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Dan’s CFB Week 0 Predictions – August 26, 2023

Dan’s CFB Week 0 Predictions – August 26, 2023

DAN’S CFB WEEK 0 PREDICTIONS – August 26, 2023 – It’s finally time for college football for real in 2023, as the season gets started with a handful of Week 0 games. This used to be reserved for teams making international appearances or playing in Hawaii, but now there are enough games to give us plenty of action in August.

There’s still nowhere near enough for a full slate of action, but we’ve got a few value plays to take advantage of this week. Here’s where I’m looking for August 26.

CFB Week 0 Predictions

Massachusetts vs. New Mexico State (-8, 44.5)

Picture: Meg Potter/Sun-News

Sometimes, you have to dive a little into the less-appealing games in college football to find value plays. New Mexico State looks like one of them. They’ve played Massachusetts two straight years and seven times overall, and they own a 6-1 mark all-time against the Minutemen.

They’ve also gone 6-1 ATS, including covering each of the past two seasons.


The Aggies won four of five last year to make a bowl, and they were cover machines down the stretch last season. After getting blasted by Wisconsin to start 0-4, New Mexico State went 7-2 SU and 8-1 ATS (and the one was at Missouri) in its final nine games. Over its past 15 games against non-Power 5’s, the Aggies are 13-2 ATS.

They also have nine starters back on offense, and they should be ready to roll against Massachusetts, which went 1-11 last year and has a long way to go to even become a decent FBS team.

Pick: New Mexico State -8

Ohio vs. San Diego State (-3.5, 49)

Picture: Jae C. Hong/AP

Because of how last season ended, people forget just how good Ohio was. With quarterback Kurtis Rourke healthy again, the Bobcats’ offense should get rolling again. Sam Wiglusz isn’t a name most people know because he got stuck behind the depth at Ohio State for three years. Last season, he moved down U.S. 33 to Athens and showed exactly why he had been a Big Ten receiver in the first place, catching 11 touchdown passes to lead Ohio.

San Diego State isn’t known for starting well, failing to cover in four of five openers (the COVID year of 2020 the exception). They’re also breaking in new receivers and don’t have much experience in their front seven. That should allow Ohio to go on some lengthy drives. I really like getting a free field goal in a game I suspect Ohio might win outright.

Pick: Ohio +3.5

Hawaii vs. Vanderbilt (-16.5, 55.5)

Darryl Oumi/Getty Images

This isn’t where Hawaii wanted to be when it scheduled this series with Vandy. The Rainbow Warriors thought they had things going in the right direction five years ago, with Nick Rolovich running things. But then Rolovich went off to Washington State and Todd Graham set the program back years with culture clash.

Timmy Chang’s made some positive strides, and Hawaii was actually an excellent cover team last year, going 9-4 ATS while going 3-10 SU. But that was in large part to fallout from what Vanderbilt did to the Rainbow Warriors last year, as the Commodores’ 63-10 win in Honolulu last year meant Hawaii faced some embarrassing spreads (one of their successful covers was a 46-point loss to Michigan because the Wolverines were giving 52).

Vandy ran all over Hawaii last season and has experience back on both sides of the ball. A team that handled Florida at home last year should be fine against Hawaii.

Pick: Vanderbilt -16.5

FCS: North Alabama vs. Mercer (Line Not Available)

Picture: UNA Athletics

Betting FCS games can be very profitable for two reasons. First, few people know much about the FCS, so you might have an advantage over the book. Second, the lines don’t go up until Friday in many cases, so you’ve got to be on your game while being on your own.

Mercer’s been a first-half hero for the past two seasons, as its only losses before mid-October were to Alabama and Auburn. The Bears have never made the FCS playoffs before, but they think they can pull it off this season.

And their two biggest reasons are their star receivers: Ty James and Devron Harper. Between them, they caught 130 passes for 2,092 yards and 23 touchdowns last season, and both are back for more.

North Alabama has found its transition to Division I rough. The Lions went 0-10 against Division I foes last year and couldn’t stop anybody save for 2-9 Indiana State. After a 17-14 loss to the Sycamores in Week 1, North Alabama didn’t hold another Division I school under 38 points for the rest of the season.

I expect a lot of points in the first FCS game. I don’t know what the line will be yet, but as long as it’s not crazy, I’m playing the over.

Pick: Play Over Up to 64.5

FUN My Pillow

Dan’s Picks

  • New Mexico State -8

  • Ohio +3.5

  • Vanderbilt -16.5

  • Mercer-North Alabama Over 64.5 or less


  • Dan Angell, Contributor

    Dan is originally from Virginia and has covered basketball games across the country over the past 18 years. He now resides in Indianapolis and loves a good defensive showcase. His Twitter @danangell11.

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