College Football Best Bets: Expert Picks for Week 0

Sep 11, 2021; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Northwestern Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald gestures
Sep 11, 2021; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Northwestern Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald gestures / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

College football is back in our lives and we are all making informed wagers on them!

There's only seven Week 0 matchups that have lines that feature FBS schools taking on FBS schools -- and you can find game previews for each game here -- but here are three of our favorite looks for the opening weekend of the season. Below you can find plays on Northwestern-Nebraska, North Texas-UTEP and Nevada-New Mexico State.

Northwestern vs. Nebraska Odds and Prediction

The talent edge lies with Nebraska, but this feels a bit too wide for my liking. The Cornhuskers enter the season with hgh expectations despite not going above .500 since 2016. Their win total is 7.5 and they are 12.5 point favorites on a neutral after closing as 11-point favorites against Northwestern at home last season. It's worth noting the Cornhuskers won 56-7 in that game.

Will Fitzgerald get his team ready to go for the opener? He has a ton of success in this situation and Nebraska is still ushering in a transfer quarterback in Casey Thompson. I think it's a bit premature to anoint this team as a Big Ten West contender right off the bat.

Northwestern has four starters back on the line and an 1,000 yard rusher in Evan Hull. Could this game be ugly on a neutral field in Dublin, Ireland and the Wildcats hang around against a team that has a ton of pressure on them to perform?

I believe so. I don't see a massive edge on this game, I make Nebraska a 10.5-point favorite, so it is better, but I'm eyeing the Wildcats to make this interesting in Week 0.

LEAN: Northwestern +12

Before you place your college football futures, check out The Early Reed season preview episode with Ken Barkley from You Better You Bet

North Texas vs. UTEP Odds and Prediction

This number has been trickling since the opening line of North Texas -2, and I agree with the move. I am quite bullish on this UTEP team this season and think they are a dark horse to win the conference in 2022.

The team returns a stout defense that allowed less than four yards per rush in 2021. Eight starters return on that side of the ball, including 2nd Team all conference linebacker Breon Hayward who had 108 tackles last season.

On offense, key contributors are back; including quarterback Gavin Hardison, who showcased a big arm with 3,217 passing yards, but prone to turnovers after throwing 13 last season. However, he does have several starting linemen back along with his top two running backs, namely Ronald Awatt.

The North Texas side has a few more questions as they must replace arguably their two best pass rushers in Gabriel and Grayson Murphy to the transfer portal. As well, they lose their standout running back DeAndre Toerry, who rushed for 1,357 yards last season.

I don't subscribe too much to the North Texas run to end last season and make a bowl game, especially with erratic quarterback Austin Aune under center again (9:9 touchdown to interception ratio).

At home, I think UTEP is the better team and think they jump start their big season with a win.

LEAN: UTEP ML (-105)

Nevada vs. New Mexico State Odds and Prediction

Hear what Reed Wallach had to say on The Early Reed about his favorite look for Week 0:

This number has continued to drop, now at New Mexico State +8, but this number is playable until +7.

For more, check out the game preview!

PICK: New Mexico State +8, +275 ML