College Football Betting Picks: Against the Spread Week 0 (8/27/22)

What is week zero anyway? A week that isn’t really a week? I won’t complain too much because COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS BACK! It’s like Christmas Eve for me!

Just for a recap, I’ll walk you through what’s going to happen this year. I will pick every college football game every week. I’m not going to choose a top five. Not a top ten. All. Big problem, right?

Many people make choices. Well, I do them all against the spread. I take the odds for each game and average them across all Vegas casinos and round to the nearest half. There will be no links here. Ties are for the other (European) football. Are you ready? I am on !!

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Overview of CFB betting choices

I also assign a point value based on how confident I am in each choice. So a score of 1 means I have little to no confidence, and a score of 5 is where I would place a decent bet. I keep track of my record and my points from year to year. I earned 51 points on casinos last year and I’m now at 78 plus points since I started doing this in 2016. Last year I dug a little deeper to see on which teams I have made and lost the most, betting for or against. I wanted to do this to see if I had an inherent bias somewhere without even realizing it. This sheet is available here for you super nerds like me. I’ll keep a cumulative total this season.

As we all know, this is not an exact science. Due to the volatile nature of betting in general, this is for entertainment purposes only. I cannot be responsible for the loss of money, property, spouses or members due to my pickaxes. I am a simple man. I can’t have that on my conscience.

There are only seven FBS vs. FBS matches in week one, but that’s a step up from last year. Due to the lack of accurate spreads on FBS vs. FCS games, I will not make official picks on these. They aren’t on the board at most Vegas casinos anyway (if you absolutely INSIST on betting on these, hit me up via Twitter or in the RotoBaller Discord and I’ll try to help).

Nebraska (-11.5) against Northwestern in Dublin, Ireland

Confidence factor in the choice of bets: 4

Nebraska burned me last year. I was high on them heading into the season and they were beaten by Illinois. So what has changed? A lot. Scott Frost don’t call games and Casey Thompson will be the new quarterback. Even with all the turmoil last year, Nebraska handed Northwestern its worst loss of the season. So… I’m a little surprised the line is so low.

I have serious questions about Nebraska receivers, especially with rumbles that Omar Manning may not play. Still, Thompson is an upgrade on Adrian Martinez and the Cornhuskers still have plenty of good running backs. I don’t see where Northwestern’s defense — a unit that allowed 34 points per game in conference play last year — has improved significantly. Give me Nebraska.

Connecticut at Utah State (-26.5)

Confidence factor in the choice of bets: 3

It seems a bit high. Jim Mora is the new coach at UConn, and with him came an influx of talent. None of that has been proven at the college level yet, but if Mora can get them to play hard, that’s a big number. Utah State returns most of its offense, a unit that scored 32.6 points per game last season. That’s a total Utah State can achieve, but I’m lowering the bet just in case UConn is much better off the bat.

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Wyoming at Illinois (-13.5)

Confidence factor in the choice of bets: 2

Let’s start with what we know. Illinois retains most of its offense, but was 116th out of 130 teams in points last season. 107 of their 242 points came in the first two and the last game. Illinois therefore seems to be off to a hot start. Wyoming lost Levi Williams at Utah State, but won Andrew Peasley of State of Utah. It is unofficially the first trade in college football history. The Cowboys also lost Xazavian Valladay at Arizona State, so that’s a big hole in their offense.

Still… two touchdowns against Illinois? The Illini’s biggest win last season before crushing Northwestern during Rivalry Week was 10 points over Charlotte. I do not see it. Give me Wyoming and the points.

Charlotte at Florida Atlantic (-7.5)

Confidence factor in the choice of bets: 3

The Owls beat Charlotte last year and have mostly the same roster. Charlotte also sacks most of its key players, but is that enough to keep this game in single digits after they lost by 29 last year? I have my doubts. Give me the owls.

North Texas (-1.5) at UTEP

Confidence factor in the choice of bets: 3

The loss of Jacob Cowing is a blow to miners. However, North Texas also lost DeAndre Torrey. UTEP fires all of its running backs and the rest of its receivers from last year and Austin Aune still won the QB job in North Texas. He threw just nine touchdowns all last season. Yes, losing Cowing hurts, but North Texas is going to have to put a lot more on Aune here. I will bring the Miners home.

Nevada (-8.5) at New Mexico State

Confidence factor in the choice of bets: 5

This line opened at -17.5 and probably should have stayed in double digits. I’m pretty confident to take this at half price. I understand there is going to be a transition for Nevada after losing carson strong – their best QB since Colin Kaepernick – and Romeo Doubs, who is the sweetheart of the Green Bay summer camp. Still, Toa Taua will probably play on Sunday. That alone is enough to take the Wolf Pack against the Aggies, whose only wins last year were against South Carolina State and UMass. Give me Nevada. It’s way too low!

Vanderbilt (-9.5) in Hawaii

Confidence factor in the choice of bets: 1

That line opened at -1 and jumped since Hawaii still hasn’t announced who is starting a QB. Pitt transfer Joey Yellen is one of three guys listed as co-starters on the depth chart. That’s not to say the Commodores don’t have their issues either. Vanderbilt lost the first game of the Clark Leah 20-point era against East Tennessee State last year. However, by the end of the season, the Dores were hanging out with the likes of Kentucky, Ole Miss and Tennessee. I believe that Timmy Chang was a great rookie for the Warriors, but losing most of your offense and not having a clear decision on the replacement doesn’t seem conducive to beating an SEC team, even a bottom-feeder like Vandy. I’ll take the Commodores.

In total, I have 21 betting points in play this week. I expect to win them all, but who knows how it will turn out? Weeks 0-3 are very strange in college football and are usually pretty tough for betting. Good luck there!

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