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2023 College Football Week 1 Must Bet Games

By Hank Blaine

Notre Dame versus Navy, Florida State hosting LSU, and Colorado at TCU are three of the games that college football handicappers should target in the first week. Also in week 1, North Carolina takes on South Carolina and Clemson faces a tough customer in Duke on college football’s week 1 Monday night contest. Check out the 2023 College Football odds, analysis, and early free picks for College Football Week 1.

A Closer Look at 2023 College Football Week 1

Navy Midshipmen vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

  • When: Saturday, August 26, 2023

The game happens at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, which means the fans will be behind the Irish. Notre Dame has the ability to win this, no doubt, but covering -21 versus a solid team like Navy?

Then again, Sam Hartman, who threw for 110 touchdowns and close to 13,000 yards at Wake Forest, is the new quarterback. Hartman should light up the Navy secondary.

2023 College Football Week 1 Pick: Notre Dame Fighting Irish -21

NC State Wolfpack vs. UConn Huskies

  • When: Thursday, August 31, 2023

NC State doesn’t return a lot of starters, but they return starters where it counts. Quarterback Brennan Armstrong has a lot of experience even though it was with Virginia and not NC State.

Armstrong will play behind an offensive line that returns 3 starters. The defense should be fantastic like it was last season. UConn is a tough team, but won’t hold up against the Wolfpack.

2023 College Football Week 1 Pick: NC State Wolfpack -16.5

Florida Gators vs. Utah Utes

  • When: Thursday, August 31, 2023

Cam Rising may or may not be ready when Utah hosts Florida in their first game of the season. Even if Rising can’t step onto the field, the Utes roll.

Florida doesn’t have enough on either side of the ball to keep this close and Utah returns 14 starters.

2023 College Football Week 1 Pick: Utah Utes -9.5

Colorado Buffaloes vs. TCU Horned Frogs

  • When: Saturday, September 2, 2023

Deion Sanders has made massive changes to the Buffaloes program. Changes in Division II are one thing. Massive changes in Division I are another.

TCU comes off a championship runner up season. So the Horned Frogs are raring to go. Texas Christian HC Sonny Dykes used the transfer portal to fill holes on both sides of the ball. The TCU machine continues dominating lesser opponents.

2023 College Football Week 1 Pick: TCU Horned Frogs -20

North Carolina Tar Heels vs. South Carolina Gamecocks

  • When: Saturday, September 2, 2023

The game happens at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, which means both teams are the home squad. North Carolina will have an exceptional offense under future 2024 NFL Draft top five pick Drake Maye.

Spencer Rattler, the Gamecocks quarterback, is no slouch. This contest can go either way. The Tar Heels will struggle to keep South Carolina from scoring points. So taking the 1.5 makes sense.

2023 College Football Week 1 Pick: South Carolina Gamecocks +1.5

LSU Tigers vs. Florida State Seminoles

  • When: Sunday, September 3, 2023

Two of the best teams in the nation throw down. Not only do two of the top teams in the country battle, but both have quarterbacks, Jayden Daniels at LSU and Jordan Travis at Florida State, who can win the Heisman Trophy.

Daniels goes into the season off an injury. Also, Travis has the home field edge. Florida State is the play.

2023 College Football Week 1 Pick: Florida State Seminoles +2.5

Clemson Tigers vs. Duke Blue Devils

  • When: Sunday, September 3, 2023

This happens in Durham where the Blue Devils are solid. Duke boasts one of the top quarterbacks in the ACC in Riley Leonard.

Almost as important? Clemson is a massive favorite due to reputation, not because they’re 12.5 points better than Duke. The Blue Devils cover and could provide the straight up victory if Clemson doesn’t take the Dookies seriously.

2023 College Football Week 1 Pick: Duke Blue Devils +12.5

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*All stated odds are subject to change without prior notice.

READ MORE: 2023 College Football Week 1 Complete Betting Guide