was 1963. Texas won its first-ever national football championship. Navy’s Roger Staubach won the Heisman Trophy and I started following football.
It’s been 60 years, but college football still brings out the passion — and profits.
The last two years have been good for my betting strategy: 63-39 last season, and 52-38 in 2021. Now 2023 is here.
Best of luck and let’s take advantage right now this opening week when the oddsmakers are at their most vulnerable for our college football Week 0 picks.
CFB Week 0 Best Bet
Hawai’i @ Vanderbilt
BEST BET: Vanderbilt -17.5 (-108)
FanDuel Sportsbook • WAGER: 2 Units
See my CFB Week 1 best bets for more picks on the true first group of contests, but I’m highlighting this for the seven-game opening slate.
It’s not often Vanderbilt gets to play bully. But this SEC team should have its way with Hawaii, a bottom-tier Mountain West team in rebuild mode.
The Commodores buried the Rainbow Warriors, 63-10, opening week last year in Hawaii. Vanderbilt averaged nearly 10 yards per rush in running for 412 yards against Hawaii.
The Rainbow Warriors averaged a puny 19.6 points last year while ranking 124th in scoring defense allowing 34.7 points. They don’t have the size, talent, and athleticism to hang with Vanderbilt.
Hawaii coach Timmy Chang is switching the Rainbow Warriors’ attack to a run-and-shoot, which he made famous from 2000-2004 when he was the team’s star quarterback. Chang ranks No. 2 all-time in the NCAA in passing yards and total yards.
But this isn’t an easy offense to install, and Chang can’t play quarterback. QB Brayden Schager will likely suffer from growing pains, so look for the Commodores to grind down their overmatched opponent in my CFB pick of the week.
CFB Week 0 Betting Prediction Lean
San Jose State @ USC
BET LEAN: San Jose State +31 (-110)
The Spartans can stay within this huge number against the Trojans, who sit 10th in our preseason CFB power rankings.
having the best quarterback in the Mountain West Conference, Chevan Cordeiro, one of nine returning offensive starters, and an excellent coach in Brent Brennan against a suspect USC defense that permitted 27.9 points and ranked 112th in pass defense last season.
🏈 Keep tabs on all our NCAAF odds for games to find the top angles to bet:
CFB Week 0 Betting Tips
Research new head coaches
Looking at a team’s previous year’s performance is important for early-season college football handicapping, but looking at which teams have new head coaches (and what these coaches are like) is key.
Some coaches bring more of the same, while others offer a more radical departure from the previous season’s team. One year, Georgia Tech switched from a triple-option offense to a pro-style offense. At the beginning of that season, Georgia Tech struggled to score, and I made a pretty penny either betting on them or betting on their Overs.