Last Updated Aug 29, 2022, 3:15 PM
College Football Week 0 Opening Odds Report
US Sports Betting Industry Expert
College football Week Zero odds aren't exactly a who's who of the NCAA gridiron. With a few exceptions, it's more like a who's that?
But look, we've been waiting months to have college football betting back on the odds board. In this final full week of August, we should be grateful.
And there are some noteworthy games. So let's dive into college football odds and action for Week 0, with insights from multiple sportsbooks across the country.
College Football Week 0 Odds
Opening line: Vanderbilt -6.5; Over/Under 55
Time: 10:30 p.m. ET Saturday (CBSSN)
UPDATE 10 P.M. ET SATURDAY: Back in May, WynnBet opened Vanderbilt -7 (even) in its College Football Week Zero odds market. Over the course of the summer, the Commodores nudged down to -6.5 a couple of times. However, as kickoff looms, Vandy is up to -9.5.
Ticket count is a relatively modest 3/2 in favor of Vanderbilt, but money is running almost 4/1 on Vandy.
"There is not much respect for the Rainbow Warriors," WynnBet senior trader Motoi Pearson said. "It would be a great result for the house if the 'Bows cover. The better result is if they can win outright."
The total opened at 55, peaked at 55.5 two weeks ago and bottomed out at 53 Thursday. Shortly before game time, however, the total is up to 54.5, with the Over seeing 57% of tickets/65% of money.
UPDATE 4:30 P.M. ET FRIDAY: Over the course of just this week, Caesars bumped Vanderbilt from -7 all the way out to -9.5. And Vandy opened months ago at -4. The visiting Commodores are only seeing 54% of spread tickets at Caesars, but that's translating into 76% of spread cash.
The total opened at 55, peaked at 55.5, bottomed out at 52.5 on Thursday and is now up to 54.5. Splits weren't available this afternoon.
UPDATE 2 P.M. ET THURSDAY: Vanderbilt hit DraftKings' College Football Week 0 odds board as a 6.5-point favorite on June 30. The number did a little toggling between -6.5 and -7 until Tuesday, when Vandy climbed to -7.5. Still, it's two-way spread action, with 52% of tickets on home pup Hawaii and 56% of money on road fave Vandy.
The total opened at 55, then peaked Aug. 3 at 55.5, where it stuck for three weeks. On Tuesday, however, DK dropped the total to 53.5. The Over is landing 68% of early tickets, while 53% of early money is on the Under.
UPDATE 12:30 P.M. ET TUESDAY: Why not wrap up College Football Week Zero odds with the infamous "get-even-or-get-even-deeper game"? That's how longtime MGM oddsmaker Jay Rood (now with Bally's Interactive) used to term these late-night kickoffs in Hawaii.
Visiting Vanderbilt went a meager 2-10 SU (6-6 ATS) last season, while Hawaii was 6-7 SU (5-7-1 ATS). Vandy opened -6.5 at TwinSpires and twice toggled up to -7, then this morning shot up to -8.5. Hawaii is taking 55% of early tickets, while 58% of early dollars are on Vandy.
"The move was from a mix of sharp Vanderbilt play and moving with the market," Lucas said, noting public play is on underdog Hawaii.
The total is up a tick to 55.5, with 63% of tickets/61% of money on the Over.
Opening line: Nevada -13.5; Over/Under 55.5
Time: 10 p.m. ET Saturday (ESPN2)
UPDATE 9:30 P.M. ET SATURDAY: This matchup has seen huge line movement since opening Nevada -14 (-105) at WynnBet back in May. And the shift has been all toward home underdog New Mexico State. By late June, the visiting Wolf Pack were down to -12, and they dipped to -10 by Aug. 9.
But the big drop wasn't done yet, with Nevada finally bottoming out earlier this evening at -7.5 (even). New Mexico State is netting 80% of spread tickets and a whopping 96% of spread cash.
"We haven't seen a meaningful bet on Nevada since we opened," WynnBet senior trader Motoi Pearson said. "Players we respect are on the Aggies and the Under."
The total opened at 55.5 and by Friday had fallen all the way to 48, where it sits pre-kickoff. Ticket count is creeping toward 3/1 on the Under, and practically all the cash is on the Under, as well.
UPDATE 4:30 P.M. ET FRIDAY: This matchup has been a huge mover at Caesars Sports, where Nevada opened as a hefty 14.5-point road chalk back on May 19. That line has now contracted to Wolf Pack -8.5.
"Like Wyoming, there’s a lot of bettors [who] have been fading Nevada everywhere,” Feazel said. “They have a new coach in Ken Wilson coming in, and a lot of players left when [former head coach Jay] Norvell left for Colorado State. There’s just a lot of questions around the Nevada program, and we’ve seen those Nevada lines move lower and lower for their Week 0 and 1 games.”
Nevada is netting a modest majority 56% of spread tickets, but New Mexico State is seeing 72% of spread dollars. The total has seen a similar plunge, tumbling from 55.5 to its current 48. However, splits weren't available this afternoon.
UPDATE 2 P.M. ET THURSDAY: On June 30, DraftKings opened visiting Nevada as a 12.5-point chalk and stuck there for about a month. But the Wolf Pack have gradually receded since then, bottoming out this afternoon at -9. Ticket count is 2/1 on Nevada, but money is almost 3/1 on double-digit-'dog New Mexico State.
Likewise, the total plunged in this late-night matchup, from a 55.5 opener to 50.5 by Aug. 19. That's where the total remains, with 71% of bets on the Over, but 80% of cash on the Under.
UPDATE 12:30 P.M. ET TUESDAY: Nevada had a respectable 2021-22 regular season, going 8-4 SU and ATS. But the Wolf Pack got rolled in the Quick Lane Bowl, losing to Western Michigan 52-24 as a 6.5-point "neutral-site" underdog. (The game was played at Detroit's Ford Field.)
New Mexico State remains an independent in football and is coming off a miserable 2-10 SU season. But the Aggies fared better against the number, going 7-5 ATS.
This spread has seen significant movement, with Nevada dropping from -13.5 to -9. The Wolf Pack are netting 67% of bets, but 55% of money is on the underdog Aggies.
"Sharp play on New Mexico State, and sharp play on the Under," Lucas said of activity at TwinSpires.
The total plunged a hefty 5 points to 50.5.
Opening line: North Texas -1.5; Over/under 55.5
Time: 9 p.m. ET Saturday (Stadium)
UPDATE 7:45 P.M. ET SATURDAY: With 75 minutes to go until kickoff, North Texas is a 1.5-point favorite at WynnBet. The matchup opened as a pick 'em back in May, rose to UNT -1.5 early on, then crept back to -1. On Aug. 19, WynnBet returned to pick 'em, then got back to Mean Green -1.5 Friday night.
Point-spread ticket count is almost dead even, with a slight edge to slim underdog UTEP. North Texas is netting 57% of point-spread money.
The total opened at 56 and toggled down to 55.5 a couple of times in late May/early June. On July 30, the total slipped to 55, where it stuck until Wednesday, moving to 54.5. Ahead of kickoff, the total is now down to 53, with 56% of tickets/66% of cash on the Under.
UPDATE 4:30 P.M. ET FRIDAY: North Texas hit Caesars' College Football Week 0 odds board as a field-goal chalk and dropped to pick 'em by Aug. 19. The Mean Green are now modest 1.5-point road faves, taking 54% of spread tickets. However, UTEP is drawing 60% of spread dollars.
The total opened at 57.5 and has gradually declined, sitting at it low point of 54.5 since Wednesday. Splits weren't available.
UPDATE 2 P.M. ET THURSDAY: This number saw significant movement almost right out of the gate at DraftKings. North Texas opened as a 5-point fave in mid-May and within a few days fell to -2. The Mean Green dipped to -1.5 on July 1 and have since made a couple of trips to -1, where they remain today.
Point-spread ticket count is almost even, with a slight nod to UTEP, but 72% of early spread money is on the now-slim-underdog Miners.
The total opened at 56 and by Wednesday fell to 54.5, where it sits now. Ticket count is 2/1 on the Over, but money is a hefty 6/1 on the Under.
UPDATE 12:30 P.M. ET TUESDAY: North Texas went a perfectly middling 6-6 SU last season, but notched a significant upset in its finale. The Mean Green, catching 9.5 points at home, slammed Texas-San Antonio 45-23 to finish with a solid 9-3 ATS record.
Texas-El Paso finished 7-6 SU and ATS, ending the year with a 31-24 loss as a 13.5-point pup to Fresno State in the New Mexico Bowl.
North Texas is down a tick to a 1-point road favorite at TwinSpires.
"Great two-way action on the spread early in the week," Lucas said, noting UTEP taking 53% of tickets and UNT landing 55% of money.
The total dipped a point to 54.5, with 55% of tickets on the Over/56% of money on the Under.
Opening line: Nebraska -12.5, Over/Under 51
Time: 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday (FOX)
UPDATE 11:15 A.M. ET SATURDAY: With 75 minutes to go until the season kicks off, Nebraska just moved from -11.5 to -12.5 at BetMGM. The Huskers opened -12 in late June, peaked at -13.5 earlier this week, and bottomed out at -11.5 Thursday night.
Nebraska is taking 57% of spread bets and 66% of spread money. While that ticket count is not overwhelming as a percentage, there are more point-spread tickets on Nebraska than on any other team on today's College Football Week 0 odds board. That said, Northwestern has the second-most tickets.
The total opened at 50.5, dipped to 49.5 Tuesday, then by Friday climbed to 51.5, where it rests now. The Under is netting 70% of tickets and 71% of cash.
UPDATE 4:30 P.M. ET FRIDAY: Caesars Sports popped this Big Ten matchup on the board on May 23, installing Nebraska as a 10.5-point favorite. By the end of May, the Huskers were already out to -13.5. Since then, the line slid as low as 12 and peaked Thursday afternoon at -14.
But that seemed to be the snapping point. By late Thursday night, Nebraska slid all the way back to -11.5 and is now -11. Ticket count is literally dead even on the spread, but 71% of spread dollars are on the Huskers.
“I’m not surprised that the spread has been coming down,” Caesars lead college football trader Joey Feazel said. "After we opened it at 10.5, we took a lot of Nebraska money. Now it’s coming back the other way, especially when it’s not expected to be the greatest weather or have the fastest grass over there in Ireland. Similarly, with Nebraska’s season win total [of 7.5], you either love Nebraska or you hate Nebraska at this point."
The total opened at 54.5, quickly dipped to 51 and bottomed out Tuesday at 49.5. By early this afternoon, the number rebounded to 52, and it's now 51.5.
"We’ve had a battle of the sharps going on this morning," Feazel said. "When the weather stuff came out, we were getting action on the under down to 49.5, and now it’s getting popped back [on the] Over."
The forecast calls for temperatures in the 60s and slight breezes, perhaps up to 10 mph, with overcast skies and a small chance of rain.
UPDATE 2 P.M. ET THURSDAY: Way back on May 18, DraftKings opened Nebraska as a 10.5-point neutral-site chalk, and by the end of May, the Huskers were out to -13. By the third week of July, the line regressed to -11, but it returned to -13 on Aug. 19 and remains -13 now.
Point-spread ticket count is two-way with a lean toward Nebraska, at 52%, but money is more pronounced, at 64% on the Huskers. The total opened at 51, bottomed out at 49.5 Tuesday and is now at 50. The Under is drawing 53% of tickets/63% of money.
UPDATE 12:30 P.M. ET TUESDAY: These Big Ten rivals open the season with both on a long road trip, to Dublin, Ireland. Nebraska is coming off another rough year, going 3-9 SU. But the Huskers were a little more respectable at the betting window, at 6-5-1 ATS.
Northwestern's 2021 campaign was bad on the field and at the window. The Wildcats finished 3-9 SU and ATS.
TwinSpires opened Nebraska as a 12.5-point chalk, spent some time at -13 and is now back at -12.5. Northwestern is landing 62% of tickets and 66% of money on the spread.
"The public is siding with the double-digit 'dog. There's small sharp play on the 'dog, as well," Lucas said.
The total is down a point to 50, with 61% of tickets/58% of cash on the Under.
Opening line: Illinois -10; Over/Under 46.5
Time: 4 p.m. ET Saturday (Big Ten Network)
UPDATE 2:30 P.M. ET SATURDAY: Ninety minutes ahead of kickoff, BetMGM has Illinois as a 14-point chalk in its College Football Week Zero odds market. That's up 4 points from the -10 late June opener. The majority of that rise has come in the past few days, with the Fighting Illini hitting -14 by Friday afternoon.
Ticket count is just shy of 2/1 and money just beyond 2/1 on the Illini.
"We don't want Illinois to cover," BetMGM vice president of trading Jason Scott said.
The total reached its low point of 42.5 about an hour ago, down notably from a 46.5 opener. Ticket count is dead even, but 60% of cash is on the Over.
UPDATE 4:30 P.M. ET FRIDAY: Illinois opened as a 9.5-point home chalk in Caesars Sports' College Football Week 0 odds market. That number is now out to Illinois -14, with most of the movement coming in the last couple of days. The Fighting Illini are taking 78% of spread bets and an even more hefty 93% of spread money.
"Even though this line has jumped up from the opener, we're still seeing sharp money on Illinois," Feazel said. "That line has just kept on going up. Wyoming has a younger team, and there hasn't been a lot of faith in them for their season win total (Over/Under 4.5). I'd say this action is more of a bet against Wyoming, compared to betting on Illinois."
Caesars opened the total at 46.5 and at lunchtime today bottomed out at 43, where the number remains now. Splits weren't available.
UPDATE 2 P.M. ET THURSDAY: DraftKings pegged Illinois a 9-point favorite back in mid-May, moved to -10 shortly thereafter and stuck on that number until Tuesday. The Fighting Illini then jumped a point to -11, where the number sits now. Illinois is netting 71% of early spread tickets and 74% of early spread cash.
The total opened at 46.5 and by Aug. 16 dipped to 44, which is where it remains today. There's an interesting dichotomy in betting splits, with 71% of bets on the Over, but 70% of dollars on the Under.
UPDATE 12:30 P.M. ET TUESDAY: Illinois fell just short of .500 last season, going 5-7 SU. But the Fighting Illini did OK for bettors, with a 7-4-1 ATS mark.
Wyoming went 6-6 SU (4-7-1 ATS) in the 2021-22 regular season, squeaking out a bid to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. The Cowboys then capped the season with a 52-38 victory as 3-point favorites against Kent State.
Illinois has been a steady 10-point home favorite at TwinSpires, taking 66% of early spread tickets and 59% of early spread cash in the College Football Week Zero odds market.
The total has seen much more noteworthy activity, dipping to 44 from a 46.5 opener. The Under is seeing 54% of tickets and 72% of money.
"Sharp play on the Under," Lucas said.
Opening line: Florida Atlantic -6.5; Over/Under 57.5
Time: 7 p.m. ET Saturday (CBSSN)
UPDATE 6:15 P.M. ET SATURDAY: Back in late May, Florida Atlantic landed on WynnBet's College Football Week 0 odds board as a 6-point favorite. Within a few days, the line jumped to -7.5, and the Owls have since toggled between -7.5 and -7 a couple of times.
FAU is currently -7 while taking 55% of spread bets, but 75% of spread dollars are on underdog Charlotte.
The total opened at 57.5 and stuck there until Monday, when it went straight to 59. It quickly backed up to 57.5, but has since rebounded and just moved from 59.5 to 60 in the past 30 minutes. That said, it's two-way action, with 52% of bets on the Over/52% of money on the Under.
UPDATE 4:30 P.M. ET FRIDAY: Caesars opened FAU as a 6-point favorite, moved to -7 in June, then peaked at -7.5 Aug. 1. The line stuck there much of this month, then this afternoon fell back to -7.
Point-spread ticket count is almost dead even, but 70% of spread cash is coming in on the favored Owls. Although splits on the total weren't available, the number jumped from a 57.5 opener to a peak of 60.5 Thursday afternoon. It's now receded to 59.
UPDATE 2 P.M. ET THURSDAY: On June 30, DraftKings opened FAU at -7. On Aug. 1, the Owls rose to -7.5, and the line hasn't moved since. Ticket count is 3/1-plus and money 5/1 on the host Owls.
The total opened at 57.5 and stuck there until Monday, when things got a bit volatile. First, the number jumped straight to 59.5, then fell back to 57.5 within a couple of hours. On Tuesday, though, it climbed back to 58.5 and then 59.5 again. Early ticket count is running 2/1 and early cash almost 9/1 on the Over.
UPDATE 12:30 P.M. ET TUESDAY: It's a Conference USA clash under the Saturday night lights in Boca Raton, Fla. Both squads went 5-7 SU last season, with Charlotte going 5-6-1 ATS and Florida Atlantic 4-7-1 ATS.
The host Owls are up to -7 at TwinSpires, with ticket count just shy of 3/2 on FAU. But point-spread money is more pronounced, with a 3/1 edge for Florida Atlantic.
"Sharp play on FAU -6.5," Lucas said.
The total is up a tick to 58, with 65% of bets/57% of cash on the Over.