College Football Betting Lines: Not Too Soon To Look At Florida-Utah, LSU-Florida State, Other Early Gems

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I know a bunch of college football fans are sitting around and deciding if their favorite team has enough talent to cover first game spreads. The fact is, football season never ends, there’s always something to think about. And thanks to Circa Sports, the early betting lines are set.

There are a number of intriguing games that will go down in week zero and week one of the season, led by LSU-Florida State and Florida-Utah. I think it’s pretty obvious that the Tigers and Seminoles will be a must-watch contest in Orlando on Labor Day weekend.

But, don’t discount a number of other games that will make the first few weeks entertaining, including a border battle between South Carolina and North Carolina.

Let’s take a look at the most intriguing games to lay down some money.

Get In The Betting Groove For Week Zero

USC (-30) vs. San Jose State

Ok, I get it, this game really doesn’t jump out as ‘good’ football. But, this will be our first look at reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams. Lincoln Riley is looking to lead the Trojans to a playoff berth, coming up one win shy in 2022. Just have fun with this one, and start discussing if USC can contend for a title.

Quarterback Caleb Williams #13 talks with head coach Lincoln Riley of the USC Trojans during the game against the Fresno State Bulldogs at United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 17, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Hawaii @ Vanderbilt (-18)

Here we go, the rematch everyone has been waiting on. I am kidding, but this is a nice little start for Vanderbilt, especially if you bet them to hit the over in win total. The Dores could actually have a decent offense this year, at least against teams like Hawaii. Enjoy this game, and take Hawaii to cover the spread in Music City.

Notre Dame (-21) vs. Navy (Ireland)

We will get out first look at Sam Hartman as the starting quarterback for the Fighting Irish under Marcus Freeman. Notre Dame fans can only hope the start of 2023 goes better than 2022. Traveling abroad for this game shouldn’t slow down the Irish passing attack. Navy could surprise some folks and keep this a little tight.

Week One Is Where We Start The Real Fun

Colorado @ TCU (-19)

Here we go, the Deion Sanders era will officially start in Forth Worth, Texas. Colorado will open the 2023 season against a team that played for a national title in 2022, even though they were destroyed by Georgia. But don’t get this game twisted, we’re going to learn a lot about both teams. All eyes will be on Coach Prime on the Buffaloes sideline, while Sonny Dykes looks to rekindle the 2022 magic. Both teams are breaking in new starting quarterbacks, with a sold-out crowd watching. Maybe we get an extra spark from Colorado, even though they might not have the players to keep up with TCU down the stretch. Give me the Buffs and 19 points.

Florida @ Utah (-10)

The rematch that should captivate audiences, at least for the first half. Utah has Cam Rising returning at quarterback, coming off the torn ACL in the Rose Bowl. But if you look at the other side of the field, it’s going to be Graham Mertz or Jack Miller, which doesn’t bring me a lot of positive vibes for Billy Napier’s offense. No more Anthony Richardson, so the Gators will have to muster up some points. On the road, with the altitude, against a solid offense, I just don’t see Florida winning or even covering.

North Carolina (-2) vs. South Carolina (Charlotte)

Now this is the quarterback dual that will have fans talking. Spencer Rattler and Drake Maye, two guys who love to sling the pigskin. We all saw the Gamecocks finally open up the offense over the final three games of 2022, and I expect them to keep their foot on the gas. Both teams will be replacing talented playmakers, but these two teams should deliver points. Does the Drake Maye Heisman campaign start in Charlotte or does Spencer Rattler take his spot? This is why the game is so hard to pick right now, but you could easily put this into a parlay.

Spencer Rattler #7 of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrates a second quarter touchdown against the Clemson Tigers at Memorial Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

Florida State vs LSU (-3) *Orlando

Bring me all the hype for this one, and more. Jayden Daniels going up against Jordan Travis should lead to highlight reels of beautiful quarterback play. Two teams with their eyes set on the College Football Playoffs will start the season in Orlando for the neutral site game. After last year’s thrilling Florida State win in New Orleans, I expect this one to deliver again. Brian Kelly is trying to build off 2022, while Mike Norvell looks to have turned things around at Florida State after a rough start. This is the game of the weekend, without a doubt.

Sleeper Games In Week One, For Different Reasons

• Just pay attention to Penn State, who is a 20-point favorite over West Virginia in their season opener. We’ve seen some crazy things out of the Nittany Lions, so playing close with the Mountaineers wouldn’t surprise me.

• I don’t care very much about Ohio State and Indiana, with the Buckeyes a 27-point favorite. But I am interested in the quarterback play, as Ryan Day decides on a starter. Kyle McCord and Devin Brown have been battling for the honors, but they’ll both benefit from having Marvin Harrison Jr. back at wide receiver.

• The only reason I’ll tune-in to the first half of Alabama and MTSU is to see whether Tyler Buchner, Ty Simpson or Jalen Milroe take the first snap. I suspect all three QB’s will play in the first game, which could be interesting for anyone that takes MTSU and the 39-points.

• Clemson and Duke could put on a show in week one. Cade Klubnik returns to lead the Tigers offense, while Mike Elko did a great job on 2022 with the Blue Devils. Lets see if Dabo Swinney has things headed back towards the playoffs and 12-point favorites against the Blue Devils.

• Tennessee is a 28-point favorite against Virginia in the season opener, which will be played in Nashville for some reason. The Joe Milton era begins, again, and the success of Josh Heupel’s 2023 team depends on the former starter. Coming off the Orange Bowl win and 11-win season, expectations are high for the Vols.

So there ya go, we are just a few months away from the start of the 2023 college football season and Vegas is ready for the action. Along with millions of other fans, this season can’t get here quick enough. Good luck with the early betting.

Written by Trey Wallace

Trey Wallace is the host of The Trey Wallace Podcast that focuses on a mixture of sports, culture, entertainment along with his perspective on everything from College Football to the College World Series.

Wallace has been covering college sports for 15 years, starting off while attending the University of South Alabama. He’s broken some of the biggest college stories including the Florida football “Credit Card Scandal” along with the firing of Jim McElwin and Kevin Sumlin. Wallace also broke one of the biggest stories in college football in 2020 around the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations against Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

Wallace also appears on radio across seven different states breaking down that latest news in college sports.

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