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Week 0 NCAA College Football Upset Alert

Maquel Haywood Navy Midshipmen Army Black Knights
Maquel Haywood 24 of the Navy Midshipmen scores a touchdown during overtime against the Army Black Knights Tim NwachukwuGetty ImagesAFP

Week 0 is the precursor to a full slate of games the following week but we have three underdogs this weekend that are worthy of a wager. So, let’s take a look at our first college football picks of the season and make some money.

Picks Summary


Navy Midshipmen vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Saturday, August 26, 2023 – 02:30 PM EDT at Aviva Stadium


  • · Navy ranked fourth in rushing last season, averaging over 241 yards per game.
  • · Navy ranked sixth in rushing defense, allowing just 88.9 yards per game.
  • · Navy is 4-1-1 ATS in their last six neutral site games.

Navy will have its hands full when they take on No. 13 Notre Dame, but several factors are working in favor of the Midshipmen. First, we should note that many quickly scanning this game will assume Navy is the home team as they are located on the right of the “vs.” and will assume they are getting the Irish in the friendly confines of Notre Dame Stadium.

However, this game will be played in Ireland and this could have deleterious effects on a high-flying pass-oriented offense like Notre Dame’s. Jet lag is real, and acclimating to a new environment is never easy. And while the same could be said of Navy, we know that the Middies are committed to the ground and pound, having averaged 241.2 yards per game last season, good for fourth in the nation.

We should also reflect on last year’s meeting between these squads when Navy hung tough throughout and nearly pulled an upset in a 35-32 loss to the Irish but covered easily as 17-point underdogs. Why not a repeat in this one? Navy will chew up plenty of clock, which will limit Notre Dame’s offensive opportunities.

Lastly, Navy has a solid run defense and Notre Dame could become a bit too predictable in going to the air, allowing the Middies to scheme for a pass-happy Irish attack.

Grab the points and cash a ticket with Navy.

NCAAF Pick: Navy +21 (-109) at BetRivers


UTEP Miners vs. Jacksonville State Gamecocks

Saturday, August 26, 2023 – 05:30 PM EDT at Burgess-Snow Field


  • · UTEP went 2-4 over their last six games of the 2022 season.
  • · Jacksonville State went 9-2 SU last season.
  • · Jacksonville State will be making its FBS debut on Saturday versus UTEP

This is a Conference USA clash between UTEP and the newest FBS entry, Jacksonville State, not to be confused with Deion Sanders’ former coaching home, Jackson State, of the FCS’s Southwest Athletic Conference.

It’s a tall task to ask a team competing at the next level to notch a victory in their debut, but the sportsbooks initially had the Gamecocks installed as 1½ point home favorites. However, that number has turned around to where the Miners are now one-point favorites.

It’s not much of a difference unless, of course, the game is close. I don’t believe this will be a tight game as Jacksonville State ranked No. 10 in FCS offenses, averaging 36.2 points per game last season, and should be able to pass on this UTEP defense. The Miners have a weak secondary and a porous defensive line. The oddsmakers had this game right at the onset, but the public has bet enough on the Miners to get the line to flip.

That’s good news for us because I’d rather be getting the point than laying it with the Cocks.

NCAAF Pick: Jacksonville State +1 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook


Ohio Bobcats vs. San Diego State Aztecs

Saturday, August 26, 2023 – 07:00 PM EDT at Snapdragon Stadium


  • · San Diego State is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games.
  • · Ohio is 8-1-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
  • · Ohio is 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 road games.

If you have been monitoring the college football odds board then you are undoubtedly aware that the line has tumbled on the Aztecs, initially opening as 4-point favorites but now settling as low as -2-point home chalk at many of the best online sportsbooks. However, if you have more than one out, then you can still find Ohio +2½, but don’t wait too long as this line could drop even further.

If there’s one reason to back the Bobcats it is last year’s MAC Player of the Year, Kurtis Rourke, who will be back under center after sustaining an ACL tear late in the season. This kid is the real deal and in 11 games he completed over 69% of his passes and threw for 3,256 yards with a touchdown to interception ratio of 25:4.

The reason the line has dropped is that it has recently been reported that Rourke will suit up for Saturday’s opener after conflicting earlier reports regarding his status. Ohio could very well wind up in the MAC Championship game again this year after falling short to Toledo last season with backup CJ Harris in the pocket.

San Diego State is a middling group with plenty of new pieces to this year’s edition. It will take time for this team to become accustomed to the offensive and defensive gameplans but Ohio won’t have that problem with several returning starters.

Take the points or bet the Cats on the moneyline (+110) at BetRivers.

NCAAF Pick: Ohio +2 ½ (-110) at BetRivers


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