College Football Last Chance Value Picks for NCAAF Week 1

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Will Rogers #2 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs attempts a pass during the first half of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Justin Ford/Getty Images/AFP

It’s finally here, real college football! Last week was a nice pretzel and mustard appetizer but we got the full delectable menu for Week 1.

Because the betting odds have been on display for some time, finding true value is harder to do, but the value is not only in the numbers but also in the situation or matchup. That is how we made this week’s college football picks.

Arizona Wildcats vs. San Diego State Aztecs

Saturday, September 03, 2022 – 03:30 PM EDT at Snapdragon Stadium

How Are the Teams Doing?

These squads met last year and San Diego State ambushed Arizona 38-14 as 1.5-point road underdogs.

The Aztecs ran for over 270 yards in Tucson last September and they will expect a somewhat similar result while still having a nice stable of running backs from a run-oriented program.

Arizona figures to be improved in coach Jedd Fish’s second season after a 1-11 campaign. There should be improvement across the board with 15 starters returning, and they added Washington State transfer quarterback Jayden de Laura, who was the Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Freshman of the Year.

However, this matchup has a different flavor with San Diego State playing in their time in their brand new stadium, and the locals are excited after having to travel almost two hours to see their team the past two years.

Arizona vs. San Diego State: Our Betting Pick

With the Aztecs running game, always tough defense, and players juiced to play before a nationally televised audience, this is a great spot for San Diego State.

NCAAF Pick: San Diego State -6 (-111) at Bookmaker (visit our BookMaker Review)

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San Diego State -6 (-111)
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Memphis Tigers vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs

Saturday, September 03, 2022 – 07:30 PM EDT at Davis Wade Stadium

How Are the Teams Doing?

These two programs reignited their rivalry a year ago and it was the first time in seven tries that Memphis won and covered against Mississippi State.

The Tigers were out-first downed 26-12 and outgained 468-246, but a long punt return for a touchdown and 49-yard scoop and score set up Memphis to pull the upset 31-29 as 3.5-point home underdogs.

The rematch is in Starkville and the Bulldogs will not only have one top passing offense in the country under coach Mike Leach and QB Will Rogers, but a premier defense that was 30th overall in 2021.

Memphis figures to be better offensively with QB Seth Henigan, now a sophomore. Nonetheless, coach Ryan Silverfield’s offense is more hit-and-miss, lacking the running game of the Mike Norvell era. The defense is changing coordinators again after finishing 95th.

Memphis vs. Mississippi State: Our Betting Pick

Expect revenge-minded Mississippi State to be ringing those cowbells all night long.

NCAAF Pick: Mississippi State -16 (-113) at Bookmaker

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Mississippi State -16 (-113)
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Louisville Cardinals vs. Syracuse Orange

Saturday, September 03, 2022 – 08:00 PM EDT at JMA Wireless Dome

How Are the Teams Doing?

Most oddsmakers have these as the two worst teams in the ACC Atlantic Division, so both are interested in getting off to a fast start. Louisville has been a matchup problem for Syracuse the past three years, outscoring them 127-37, however, all three contests were in Kentucky, not upstate New York like this one.

The difference has been the speed of the Cardinals at skill positions on offense, team speed, and quickness on defense.

Syracuse changed offensive coordinators to throw the ball more, but QB Garrett Schrader is known as more of a dual threat with his top skill as a runner.

Louisville returns QB Malik Cunningham, who was a much better passer a year ago, especially down the field. He has four returning O-Line to protect him or open running lanes.

The Orange’s defensive front saw four seniors graduate and one other player transfer, making this a completely new group.

Louisville vs. Syracuse: Our Betting Pick

If this ACC encounter was in late November like the past three matchups, Syracuse might be worth a look, but not this early against the college football odds.

NCAAF Pick: Louisville -4.5 (-111) at Bookmaker

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Louisville -4.5 (-111)
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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.