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College Football “Week 0” Opening Lines

College football gives us a sneak peak at the ‘23 season with some intriguing matchups

Northwestern Wildcats v Nebraska Cornhuskers - Aer Lingus College Football Classic 2022 Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images

College football is officially back! Kind of!

This sport has all sorts of weird and whacky quirks but one of the best is “Week 0”, wherein a bunch of teams play college football but the season has not officially started yet. Awesome.

But, hey! Games means gambling opportunities so here’s the list of games for Saturday along with the spread and over/unders for each game. I also gave you a little reason to watch if you needed a reason.

Which you don’t. Because it’s college football. And the offseason is 9 months long.

All games for Week 0 are on Saturday, August 26th. All times central. For the betting odds we’re using DraftKings Sportsbook, who is an SBNation parter.

1:30p: Navy at Notre Dame (-20.5) - O/U 50.5 [in Dublin, Ireland]

College football wants to grow its impact across the globe so they send the military boys on boats to fight the caricatured mascots of a real country that exists today in said country of origin? Sure! Notre Dame got off to slow start last year under first year coach Marcus Freeman and might still be outgunned in most positions...but Navy fired their statue-worthy coach and promoted the DC who is still running the triple option, despite the updated rules that have completely nerfed it’s usage. Could be interesting.

4:30p: UTEP (-1) at Jacksonville State - O/U 52

“Hold up, Nate” you say to yourself, “I thought games featuring an FCS opponent don’t get lines in Vegas!”. Au contraire, mon frère! Jacksonville State is FBS’ sparkling new addition for the ‘23 season, and the Gamecocks will welcome a quietly competent UTEP squad that’s coming off of its first bowl berth since 2014*.

*Yes, we’re ignoring the fact that they went on that bowl trip thanks to good grades for a 5-7 team. I’m building interest, dammit, not facts.

6:00p: Ohio at San Diego State (-3.5) - O/U 49

Ohio has arguably the best G5 quarterback in Kurtis Rourke. San Diego State hates scoring points so much that neither their defense nor their offense allow people to do so.

6:00p: UMass at New Mexico State (-8) - O/U 44.5

Struggling FBS independent UMass is so desperate to find teams to play that they will wind up playing both FBS universities from the Land of Enchantment, opening up with a Week 0 voyage to Las Cruces to play New Mexico State. Both programs are considered some of the worst in all of FBS, but while former Michigan DC Don Brown is crafting the Minutemen into the best 1980s teams possible, us Mizzou fans saw first hand how feisty Jerry Kill has his Aggies turned around in a single year. The winner of the three-way-New Mexico-NMSU-UMass battle royale claims a trophy I just made up that is a bowl of clam chowder with blue meth sprinkled on top of it.

6:30p: Hawai’i at Vanderbilt (-17.5) - O/U 55.5

This game was played on the islands last year and was the college football world’s collectives realization of “oh, Clark Lea might have Vanderbilt on the right track here”. Rainbow Warrior legend Timmy Chang has a long build ahead of him but still fields a fun offense. Additionally, this will be the first chance to see if Vandy’s A.J. Swann is even slightly more mobile or accurate than he was last year.

7:00p: San Jose State at USC (-30.5) - O/U 64.5

As a split Mizzou-USC household this will be the game the Edwards family tunes into for Week 0. San Jose State has proven to be reliable pain in the butt - and occasional conference winner - under head coach Brent Brennan. But USC has Lincoln Riley, reigning Heisman-winner Caleb Williams, and a lot doubters to disprove in Year 2 of the Riley Renaissance.

8:00p: Florida International at Louisiana Tech (-10.5) - O/U 59

We all witnessed Sonny Cumbie’s LaTech squad get thrashed on a beautiful Thursday night last year so if you wrote them off, that’s totally fair. But amid the blowouts Tech also lost several close games and gave plenty of teams a run, especially late in the year. There’s no expectations for the worst defense in the country but the offense wound up being Top 60, despite juggling quarterbacks. FIU is hoping former San Jose State and Colorado miracle worker Mike MacIntyre can summon the same black magic he used at his previous stops to build a winning culture at a school that has yet to really see long term success since prematurely canning Mario Cristobal a decade ago.

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.