I’m off to a 1-2 start with this year’s Group of Five best bets after Week 0. It’s time for me to learn to stop wagering on Navy in its season opener.
After a losing week, I’m hoping to get back on track this week with a full slate of college football games. Let’s dive into the college football betting odds and find a handful of wagers worth taking.
Place College Football Wagers at BetMGM!
South Alabama +6.5 vs. Tulane
I love what the Jaguars return on both sides of the ball, as they might have the best returning group of players in the Sun Belt. Quarterback Carter Bradley has a case as the best Sun Belt quarterback not named Grayson McCall.
Given South Alabama’s strong 2022 season and returning production, it would be a surprise if South Alabama doesn’t contend for the Sun Belt West crown. While I like what Tulane did last season and expect the Green Wave to be solid again in 2023, I prefer the underdog in this matchup.
UTSA -1.5 over Houston
I think UTSA is the best Group of Five team in the country. Head coach Jeff Traylor has done a tremendous job recruiting, loading the Roadrunners up with an abundance of talent on each side of the ball. Quarterback Frank Harris might be the best signal caller in the Group of Five, giving UTSA an elite offensive leader.
Houston, which is now in the Big 12, has a good program. The Cougars, however, lost quarterback Clayton Tune and wide receiver Tank Dell this offseason. I trust UTSA more than Dana Holgorsen’s Houston squad.
Virginia Tech -16.5 vs. Old Dominion
As someone who enjoys the Sun Belt, part of me hopes I’m wrong in predicting a Virginia Tech blowout. Last year, ODU upset the Hokies in Norfolk. Virginia Tech gained more yardage than ODU in that game, but self-inflicted mistakes cost the ACC program.
This year, with a better roster and the game at home, I expect Virginia Tech to open the season with a comfortable victory. As long as Virginia Tech avoids special teams errors and turnovers, the Hokies should pull away over 60 minutes against an Old Dominion roster lacking top-end talent. It doesn’t help the Monarchs that dynamic wide receiver Ali Jennings transferred this offseason from Old Dominion to Virginia Tech.
Coastal Carolina +14.5 vs. UCLA
UCLA’s quarterback battle appears undecided, as the Bruins may trot out multiple options Saturday. Coastal Carolina has no such issue, as Grayson McCall is one of the best quarterbacks at the Group of Five level.
While Jamey Chadwell leaving makes me wonder what the Chanticleers will look like offensively under Tim Beck, I trust Coastal Carolina’s offense to excel with McCall in 2023. Defensively, the Chanticleers need to be better than 2022, but I’ll bank on enough improvement there for Coastal Carolina to stay within two scores of the Bruins.
Toledo +9.5 vs. Illinois
Toledo is expected to be among the best teams in the MAC, and the Rockets have only lost two games by more than a touchdown in the last three seasons. One of those two losses was a 77-21 defeat to Ohio State last year.
Well, Illinois isn’t quite Ohio State. Toledo should hang tough in this game, even if the Rockets come up short of securing a win. Quarterback Dequan Finn could give Illinois’ stout defense enough trouble to keep the game within 10 points. The Rockets played Notre Dame within three points in 2021.