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College football is BACK and we've got fresh picks for you every week of the season. Our team will be releasing our picks for the best college football bets for Saturday NCAAF games every Friday to hopefully help you win more.
You can see all of our current and historical college football picks in our Best College Football Bets & Picks Guide.
With that said, let's jump into it.
Below you'll find our picks for the best college football bets to make on Saturday (9/2) for Week 1 of the 2023 NCAAF season. Remember, you can always compare college football lines and odds by sportsbooks here.
Best College Football Week 1 Picks
University of Alabama –39.5 vs. Middle Tennessee State – 7:30 pm ET
Nick Saban will certainly have the Crimson Tide ready to go in a Week 1 opener against much lesser competition. Alabama has a clear size advantage against a Middle Tennessee State team that struggled to run the ball last year and lost a lot of production from the WR position in the off season. So don’t expect MTSU to do much in the way of scoring.
Alabama may feel disrespected based on the preseason rankings and you can be sure Nick Saban will have that in mind during the opener as he looks to send a strong message.
The talk all off season has been about the quarterback position for Alabama. Saban is playing things close to the vest, but expect Jalen Milroe to get the start. That does not necessarily mean he will play the entire game though and when guys behind Milroe get their chance, Saban will be eager to see what they can do and will give them chances to make plays even if the score is lopsided.
The MTSU defense gave up close to 30 points per game last season but used their offense to win games. That won’t be an option in this one and it should get ugly early.
While the spread is large, look for Alabama to make a strong statement in Week 1 with an impressive win by 40 or more points.
Washington @ Boise State OVER 58.5 – 3:30 pm ET
The Washington Huskies averaged 39.7 points per game last year and lost very few players to the NFL and the transfer portal. Their dominant passing game—that ranked 1st in the nation in passing yards per game—is basically completely intact from last year, with Michael Penix Jr., Rome Ozune, and Jalen McMillan all coming back.
Washington’s defense averaged a decent 26.3 points allowed per game, but that’s with a game against Portland State from the FCS, where they held them to only 6 points, and a game against a terrible Colorado Buffaloes team, where they kept them to just 7. Their defense will more realistically give up around 30+ points a game this season.
Boise State is a pretty good team that averaged almost 30 points per game last year and allowed only 18.5 points per game, but those numbers are likely inflated due to their weak schedule. Their defense is also likely to be worse this year after they lost a few key pieces like J.L. Skinner and Scott Matlock. Their defense shouldn’t be much of a problem for Washington’s vaunted passing game, and they should also be able to score a decent amount against the Huskies' subpar defense.
Overall, I expect a lot of fireworks in this game with little defensive pushback. Washington will want to start off their season strong, with Michael Penix potentially making a Heisman run this season. I also expect Boise to be throwing the ball a lot, hoping to keep up with Washington and try to keep from being blown out in Week 1.
Wyoming +14.5 vs. Texas Tech – 7:30 pm ET
This matchup will be a meeting of strength on strength as the Wyoming defense—with 10 returning starters—tries to keep the high-flying Texas Tech offense—which returns all their core offensive players from last year—in check.
This game will be played at elevation, which is something Texas Tech is not used to. It’s surprising to see a Power 5 school make this road trip. And you can’t help but wonder if Texas Tech may be looking ahead to a big game the following week at home against Oregon.
While Wyoming has nothing to look ahead to, this is a Super Bowl of sorts for the program, getting a Power 5 team to come to Laramie for the first time since 2019 when Missouri visited and lost outright.
Wyoming loves to run the ball and, with the new clock rules in affect, they should have no trouble shortening the game and keeping themselves within reach of Texas Tech throughout the game. Wyoming averaged 5.1 yards per carry last year, good for 20th in the country. Texas Tech gave up over 178 yards per game rushing last year, 97th worst in the country.
Given the tough situation for Texas Tech and the Wyoming ability to keep the Texas Tech offense of the field with their own strong ground game, expect Wyoming to keep it close and cover the 14.5 point spread.
Colorado +20.5 @ TCU – 12 pm ET
It’s finally Coach Prime time in Boulder! After a historically horrible season last year, the Buffaloes made the bold move to bring in Jackson State coach and NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders.
Perhaps more important than the arrival of Deion himself is the arrival of all the new transfers, including Deion’s son Shedeur Sanders (QB) and former number two overall recruit Travis Hunter (CB/WR).
Despite some controversial statements and Deion’s relative inexperience as a head coach for a major program, Colorado seems destined for a quick turnaround. Unfortunately for them, they run into TCU to start this season. TCU made a surprise run to the National Championship game (before getting absolutely embarrassed by Georgia) last season and has high expectations for this season as well. They could be a very hard team to beat this season, just as they were last season.
The problem for TCU is that the core that led them to the playoffs were all drafted and are now in the NFL. Max Duggan, Quentin Johnston, and Derius Davis are all Chargers, Kendre Miller is a Saint, Dee Winters is a 49er, Dylan Horton is a Texan, and Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson is a Ram.
Don’t get me wrong, they still have some talented players, and their recruiting classes have just gotten stronger and stronger, but we shouldn’t expect them to be as dominant this season as they were last year.
Colorado should be able to hold their own with pure talent alone. Are they experienced and cohesive enough to win? I doubt it. But I don’t see them getting blown out by a TCU team that is also trying to figure out who they are.
Virginia Tech –15.5 vs Old Dominion – 8 pm ET
This is a big revenge spot for Virginia Tech, coming off a disappointing 20-17 loss to Old Dominion on the road last season. The game is in Blacksburg this year, which is not an easy place for an inexperienced team like Old Dominion to play.
Virginia Tech should be in a position to get revenge as they return 7 starters including QB Grant Wells. They also return 7 starters on defense under second-year year head coach Brent Pry.
The win for Old Dominion against Virginia Tech last year was one of only 3 for the entire season. They were not a good team last season and it’s not expected to improve much this season as they just return 4 starters on offense and 3 on defense.
Old Dominion has a lot of questions at the quarterback position and not a lot of experience or answers for them. The Virginia Tech defense should be able to keep Old Dominion from racking up too many points in this one.
The Virginia Tech offense is improved at the WR position and will look to find some rhythm and set the tone for the season in Week 1. Look for them to score some points in this and cover the -15.5 to open the season.
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