Week 0 is nearly upon us, as a long college football offseason comes to an end. Finally, we receive a much-needed break from realignment rumors and can focus on the on-field results fans love to debate.
Week 0, which takes place on Aug. 26, doesn’t include a full schedule of games. Still, we get glimpses of a couple of nationally relevant programs and numerous intriguing Group of Five programs. Fans will even be treated to a pair of conference games, a nice warmup for a busy Sept. 2 schedule.
Let’s take a look at the Week 0 schedule, and the college football betting odds for those contests.
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Week 0 College Football Betting Odds
Navy vs. Notre Dame (-19.5)
The Irish are nearly three-touchdown favorites in a game taking place in Dublin, Ireland. Given Notre Dame’s brand recognition, this game will likely draw plenty of headlines during Week 0.
The Irish are hopeful that new quarterback Sam Hartman, a Wake Forest transfer, can help them get off to a better start in 2023 than in 2022. Notre Dame lost its first two games last fall, but it did win six of its final seven contests.
UTEP (-1) at Jacksonville State
Neither of these teams are Notre Dame, but based on the betting odds, this could be one of the most competitive Week 0 matchups. It’s also a conference game featuring two Conference USA teams. This should be interesting, especially with Jacksonville State transitioning to the FBS level and hoping to surpass expectations against CUSA peers.
UMass at New Mexico State (-7.5)
Football is football, right?
While neither team is expected to be all that good in 2023, the two squads will compete on ESPN in front of a national audience. The single-digit spread suggests this game could be competitive through four quarters.
Ohio at San Diego State (-3.5)
Sign me up for more Group of Five crossover games, which help give us valuable comparison points when looking at G5 conference strength. As far as Group of Five games to watch in Week 0, this one tops the list.
Hawaii at Vanderbilt (-17.5)
The Commodores defeated Hawaii 63-10 in Hawaii last season, a tough result for the Rainbow Warriors. Hawaii has low expectations again this season, but the program is good enough for a better showing against Vanderbilt this season. As for Vanderbilt, the Commodores need every nonconference win they can get before facing their SEC schedule.
San Jose State at USC (-30.5)
Oddsmakers don’t expect a tight game, but there are worse ways to spend a Saturday night than watching reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams and USC. Are the Trojans poised to contend for a national title in 2023? We’ll get our first look at the team against a decent San Jose State program.
Florida International at Louisiana Tech (-10.5)
Another CUSA league game, it’s exciting to see a couple of conference games in Week 0. This is the type of game that could matter for teams in November, as they battle for position in the conference standings and fight for a possible bowl berth.