Dan’s CFB Week 1 Predictions – September 2, 2023
DAN’S CFB WEEK 1 PREDICTIONS – September 2, 2023 –The Week 0 warm-ups are over, and now everyone’s in action for Week 1 College Football action. Thanks to some ACC action on Sunday and Monday, Week 1 will stretch out for a full five days this week. So if you’ve been waiting all summer for college football bets, now’s your chance.
With so many matchups on the table, there will be a few value plays in the mix. Here are some top CFB Week 1 predictions as August ends and September begins. Be sure to check out some of our other plays for Week 1, including Florida vs. Utah.
CFB Week 1 Predictions
Nebraska vs. Minnesota (-7.5, 44.5), Thursday
With eight defensive starters back and a coach who knows what he’s doing, Nebraska could surprise people. The Cornhuskers played much harder after Scott Frost’s firing, and they’ve consistently played hard against Minnesota.
The $5 Bits of Broken Chair Trophy has resided in Minneapolis four years running, but each of the past three years were decided by one touchdown exactly.
Minnesota is a team that gets better as the season goes along, not one that plays its best football in September. The Golden Gophers have covered just twice in their past eight openers, and the record drops to 0-5-1 against teams not named New Mexico State.
They’re breaking in three new starters on the line and a new running back, and they couldn’t run the ball very well on the Huskers last year anyway. The Gophers should win, but it’ll be one that Nebraska makes Minnesota work for, and it’s on the right side of the critical number.
Pick: Nebraska +7.5
Louisville vs. Georgia Tech (+8, 49.5), Friday
Georgia Tech has a lot to figure out and not a lot of time to do it. Louisville actually has the experience edge because coach Jeff Brohm chose to import quarterback Jack Plummer, who he originally recruited to Purdue. Plummer spent last season quarterbacking California, but he spent three seasons in Brohm’s offense in West Lafayette and knows it well.
Georgia Tech debuts both a new offensive coordinator and a new backfield, but the Yellow Jackets still have no answer for a powerful ground game. With Louisville featuring Jawhar Jordan at running back, it’s going to be difficult for Tech to get the Cardinals off the field.
Even with a nominal home crowd at the Falcons’ facility in Atlanta, Tech looks overmatched here.
Pick: Louisville -8
Northern Illinois vs. Boston College (-9.5, 50.5), Saturday
Underestimate Northern Illinois at your peril. The Huskies got devastated by injuries last season, but they are healthy this season and have experience on their side. Rocky Lombardi is a senior-plus quarterback who led the Huskies to a MAC title in 2021. If he can avoid another injury, then he’ll be in line for a strong season. With all five offensive line starters back, there’s a good chance that happens.
Boston College has inexperience in the defensive trenches and the secondary, and the Eagles will debut a new quarterback after Phil Jurkovec left for Pittsburgh. BC only averaged 17.8 points per game last season, and they’re facing an NIU squad that’s 14-8 ATS away from home under coach Thomas Hammock.
Since Hammock took over, the Huskies have covered at Utah, Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Tulsa and beat Georgia Tech outright. He knows how to prep his team to compete on the road, and I expect another strong showing away from DeKalb for the Huskies.
Pick: Northern Illinois +9.5
West Virginia vs. Penn State (-20.5, 52)
It’s hard to find a worse matchup for the Mountaineers in Week 1 than Penn State in Happy Valley. The Nittany Lions’ tandem of Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen ran wild last year, and Penn State’s got four starters back on the offensive line.
New quarterback Drew Allar doesn’t have to be spectacular to lead the Nittany Lions to a rout. He just has to play capable football. If he does, then the ground game will take care of the rest. This could be a long day for West Virginia.
Pick: Penn State -20.5
Northern Illinois +9.5
Penn State -20.5