The long-awaited college football season is finally here, and Week 1 promises to deliver thrilling matchups and exciting action on the gridiron. As fans gear up for a weekend filled with intense competition, it’s time to analyze the games and identify the best bets for the week. From top-ranked clashes to underdog surprises, there’s something for every football enthusiast to enjoy. Whether you’re a seasoned bettor or just looking to add some excitement to your Saturday, these best bets provide a starting point for your college football wagering. So grab your popcorn,sit back, relax, and enjoy the action as the 2023 season kicks off in grand style.
No. 5 LSU vs. No. 8 Florida State
Sunday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC
The weekend’s premier matchup features two powerhouse programs, No. 5 LSU and No. 8 Florida State, squaring off in a battle for early-season supremacy. Last year’s nail-biter between these teams set the stage for an intense rematch in Orlando, Florida. With both teams eyeing a spot in the College Football Playoff, this game holds significant playoff implications.
LSU’s dynamic quarterback, Jayden Daniels, will lead the Tigers’ high-powered offense against a formidable Florida State defense. On the other side of the ball, Florida State’s Jordan Travis will look to exploit any weaknesses in LSU’s secondary. With talent and playmakers on both sides of the ball, this game promises to be a closely contested battle that could come down to the wire.
Best Bet: Draftkings over/under for this game is set at 56.5 points, indicating a potentially high-scoring affair. Both offenses have the ability to put up points, and the defenses may struggle to contain the opposing quarterbacks. Look for this game to exceed the projected total, making the over an attractive bet.
No. 14 Utah vs. Florida
Thursday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
In another highly anticipated rematch, No. 14 Utah seeks revenge against Florida after falling short in a thrilling matchup last season. The Utes are determined to even the score, but they face uncertainty at the quarterback position. Star quarterback Cam Rising is recovering from a knee injury and may not be available for this game, adding an element of unpredictability to Utah’s offense.
Florida, known for its potent running game, will rely on the dynamic duo of Montrell Johnson Jr. and Trevor Etienne to carry the load. Utah’s defense, led by linebacker Lander Barton, will look to stifle Florida’s rushing attack and force the Gators to beat them through the air.
Best Bet: With Rising’s availability in question, Utah’s offense may struggle to find its rhythm. Florida’s defense, anchored by a strong front seven, could limit Utah’s scoring opportunities. Consider taking the under on the total points in this game.
No. 21 North Carolina vs. South Carolina
Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC
The battle for Carolina supremacy takes center stage as No. 21 North Carolina faces off against South Carolina in an interstate clash. Both teams boast talented quarterbacks in Drake Maye and Spencer Rattler, setting the stage for an offensive shootout. North Carolina’s high-powered offense, led by Maye, is expected to put up big numbers. However, the Tar Heels’ defense has some question marks, which could provide opportunities for Rattler and the Gamecocks’ offense to exploit. Expect a back-and-forth game with plenty of scoring.
Best Bet: The point spread for this game favors North Carolina, but don’t count out South Carolina’s ability to keep it close. Consider taking the Gamecocks +2.5 on Draftkings with the points, as they have the potential to cover the spread and possibly pull off an upset.
Boise State at No. 11 Washington
Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
This matchup features two respected programs, Boise State and No. 11 Washington, looking to make a statement early in the season. Boise State, known for its success outside the power conferences, aims to upset the Huskies on their home turf.
Washington’s quarterback, Michael Penix Jr., returns with a talented supporting cast, making the Huskies’ offense a force to be reckoned with. Boise State’s defense will need to step up and disrupt Washington’s passing attack to have a chance at victory. On the other side of the ball, Boise State’s ground game, led by running back George Holani, will look to exploit Washington’s pass rush.
Best Bet: Boise State has a history of playing competitively against top-ranked opponents, and this game could be closer than expected. Consider taking Boise State (+14 on Caesars Sportsbook) with the points, as they have the potential to keep the game within reach.
No. 4 Ohio State at Indiana
Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
No. 4 Ohio State opens its Big Ten campaign with a road matchup against Indiana. The Buckeyes, perennial contenders, have their sights set on another conference title, while Indiana hopes to recapture the success of a few seasons ago.
Ohio State’s new starting quarterback, Kyle McCord, faces a tough test in his first start against a formidable Indiana defense. The Hoosiers, led by quarterback Tayven Jackson, will look to disrupt Ohio State’s passing game and force turnovers. However, Ohio State’s talent and depth may prove too much for Indiana to handle.
Best Bet: Ohio State has dominated recent matchups against Indiana, and this game could follow a similar script. Consider taking Ohio State to cover the spread and secure a convincing win.
Colorado at No. 17 TCU
Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, Fox
Deion Sanders’ highly anticipated debut as Colorado’s head coach headlines this matchup against No. 17 TCU. Sanders has overhauled the Buffaloes’ roster, bringing in numerous transfers to bolster the team’s talent.
TCU’s passing game, led by quarterback Chandler Morris, will face a stern test against Colorado’s strong secondary. The Buffaloes’ defense, anchored by cornerback Travis Hunter, will look to disrupt TCU’s aerial attack. While Colorado is in the early stages of its rebuild, Sanders’ presence adds an element of excitement to this game.
Best Bet: TCU enters this game as the favorite, but Colorado’s revamped roster could make this matchup more competitive than expected. Consider taking Colorado with the points (+20.5 ON Caesars Sportsbook) , as they have the potential to keep it close.