Early NCAAF Week 1 Picks: Best Bets to Make Now

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Oregon Ducks interim head coach Bryan McClendon leads his team onto the field before the start of their game against the Oklahoma Sooners in the Valero Alamo Bowl.(Photo by Ronald Cortes / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

The college football season is still months away, but the betting lines for the opening week are already posted. Some teams are still settling quarterback battles, but you can bet on who will win each game of the first week of the season.  

The beauty of college football is the constant turnover. A quarter of the league leaves every year, and players can now transfer without a penalty. This brings new challenges for college football teams, but it also changes the way you bet the opening week.  

We’ve seen some wild upsets in the opening weeks of college football. FCS teams have beaten Power 5 schools. Title contenders have seen their hopes end with one game. Could we see something that crazy in Week 1? 

Here are some bets that are smart to make at this point in the offseason. There is early value right now, so what moves should you make? All odds come from BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review).

Oregon Ducks vs. Georgia Bulldogs

Saturday, September 03, 2022 – 03:30 PM EDT at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

The Ducks

The Ducks hired Dan Lanning, Georgia’s former defensive coordinator, to replace Mario Cristobal. He recruited Bo Nix to be the team’s quarterback, so they at least have a sense of direction for this season.  

Georgia is ready to reload, but the defense lost almost every key contributor from last year’s title team. The offense was never the focal point last year, but they still lost a key receiver and both star running backs. With those players gone, the likelihood of an explosive offensive performance is low.  

The Bulldogs

Georgia is going to be a great team once again, but I don’t see them dominating every game like they did last year. Oregon is a strong opponent, and it is more likely for an underdog to keep up when both teams are making adjustments.  

There could easily be mental miscues by Georgia that keep them from running up the scoreboard. The defense will still be one of the best in the country, but expect Oregon to at least put some points on the board. 

With a head coach and quarterback familiar with this defense, the Ducks should keep things competitive. Georgia will pull away, but the Ducks will cover. 

NCAAF Pick: Oregon +16.5 (-110) at BetOnline

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Oregon +16.5 (-110)
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Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

Saturday, September 03, 2022 - 07:30 PM EDT at Ohio Stadium

The Buckeyes struggled early last year, but CJ Stroud has a year under his belt. He will be one of the best quarterbacks in college football, and he will be throwing to the best receiver in the game.  

Ohio State will have a great defense, and Notre Dame has questions at quarterback and running back. With a new head coach, it is hard to see them competing against a true title contender.  

Ohio State plays at home this week, so things are bad on a number of levels. The Buckeyes have every advantage, and they will be on a revenge tour this season. 

The Pick 

Unless Notre Dame can force multiple turnovers, I don’t see this one being close. That is why I like the Buckeyes to win by multiple touchdowns at home to open the season. 

NCAAF Pick: Ohio State -15.5 (-110) at BetOnline

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Ohio State -15.5 (-110)
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Clemson Tigers vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Monday, September 05, 2022 - 01:00 PM EDT at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Last year, Clemson had the most disappointing offense in college football. It is hard to believe that everything will go back to normal in one offseason. D.J. Uiagalelei struggled in the spring, and he is now in a quarterback competition.  

Without Justyn Ross at receiver, this offense has question marks at every position. Without the assistant coaches, this team is facing unprecedented challenges for Dabo.  

The defense should still be solid, but I think that Georgia Tech can scheme its way into success in the opening week. They have more time to develop trick plays, and they are playing close to home in this one.  

The Pick

Clemson should win this game, but don’t expect a blowout. Clemson is no longer the team that can win by 35 points every week due to an elite offense and a stifling defense. They will make mistakes, and this one will remain close. 

NCAAF Pick: Georgia Tech +20.5 (-110) at BetOnline

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Georgia Tech +20.5 (-110)
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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.