College football picks, predictions against the spread for Week 0 matchups – Sporting News

  • September 21, 2022

Nebraska is back in the spotlight in Week 0.
The Huskers open the season with a Big Ten West showdown against Northwestern at Aviva Stadium, in Dublin, Ireland on Saturday. Illinois beat Nebraska 30-22 in the Week 0 opener last season. 
That is the best game on a schedule where seven games involving FBS schools are on the schedule. Each week we pick every game against the spread for Top 25 teams. Here is a look at the track record the last three years: 
It’s time to get back on the winning track, and that starts with Week 0. A look at our picks for each of the FBS games:
MORE: Hot Seats | SN’s Preseason All-America Team | Bowl Projections  
12:30 p.m., FOX 
Caesars line: Nebraska by -13
Sports Interaction line: Nebraska -13
The Huskers dominated the Wildcats 56-7 last season, but this series has stayed pretty even since Nebraska joined the Big Ten otherwise. The Huskers have a new quarterback in Casey Thompson and a new offensive coordinator in Mark Whipple, and that is going to be the key for Scott Frost in Year 5. The Wildcats will hang around with the help of a two-back attack in Cam Porter, who missed last season, and Evan Hull. This line has moved up two points from its opening, which is closer to the final score. 
Pick: Nebraska wins 31-21 but FAILS TO COVER the spread. 
MORE: Breaking down Nebraska-Northwestern
4 p.m., FS1 
Caesars line: Utah State -27
Sports Interaction line: Utah State -27
Jim Mora Jr. is back on the sidelines, and there is work to do at UConn. The Huskies finished 1-11 and gave up 40 or more points in seven games last season. Utah State’s Logan Bonner finished with 36 TDs and 12 interceptions last season, but the top three targets from last season are gone. There will be an adjustment, and the Aggies pull up in the fourth quarter with a Week 1 game against Alabama on the horizon. 
Pick: Utah State wins 41-17 and FAILS TO COVER the spread.
4 p.m., BTN 
Caesars line: no line
Sports Interaction line: Illinois -10
Wyoming finished 7-6 under Craig Bohl last season, but they are a .500 team ATS as an away underdog since Bohl took over. Illinois was 0-5 ATS as a favorite under Bret Bielema last year, and that makes us nervous. Still, Wyoming is breaking in a new quarterback on the road, and the Illini should be an improved offense with Tommy DeVito under center. Chase Brown, who had 1,005 rushing yards last season, leads the way. 
Pick: Illinois wins 31-20 and COVERS the spread. 
MORE: Take the Sporting News Transfer QB Quiz!
7 p.m., CBSSN 
Caesars line: FAU  -7
Sports Interaction line: FAU -7.5
It’s a battle of 5-7 teams from last season. The Owls routed the 49ers 38-9 in 2021. FAU quarterback N’Kosi Perry passed for 20 TDs and seven interceptions last season. FAU could be a C-USA contender this season, but that means taking care of business in games like this. Charlotte was 1-7 ATS as an underdog in 2021. 
Pick: FAU wins 34-23 and COVERS the spread. 
9 p.m., Stadium
Caesars line: even
Sports Interaction line: even
This is a huge opener in Conference-USA. The Mean Green beat the Miners 20-17 last season, and returning starting quarterback Austin Aune should be improved. Still, UTEP is at home, where their only home loss was to UTSA last season. If quarterback Gavin Hardison protects the football, the Miners will come out on top. If the line tilts in UTEP’s favor, then consider they were 4-1 ATS as a favorite last season. 
Pick: UTEP wins 28-24 in a PICK’EM. 
10 p.m, ESPN2 
Caesars line: Nevada -9
Sports Interaction line: Nevada -9
Nevada has a new coach in Ken Wilson, who was the defensive coordinator at Oregon last season. Carson Strong and Romeo Doubs are gone to the NFL. The Wolf Pack played a 55-28 shootout against the Aggies last season; something that Wilson will try to slow down in his debut. Could be a huge game for Toa Taua, Nevada’s leading rusher from last season. 
Pick: Nevada wins 36-22 and COVERS the spread. 
10 p.m, CBSSN
Caesars line: Vanderbilt -7
Sports Interaction line: Vanderbilt -7
Face it – you want to stay up and watch the Commodores and Warriors into the early hours of Sunday morning. Vanderbilt needs this one to start Clark Lea’s second season. Vanderbilt ranked 128th in scoring offense with 15.8 points per game last season. Hawaii hero Timmy Chang returns as head coach, and Brayden Schager will be a high-volume passer. The problem is the Warriors have a bad defense. That all adds up to a thrilling finish to Week 0. 
Pick: Vanderbilt wins 33-30 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.