College Football Best Bets Week 0 | CFB Predictions & Betting Tips

Last Updated: Aug 26, 2022

After more than seven long months without college football, the 2022 NCAA football season will finally kick off with 11 games on this year’s “Week 0 schedule" — just before the recognized Week 1.

Traditionally, CFB Week 0 has only a handful of games, but this year there are plenty of opportunities for betting.

Below, read about my best CFB picks for Week 0, as well as some tips on how to pick college football games.

Note: CFB odds are current as of Tuesday, Aug. 24.

CFB Week 0 Best Bet: Nevada vs New Mexico State

Nevada -8.5 (-110) at BetRivers Sportsbook

WAGER: 1.5 Units

This year, there is a three-way competition for the worst FBS team between New Mexico State, UMass, and UConn. All three are FBS independents who pick their own schedule yet have a hard time winning or even being competitive.

Nevada is only an 8.5-point favorite in what should be a blowout. Last year, New Mexico State had an average scoring margin of -20.2, which was ninth-worst in the FBS. They also had the third-weakest FBS schedule. When you play weak teams and still lose by a large margin, you have an issue.

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This season, the Aggies have only two returning starters on offense, plus a new head coach. Nevada has only six returning starters, but at least they have a pulse.

With a tough Mountain West schedule and a weak non-conference schedule, this is a must-win game for the Wolf Pack.

This is my favorite bet of the Week 0 slate. I would bet Nevada up to -13.5 in this spot.

CFB Week 0 Best Bet: North Texas vs UTEP

UTEP Moneyline (+100) at BetRivers

WAGER: .75 Units

Northwestern vs Nebraska isn’t the only Week 0 conference game, as there are two Conference USA matchups including North Texas vs UTEP. Not only is this likely to be the closest game for Week 0, but it should also determine which of these two teams makes a bowl game over the holidays.

Both teams qualified last year, and in their lone matchup, North Texas won 20-17 at home. This year on the road in El Paso (in front of 6000 fans, if UTEP is lucky), UTEP should win as a narrow underdog.

North Texas loves to run the football, and UTEP is great at stopping the run. Last year, the Mean Green ran on 60.5% of their offensive plays, which was the 14th-most in the country. UTEP returns all defensive linemen and linebackers on a defense that allowed only 138.6 rushing yards per game in 2021.

UTEP should win what I expect to be a close, low-scoring game. I would bet them up to a -2.5 spread.

CFB Week 0 Best Bet: Vanderbilt vs Hawaii

Over 54.5 Total Points (-115) at BetRivers

WAGER: 1 Unit

It isn’t college football without a Hawaii home game to end the night. For Week 0, the Rainbow Warriors are hosting Vanderbilt in a relatively early 10:30 p.m. ET game between surfers and country musicians.

Both teams are expected to be trainwrecks this season, but the SEC is a much stronger conference than the Mountain West. That is why it should be no surprise that Vandy is favored by seven points on the road.

In terms of betting, Hawaii games should be entertaining this year. They have only four returning starters, a new head coach in the legendary Timmy Chang, and a new up-tempo offense.

Hawaii is likely to play from behind for most of the game, which will cause their offense to play more aggressively. Additionally, the Commodores shouldn’t have any issue putting points on the board.

At 54.5 points, the total seems to be criminally low. I would bet it up to 58.5.

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.

How to Find College Football Best Bets

Figure out a team’s offensive tendencies

With 131 FBS teams, each team has a different style of offensive play. Some are up-tempo and others run down the clock. Additionally, many offenses pass more than they run, and vice versa.

Look at lopsided matchups

These aren’t the most entertaining games, but lopsided matchups are a gold mine for college football betting. Sometimes the better team will run up the score, and other times they will play conservatively with a big lead.

Specialize in a Group of 5 Conference

Games with well-known Power 5 teams have lines that are efficiently set. On the other side of the coin, Group of 5 conferences get much less attention. As a football handicapper, it is easier to win as a specialist of a conference like the MAC or Mountain West, than in trying to pick the spread of the Texas A&M/Alabama game.


Kevin Davis

Kevin Davis is a Betting Analyst at The Game Day residing in Hoboken, NJ. Previously a Bronx resident, Kevin got his start betting on sports at his local Bronx barbershop. When sports betting was legalized across the river in Jersey, Kevin was there on the ground floor making regular trips to the Hoboken PATH station or for soup dumplings in Fort Lee. Previously, Kevin has written for The Action Network, and Vegas Insider.

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