2 College Football Best Bets for Week 0
We’re proud to announce that real football is finally back! While we enjoy watching and betting on NFL preseason games as much as the next degenerate, it’s always more fun to invest in games that actually matter.
Even though the Week 0 slate is a little bit light, we still found 2 college football best bets that we think have value. As always, be sure to shop around for the best possible point spread at all of your favorite online sportsbooks.
Northwestern +13.5 over Nebraska (WynnBet)
We know everyone is excited about the positive moves that the Cornhuskers made in the offseason, but let’s pump the brakes a little bit. The fact remains that Scott Frost is 5-20 in one-possession games at Nebraska. That’s a far cry from the 13-0 season he had in 2017 while at Central Florida.
We are also a bit concerned about some of Frost’s remarks coming out of camp. He was bragging about how much his offensive linemen were throwing up in practice. Does he think he is playing Bear Bryant in The Junction Boys?
Will the Huskers be improved in 2022? Sure, but they have no business laying almost two touchdowns on a neutral field. Mark Whipple coming in as offensive coordinator should help Nebraska’s offense but it’s going to take several games for the players to get comfortable in the new system.
Casey Thompson transferring in at QB is another positive for Nebraska, but is he really that much of an upgrade over Adrian Martinez? Also, we think the Northwestern defensive line will be much improved this season after bringing in three graduate transfers that should start. The Wildcats also bring back Adetomiwa Adebawore, who led the team in sacks last year with 4.5.
Our main concern with this bet is the Northwestern offense, as they were flat-out awful in 2021. Nevertheless, we think Ryan Hilinski will do a better job at QB during his second season with the program. Hilinski has some potential, as he threw for 2,357 yards and 11 TDs as a freshman at South Carolina.
In the end, we just think this is too many points. Northwestern should have a solid ground game with Evan Hull (1,009 yards, 7 TDs) and Cam Porter sharing the workload. We’ll say Nebraska wins, but only by a touchdown.
Illinois -10.5 over Wyoming (BetRivers)
This is more of a fade of Wyoming than anything else. The Cowboys rank near the bottom of the country in returning production and we think they’ll struggle with this early season trip to Champagne. Craig Bohl is a heck of a coach but this will be a long season for him.
Andrew Peasley transfers in from Utah State to be the Wyoming QB. He has some nice tools but we think he’ll have a hard time adjusting to the speed of a Power 5 defense. Peasley also may not have much time to throw since three of his offensive linemen are underclassmen.
Illinois posted a 5-7 record in 2021 but did finish with a surprising 4-5 record in the Big 10. Bret Bielema’s squad was solid on defense but failed to establish much of an identity on offense. Tommy Devito coming in from Syracuse should help stabilize the QB position.
Devito didn’t play much over the past two years but he had a stellar 2019 (2,360 passing yards, 19 TDs). Isaiah Williams will give Devito a reliable option at wideout, as he led the team in receptions and receiving yards last year. Also, don’t forget about standout RB Chase Brown, who ran for 1,005 yards and 5 TDs in 2021.
Wyoming may hang tough for a while in this one, but we expect Illinois to grind them down in the second half. We think Brown and Devito will both have a big day against a lackluster Cowboys defense. The Illini will take this one by 20!
Best of luck with all of your Week 0 action! It’s so good to be back!
Senior Sports Betting Contributor
Mike Noblin is a seasoned handicapper and the lead sports betting author at Hello Rookie. Mike has been involved with the industry for two decades, and has worked as a full time analyst and writer for the past three years. He covers a wide variety of sports, including the NFL, College Football, NBA, College Basketball, and MLB.