College Football Week 0 Last Chance Value Picks

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Diego Pavia #10 of the New Mexico State Aggies looks to scramble against the Bowling Green Falcons on December 26, 2022. Mike Mulholland/Getty Images/AFP.

NCAAF Pick: New Mexico State -6½ (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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New Mexico State -6½ (-108)
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Below are three games on Saturday’s college football kickoff slate for those looking to get the best value compared to the opening lines posted by the NCAAF odds.

Let’s isolate these contests and make an argument for fading the public and getting the best bang for our betting buck.

UTEP Miners vs. Jacksonville State Gamecocks

Saturday, August 26, 2023 – 05:30 PM EDT at Burgess-Snow Field

Key Facts

  • UTEP went 2-4 over their last six games of the 2022 season.
  • Jacksonville State went 9-2 SU last season.
  • Jacksonville State will be making its FBS debut on Saturday versus UTEP.

This one won’t attract any attention from the public but we have seen the favorites switch places since the opening lines were posted. Jacksonville State, brand new to the FBS after residing in the FCS for much of its program’s existence, will battle a conference foe in UTEP.

When the early lines were released, the oddsmakers posted the Gamecocks as 2-point home favorites but the latest lines reveal UTEP is now a solid 1-point favorite across the board. It’s a bit surprising to me, as the Miners ended last season with a 3-5 conference mark and a 5-7 overall record.

Setting the Stage

However, Jacksonville State was the class of the FCS Atlantic Sun Conference, going 5-0 in conference play and ending with a 9-2 mark before making their way to the main stage this year. The pieces are in place for the Gamecocks to establish themselves as a legitimate conference threat while UTEP has done little in the offseason to make me believe their standing as a middling Conference USA entry will change for the better this season.

Although the +1 the Cocks are getting probably won’t factor into the equation, as I predict they will win this one somewhat comfortably, it is always better to take than give when it comes to getting points from the oddsmakers.

NCAAF Pick: Jacksonville State +1 (-108) at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review)

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UMass Minutemen vs. New Mexico State Aggies 

Saturday, August 26, 2023 – 07:00 PM EDT at Aggie Memorial Stadium

Key Facts

  • New Mexico State has covered their only two meetings against U Mass.
  • UMass is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games in August.
  • New Mexico State is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 non-conference games.

New Mexico State opened as 11-point home chalk earlier this week but that number is long gone and impossible to find if you wanted to grab the Minutemen plus double digits. As of this writing, the Aggies are -6 ½ pretty much across the board but I have just begun to see this line drift back up, hitting the magic 7 at some shops.

With that in mind, we should probably take advantage of this NCAAF pick while we can because getting a favorite below a full touchdown can be the difference between covering and pushing. UMass is not a good football team and they will likely be just another bump on the road for most teams this season. To be fair, New Mexico State is no powerhouse either but beating UMass by seven or more seems well within their grasp.

From Struggle to Success

New Mexico State is in its second season under head coach Jerry Kill and his impact was palpable last season as he took the Aggies from a woeful 2-10 squad to a respectable 7-6 in 2022, ending the year with a 24-19 victory over Bowling Green in the Quick Lane Bowl.

Let’s lay it and like it with this revitalized Aggies’ squad, and at a number that brings plenty of value to this wager.

NCAAF Pick: New Mexico State -6½ (-108) at Heritage Sports

Florida International Panthers vs. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

Saturday, August 26, 2023 – 09:00 PM EDT at Joe Aillet Stadium

Key Facts

  • Saturday’s game in Ruston will tie the earliest date that FIU has opened a regular season game.
  • FIU returns a total of 15 starters from last season’s squad.
  • FIU opponents averaged 47.5 yards per game in penalties last season.

This is the final game on the Week 0 slate but there will be few watching this one except those who have an investment. Louisiana Tech was tagged as a 10-point favorite in the early going but that number has drifted north to where they are now sitting as 11 ½ point home chalk in all but a few of the offshore sportsbooks.

This is another Conference USA clash but I’m not sure why a team that ended with a last-place 3-9 record in 2022 would suddenly vault as double-digit favorites against a conference rival that had a better record, albeit an unimpressive 4-8 mark.

And to amplify that point, we should note that FIU defeated the Bulldogs, 42-34, in a double-overtime shootout. We all know college football is a game of moving parts with players transferring, graduating, or in some cases getting drafted to the NFL but this line looks off.

Doubtful Favoritism

Lousiana Tech gives me no reason whatsoever to lay all those points despite them playing this opener in front of the fan friendlies in Ruston, Louisiana.

FIU’s Grayson James returns at quarterback and will be familiar with the offense he guided last season. He will welcome a new arrival in the backfield with a tailback in Shomari Lawrence who flashed at South Dakota State last year with a 5.6 yards per carry average.

NCAAF Pick: Florida International +11½ (-108) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product