2023 WEEK 1 NCAA FOOTBALL PICKS
Now, it’s really time to get things going. In words similar to the great Steve Harvey, “we are Sports Hub, let’s get it on! Let’s play some college football! Week 1 NCAA football picks are here and our college football experts are 100 percent ready to strap it up and attack this season.
After Week 0 whet our appetites, we can finally dig into the meat of the college football season. Georgia, of course, is the two-time defending national champion. The Bulldogs, who went 15-0 and beat TCU for the title in 2022, are the betting favorite to win it all again. No team in the current wire service era has ever won three consecutive national championships. Minnesota (1934-36) is the only NCAAF team to ever win three straight titles, doing so just before the start of the AP poll in 1936.
Huge Point Spreads Dominate Week 1
Week 1 NCAA football picks can be tricky sometimes. Most games played in the first week of the new season are non-conference games. It’s very seldom that two conference opponents meet right away to start the CFB campaign. However, that is exactly what we have with Ohio State and Indiana in Week 1. The Buckeyes, of course, are one of the favorites to win the Big Ten championship as well as the College Football Playoff national title.
Ohio State provides a great example of one of the nation’s elite teams playing an inferior opponent – Indiana – in Week 1. There’s no question the Buckeyes are the favorite – -6000 on the moneyline – but how do you navigate a 29-point spread? It’s a great question and it’s why you can find the best Week 1 NCAA football picks here at Sports Hub. If you’re looking for answers, our experts have them.
Week 1 NCAA Football Picks
With a full slate of games finally, college football is really back. In true CFB fashion, the season gets started on Thursday night with 11 games. Topping the Thursday schedule is the matchup between Florida and No. 14 Utah. Friday offers up another helping of games, including the ultimate Miami showdown – Miami (OH) vs. Miami. There are Week 1 NCAA football picks in the system already for that game.
Saturday is when we really get after it and a number of the top teams in the country are on the bill. As mentioned previously, most of these games are out of conference. We get a lot of elite teams playing inferior opponents in Week 1. The result is some pretty wild point spreads. Take No. 2 Michigan as an example. The Wolverines host East Carolina and Michigan is a 35.5-point favorite. Tennessee, ranked No. 12 is a 28-point home underdog against Virginia and last year’s runner-up TCU is a 21-point favorite against Prime Time himself, Deion Sanders and Colorado.
Making sense of these double-digit spreads can be a challenge in these early season non-conference games. Not to worry, our CFB experts have your back with analysis, inside information, and winning Week 1 NCAA football picks. No matter the bet type – moneyline, spread, etc. – Sports Hub handicappers have loads of experience producing winners. Each week of the NCAAF season, our cappers will sort through the data and arm you for the coming weekend’s games. That’s why Sports Hub is your one-stop resource this college football season.
NCAA Football Picks Week 1
Best Pick ATS
The Duke’s Mayo Bowl will feature the North Carolina Tar Heels taking on the South Carolina Gamecocks in a rivalry game. Both teams really want to score when they have the football, but UNC has more weapons.
South Carolina just hasn’t proven that it has a defense capable of slowing down the Tar Heels, and that will create some issues. North Carolina will get a score late in order to pick up a season-opening win.
- North Carolina Tar Heels -2.5
Best Moneyline Pick
The UTSA Roadrunners visit the Houston Cougars on Saturday night, and the spread is basically even for this game. Both teams finished the 2022 season on a roll, and that should set the stage for a great game in this one.
The Roadrunners proved a season ago that they can be great on defense, but they are going to face a Houston team that can score in a hurry. Houston is going to get a boost from playing at home as they pick up a slight upset in Week 1.
- Houston Cougars EVEN
Best Total Pick
You should also be looking at point totals when making NCAA Football picks Week 1, and there is a Big Ten matchup to explore. The Ohio State Buckeyes visit the Indiana Hoosiers, and this game should feature plenty of offense.
Ohio State will likely be one of the best offenses in the country this season, and the Indiana defense won’t be able to slow them down. The Hoosiers will add a few touchdowns to ensure that the point total goes over.
- Ohio State/Indiana Over 59.0
Best Player Prop
The Texas Longhorns are expected to have a great season in 2023, and quarterback Quinn Ewers will be leading the way. While that may be true, there is also plenty of pressure on Ewers to have a dominant season.
Texas shouldn’t have any trouble scoring points against Rice in Week 1, but it’s not going to be a perfect day for Ewers or the Longhorns. Bet on the star QB to throw at least one interception in this matchup on Saturday.
- Quinn Ewers Under 0.5 Interceptions
Best Team Prop
East Carolina visits Michigan on Saturday, and this is going to be a long day for the Pirates in this matchup. Michigan is the number two ranked team in the country, and the Wolverines are a team that is loaded with talent.
The Pirates are typically a team that outscores teams in order to win games, and that defense will be struggling big time in this game. Michigan is going to score at least seven touchdowns in this one as they roll to a blowout win.
- Michigan Wolverines Over 44.5 Points
Toledo Rockets vs. Illinois Fighting Illini
The Toledo Rockets of the MAC visit the Illini Fighting Illini of the Big Ten Conference on Saturday night. Illinois feels like a program on the rise, but that team lost a ton of stars from last year’s team.
MAC teams always have a way of keeping games close, and that will happen in this matchup as well. Illinois will win, but they will be unable to cover the spread.
- Toledo Rockets +9.5
Buffalo Bulls vs. Wisconsin Badgers
There is another MAC-Big Ten Conference matchup to look at on Saturday as Buffalo is ready to visit Wisconsin. The Badgers are ranked in the top 25 heading into the year, while Buffalo will simply be trying to get into a bowl game.
Wisconsin is never a team that scores a ton of points, though, and that should keep Buffalo in this game.
- Buffalo Bulls +27.5
Fresno State Bulldogs vs. Purdue Boilermakers
Fresno State travels to Purdue on Saturday for an interesting matchup, and the spread is just 4.5 points for this one. Fresno State should be a team to watch in the Mountain West Conference, while Purdue might struggle in the Big Ten.
This was a good game scheduled by Purdue, though, and it’s going to give them a chance to be successful right away. It won’t be easy, but Purdue is going to win.
- Purdue Boilermakers -195
Utah State Aggies vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
Utah State visits Iowa on Saturday, and this is a game to watch if you like defense. The Aggies have always been a great defensive team in their league, and Iowa feels like a team that just refuses to score.
Betting the under on any Iowa game is always a good option, and that’s the way to go with this one. Twenty-eight points should win this game, but Iowa might struggle to even get to that number.
- Utah State/Iowa Under 45.0
Arkansas State Red Wolves vs. Oklahoma Sooners
Arkansas State will try to stun Oklahoma on Saturday, but the spread in this game is nearly five touchdowns. The Red Wolves have been a successful team in recent years, but they aren’t on the level of Oklahoma.
The Sooners are a team that always loves to score, and Arkansas State enjoys playing fast as well. The Red Wolves just won’t be able to get any stops in this one, as it’s going to get out of hand.
- Arkansas State/Oklahoma Over 58.5 Points
Outstanding Schedule for Week 1 NCAA Football Picks
What a schedule! All the top teams in the country are in action this week. Will Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama, and the rest of the elites get off to a good start in 2023? Will new starting quarterbacks have an impact on their teams’ respective Week 1 results? Can any of the big dogs cover those huge spreads?
If you’re searching for answers, you’re in the right place. Our handicappers’ Week 1 NCAA football picks and accompanying analysis will put you on the path to success.
Make sure you come back next week and every week of the 2023 season. Sports Hub will have the inside scoop on each week’s schedule as well as reviews of the top games of the weekend. You’ll find betting tips, weekly picks and predictions, and much more at your new home for everything college football!
Week 1 NCAA Football Picks FAQs
How do you bet on CFB games with large point spreads?
Early in a college football season, it is typical to see superior teams favored by double digits over their inferior non-conference opponents. As far as Week 1 NCAA football picks go, Sports Hub handicappers will analyze line movement and public betting as part of their research into how to bet such a game. You would be wise to do the same.
Do big Week 1 favorites typically cover the point spread?
There are numerous NCAA football picks in Week 1 where a favorite is being backed despite a double-digit spread. There is a trend in these types of games over the last several years. Since 2016, underdogs of at least 28 points in August and September have covered the spread at a little over a 56 percent clip.
How do I bet on CFB totals in Week 1?
One of the numbers to look for is 65. Over the last seven years, early season games with a total of 65 or higher go Under at about a 56 percent rate. It may take time for offenses to catch up to defenses. Regardless, don’t follow trends blindly. You can alway consult Sports Hub CFB handicappers and their Week 1 NCAA football picks.