We are back with more Best Bets! The college football season gets going in earnest this weekend with a great slate of games. We will be doing things a little different with just three picks this year, as you can catch the rest of my picks on the Around The Book pod each Wednesday evening. The picks below all offer great value, especially when parlayed together. All lines come via Draft Kings as of Friday morning. This week’s picks have a combined +649 odds when parlayed. Let’s get started and dive into the best bets in college football for the opening week!
#21 North Carolina at South Carolina: South Carolina Money Line (+114)
Beamer ball baby! The Gamecocks have flown under the radar all summer despite playing some great football to close out the 2022 season. On the flip side, the Tar Heels have gotten a ton of hype, including a top-25 ranking, despite a terrible finish to last season.
The matchup between quarterbacks Spencer Rattler and Drake Maye is a microcosm of what I mentioned above. Maye has been touted a Heisman hopeful and possible top-five NFL draft pick. It has been nothing but crickets around Rattler. The latter will certainly arrive in Chapel Hill with something to prove.
There is also solid value with this pick. Anytime you can get plus odds on what is essentially a toss-up game, it is hard to pass up. I love the Gamecocks to pull off what could be one of the first ranked upsets of the year. Speaking of possible ranked upsets…
#18 Oregon State at San Jose State: San Jose State +16.5 (-110)
This is one of my favorite picks all weekend. There is even some temptation to take the Spartans money line at a juicy +550. For the sake of the parlay, let’s play it safe with this generous spread.
We saw San Jose State give USC a solid fight last weekend with a strong first half. Unfortunately, the talent deficit — especially at quarterback — won out and the Trojans pulled away in the second half. Oregon State does not have the same overwhelming talent on their roster as USC, especially at quarterback. Clemson transfer D.J. Uiagalelei is far cry from Caleb Williams.
The Beavers garnered a lot of hype this summer after posting a 10-win season in 2022. A lot of that is based on the assumption that they have upgraded at quarterback. That is not a guarantee. Don’t expect this offense to run it up on San Jose State the way that USC did. The Spartans should have no problem keeping within two scores. This should be a fun game to watch on Sunday, just like our next pick.
#5 LSU vs #8 Florida State: LSU -2.5 (-110)
We have to bet the biggest game of the weekend. This one has all the makings of a fun matchup. Two top-10 ranked blue-blood programs playing at a neutral site at night in the season opener. What’s not to like? The best part is there is a great betting opportunity here as well.
Full disclosure, I love the Tigers this year. They are my pick to win the SEC. Also, I think Florida State is, once again, overrated. This is not to say that the Seminoles are a bad team. It is more that they are a good team in an average conference. Meanwhile, LSU is a great team in a great conference.
Expect the Tigers to come out and make a statement. Head coach Brian Kelly will be looking to avenge last year’s 24-23 loss to Florida State, which was his LSU debut. The Tigers are much better this year, thanks in large part to the growth of Jayden Daniels. He should have a great game, and LSU should win this one by at least a touchdown.
Week 1 College Football Best Bets Recap
- South Carolina ML (+114)
- San Jose State +16.5 (-110)
- LSU -2.5 (-110)