College Football Week 0 Best Bets: Holding My Nose With Vanderbilt, New Mexico State

Written By Brett Gibbons on August 27, 2022
College Football Week 0 Bets

College Football Week 0 is finally here and it’s time to consider placing bets on… Vanderbilt? It’s not a joke – we’re getting our hands dirty for our first best bets of the season. Buckle up for some deep cuts on the college football slate.

Check back each week for more college football best bets.

Nebraska vs. Northwestern Week 0 betting preview

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College Football Week 0 Bets

To place a bet on any of the games below, click on their odds in the tables.

Nevada at New Mexico State

For as long as returning roster production has been measured (2011), no team has returned less of it than the Nevada Wolfpack. To make matters worse, their entire coaching staff packed up and left for Colorado State. What’s left is a roster bereft of talent, especially where it counts at the line of scrimmage. Per Phil Steele, Nevada is projected to have the worst OL in the Mountain West.

Also new is a starting QB, expected to be 6′ 9″ Nate Cox, who was completely ineffective in Nevada’s bowl game against Western Michigan in December (121 yards passing, six sacks taken).

Betting on New Mexico State usually serves as a donation to your local sportsbook, but it could be a savvy move in this rare instance. The Aggies opened as a 12.5-point underdog at FanDuel Sportsbook and that’s moved down to 9.5 points as kickoff draws nearer (at one point even hitting 8.5). While New Mexico State finished 2-10 last year, they were 6-2-1 against the spread in games against Group of Five opponents (including 5-1-1 to start the year), indicating a more competitive team than your average doormat. They return nearly every defensive starter, as well.

This is more a bet against Nevada than it is a bet on New Mexico State. I expect Nevada to be one of the worst teams in the country this season, especially early in the year. Hold your nose if you tail.

The bet: New Mexico State +9.5 (-110), placed Aug. 14 at FanDuel Sportsbook

Best available number: New Mexico State

  • Behind the counter: “We’ve taken some respected action on New Mexico State/Nevada at [under] 55 and it’s been bet down to 50 at our shop which looks like about market at this point,” says WynnBet senior trader Motoi Pearson. “We probably won’t see any other legitimate action up until the day before/day of when we bump the limits for Week 0 slate.”

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Vanderbilt at Hawaii

Vanderbilt is the perennial butt of the college football jokes, but they’re an SEC team. They play a different brand and a different level of football than Hawaii does as a low-level Mountain West team. During a normal travel week, I’d be concerned with how Vanderbilt adjusts to heading five time zones behind and playing this game late into the night.

But this isn’t a normal travel week and Vanderbilt left for Honolulu on Sunday afternoon. They have more than ample time to adjust.

Hawaii just finished clearing house this offseason from a coaching staff that was quoted as having “killed [their] love and passion for football.” Then-head coach Todd Graham was running such a disaster that his own son hit the transfer portal. If it weren’t for Nevada’s historically-low level of returning production, Hawaii would be part of the conversation on that front. They return the third-lowest percent of roster production in the past decade-plus.

This team under new head coach Timmy Chang is in full rebuild. Hawaii ranks 127th in Phil Steele’s power poll and 123rd in the SP+. Defensively, they project as one of the worst in the country.

Fourteen starters return for Vanderbilt, including their top six rushers and top four tacklers. While the talent isn’t there for either team, Vanderbilt has a bigger, stronger and faster bunch with continuity in the coaching ranks.

The bet: Vanderbilt -6.5 (-110), placed Aug. 16 at FanDuel Sportsbook

Best available number: Vanderbilt

  • Behind the counter: According to Pearson, there’s been solid action on both sides of this line. “Vanderbilt has seen some decent action, but we’ve gotten some buy back at +7 on Hawaii.”

Other College Football Week 0 Bet Notes

Pearson brought up watching for Illinois -10 to be on the move this week. Their current best number is .

“I’d keep my eye on the Illinois -10 at the moment getting pushed up before game time. My number was a bit higher here, and it may be a bit more of a popular bet with Wyoming in full rebuild mode playing on the road,” he said. “Illinois has one of the better defenses in the Big Ten and could make it very hard for a Wyoming offense that is looking to find their footing in Week 0.”

Pearson’s Best Bet

“We have taken two-way action on our FAU/Charlotte total, respectively. I’d lean towards the over and looks like you can get 56.5 at some spots now.

Charlotte returns a solid core group on Offense led by Chris Reynolds, and FAU has bolstered up their O-line and have plenty of skill guys coming back to help out N’Kosi Perry and that FAU offense. FAU trounced Charlotte 38-9 last year in Charlotte. FAU’s defense has a bit of turnover this year and Charlotte only returns six starters on defense that still looks to need plenty of work.

If Charlotte can cut it loose and move the ball we can be looking at a high scoring affair.”

  • The bet: Charlotte at FAU OVER 56.5 points (-110)
  • Best available number: Over

College Football Week 0 Odds

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Brett Gibbons

Brett is an avid sports traveler and former Division-I football recruiter for Bowling Green and Texas State. He’s a graduate of BGSU and works as an auditor for Google content curation products. He’s also contributed to Sports Illustrated and Fansided during his young writing career.

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