Best Week 0 College Football Bets for August 27th
The college football season is upon us with an opening slate of football games this weekend. The ‘Week 0’ schedule gives us the first taste of pigskin this fall before everyone is in action next week.
We preview our top three bets of the first weekend of college football below.
Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Wyoming Cowboys
The Fighting Illini are in year two under the coaching regime of former Wisconsin Badger Brett Bielema and look ready to take the next step in becoming bowl eligible after a 5-7 season last year. There is a lot of uncertainty in Champaign about how this football team will be this year, but the Illini do return a pair of rushers in Chase Brown and Josh McCray, who combined to rush for over 1,500 yards and seven touchdowns.
Wyoming wrapped up its seventh year under head coach Craig Bohl with a 7-6 mark and eighth place finish in the Mountain West. The Cowboys must replace a lot of talent lost on both sides of the ball and are projected to start a transfer quarterback under center.
Illinois might finish near the bottom of the Big Ten standings, but the Fighting Illini should be able to overpower the Cowboys, who’ll have new faces across the board. The offensive line lost four of six starters from last year, but Illinois will lean on its two-headed ground game to wear the Cowboys down.
Pick: Illinois Fighting Illini -11
Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Northwestern Wildcats
Staying in the Big Ten, these two conference foes kick off the 2022 season in Dublin, Ireland. Both teams are coming off subpar seasons last year, finishing at the bottom of the Big Ten West with an 1-8 conference record.
It is now or never for Nebraska head coach Scott Frost, and the Cornhuskers are expected to open up the passing game with new offensive coordinator Mark Whipple and transfer quarterback Casey Thompson.
Northwestern averaged just 16.6 points per game last season, with many of those starters on offense back in 2022. The defense took a step back last year, but head coach Pat Fitzgerald upgraded the unit with four experienced senior transfers.
Defenses will prevail in this opening contest across the pond, and both teams have a lot of question marks on offense coming into the season opener.
Pick: Nebraska/Northwestern UNDER 49.5
Hawai’i Warriors vs. Vanderbilt Commodores
The conclusion of Week 9 features the Vanderbilt Commodores out of the SEC taking on the Hawai’i Warriors from the WAC. Clark Lea is in his second season as the ‘Dores head coach after a 2-10 season in 2021, while the Warriors are under the direction of first-year coach Timmy Chang after a 6-7 mark last year.
Hawai’i saw a lot of players leave the program because of the prior regime, so it’ll be an uphill battle for Chang this season. There will be some growing pains in season one for the former standout quarterback at his alma mater.
Lea brings Mike Wright back under center, and Vandy should have nine seniors start defensively. The veteran presence will help the Commodores in Week 0 open up with a big road victory across the Pacific Ocean.
Pick: Vanderbilt Commodores -8
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