The college football season starts this week, not in an expansive fashion, but rather just starting the process with far more to come. Let’s examine how to view the very beginning of a new college football season.
Don’t Get Too Excited
With the beginning of any new season in any sport, enough different sports bettors lock into those betting odds and lack the necessary discipline because they are overanxious.
The idea is to be realistic with what you are dealing with. Here is what we mean.
- Nevada vs. New Mexico State
The two teams have a combined win total of 7.5 at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review).
- Charlotte vs. Florida Atlantic
The top-rated sportsbooks have Charlotte with 9th best odds to win C-USA and FAU is 4th. Not a marquee matchup.
- North Texas vs. UTEP
North Texas and UTEP show up as below-average teams in the same conference.
- Vanderbilt vs. Hawaii
Vanderbilt is picked to finish last in the SEC the Rainbow Warriors next to last in the Mountain West.
- Wyoming vs. Illinois
The traveling Cowboys’ NCAAF odds in the MWC are 8th and the less than Fighting Illinois are chosen for 10th in the Big Ten.
- Nebraska vs. Northwestern
The best team playing this week is Nebraska, which is something you won’t hear again this season and they are the third choice in the Big Ten West.
Know What You Are Wagering On
What is the point of bringing this up? Manage expectations. In almost any other week this upcoming season, you wouldn’t even give these games a look. Does that mean you shouldn’t bet on any of them? Absolutely not.
Do your research and find the best edges and wager wisely.
The Betting Lines Have Been Picked Over
Because the betting lines on Week 0 have been around for months, trying to find additional value is a real challenge. One has to assume all the numbers are fair market value and only late-week information on the particular teams will alter the lines.
Here is what we are talking about.
- #330 Nebraska -10 to -13 over Northwestern
- #307 North Texas -4 to pick over UTEP
- #303 Nevada -14 to -9.5 vs. New Mexico State
- #311 Vanderbilt -2.5 to -6.5 over Hawaii
- #299-300 Northwestern/Nebraska Total 54.4 to 50.5
- #303-304 Nevada/New Mexico State Total 55 to 50.5
What We Forecast As Week 0 Starts
Take the Points with New Mexico State
What jumps out to us is Nevada would not pay their previous head coach Jay Norvell and he sauntered off to Colorado State, taking many of the Wolfpack’s key players.
In steps Ken Wilson with an enormous job to do and trying to shift gears from the Air Raid offense to a more run-focused attack.
These transitions are not always smooth and seeing the two deep at Nevada is completely different with the football program having to replace 45 different players.
- New Mexico State
New Mexico State has remained stubborn in not going the FCS route, wanting to be included at the FBS level, and joining Conference USA should help in 2023. It is impossible to get even the top in-state players in the Land of Enchantment, of which there are not many.
Enter Jerry Kill as head coach who turned Northern Illinois and Minnesota into successful programs and left the latter with ongoing health issues. The stress levels won’t be high because there are few expectations at Las Cruces.
The Aggies only have 10 starters back, but being at home and having a quality coach should keep New Mexico State within 7 points.
Give the Points on Illinois
Wyoming is coming off a solid season and a bowl victory, however, they lost a ton of skill position talent and have to reload in those areas.
Coach Bret Bielema’s first season at Illinois went modestly better than expected at 5-7 and only a home loss to Rutgers prevented a bowl bid.
Bielema is after a less lethargic-looking offense and made an offensive coordinator change and that could pay immediate benefits.
The betting odds in the Illini went from -9 to -10 points and look for them to pull away by 13 or more as the speedier and more physical squad.