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2023 College Football Week 0 Betting Preview

By Jeff Stinger

The 2023 college football season kicks off this Saturday with seven games in Week 0, but clearly two stand apart with Navy facing No. 13 Notre Dame and San Jose at No. 6 USC. Here’s a look at each.

Top 2023 College Football Week 0 Betting Picks of the Week

Navy Midshipmen vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

  • When: Saturday, August 26, 2023, 2:30 PM ET
  • Where: Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland
  • TV: NBC, Peacock
  • Radio: WBAL NewsRadio 1090 AM (Navy) // 960 WSBT-AM (Notre Dame)
  • Live Stream: NBC Sports
  • MLB Betting Odds: TBA

Game from Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, and kicks at 2:30 PM ET on NBC. In his first full season as coach Marcus Freeman led the Irish to a 9-4 record in 2022 and a Gator Bowl victory over No. 20 South Carolina. Freeman earned four victories over ranked teams in 2022 (No. 5 Clemson, No. 16 BYU No. 16 Syracuse and the Gamecocks), which matched Terry Brennan’s four in 1954 as the most by a first-year Irish head coach.

The Irish have a new starting QB in Sam Hartman, a former All-ACC player from Wake Forest. Hartman played five seasons with the Deacons and his best campaign was in 2021 when he threw for 4,228 yards and 39 touchdowns as Wake finished with 11 wins capturing the ACC Atlantic title and a victory in the Gator Bowl. This past season, he threw for 3,701 yards and 38 touchdowns, leading the Deacons to a win in the Gasparilla Bowl.

Over the last two seasons, Hartman leads all FBS quarterbacks in touchdown passes (77) and yards per completion (13.9) while ranking in the top five for passing yards (second, 7,929), red zone touchdown passes (third, 45) and fourth-quarter passing yards (fifth, 1,114). Hartman is the active FBS leader in career touchdown passes (111) and passing yardage (12,967). He is poised to become just the 12th FBS quarterback to throw for over 13,000 yards and 110 touchdowns in a career.

It’s the head coaching debut of Navy’s Brian Newberry, formerly the team’s defensive coordinator. He had authored consistent top defenses since arriving at Navy four years ago, establishing himself as an elite coordinator and program linchpin. Newberry replaced Ken Niumatalolo, who finished his tenure as the winningest coach in Navy history at 109-83 in 15 full seasons. An upset by Navy would make Newberry the first head coach in school history to beat a ranked opponent in his first game. Navy has defeated four Notre Dame teams ranked in the top 25 all-time.

Notre Dame leads the series 81-13-1 and has won five in a row over the Mids. Navy’s last win over Notre Dame was in 2016, 28-27, in Jacksonville. The two teams previously played in Dublin in 1996 at Croke Park and in 2012 at Aviva Stadium. Notre Dame won the 1996 game 54-27 and the 2012 game 50-10.

MLB Betting Pick: Notre Dame

San Jose State Spartans vs. USC Trojans

  • When: Tuesday, August 22, 2023, 8:00pm PM ET
  • Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
  • TV: Pac-12 Network
  • Radio: Real Talk 910 AM (San Jose State) // AM 790 KABC (USC)
  • Live Stream: Pac-12 Live
  • MLB Betting Odds: San Jose State (+30.5) // USC (-30.5)

This starts USC’s final season in the Pac-12. And all eyes are on QB Caleb Williams, who is the +500 favorite to be the second player in college football history to win the Heisman Trophy in back-to-back years.

Last year, the Oklahoma transfer set USC single-season record for total offense (4,919 yards), most touchdowns scored rushing and passing (52), passing completions (333), passes attempted (500), most passing yards gained (4,537), most touchdown passes thrown (42), most rushing and passing plays (613), lowest rate of interceptions (1%, 5 in 500 attempts) and highest passing efficiency rating (168.5). He was first nationally in passing TDs and points responsible for per game (22.3).

The Trojans return 72 players from the 2022 squad, including 46 who saw action. Six starters are back on the offensive side of the ball and eight on defense. It should win the Pac-12 and compete for a spot in the College Football Playoff if the defense is any good. That unit did lose Tuli Tuipulotu, a team captain and three-year starter on the defensive line. Tuipulotu led the nation in sacks with 13.5 and was second in tackles for loss with 22.0.

San Jose State finished 7-5 last year and brings back top QB Chevan Cordeiro, who was named the 2023 Mountain West Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. He threw for a career-high 3,251 yards and a career-high 23 touchdowns in 2022 which both were tops in the Mountain West, and ran for a career-high nine touchdowns which are most for SJSU QB in modern era. Tailback Kairee Robinson also returns. He ran for career-high 752 yards and career-best 10 TDs in 2022.

Though Elijah Cooks is gone, one of the best Mountain West wide receivers, Justin Lockhart, returns. He was among the conference’s top 15 with 36 receptions and 578 yards to go with one touchdown last year. Four starters are back up front. Obviously, USC will win but SJSU could have a backdoor cover.

MLB Betting Pick: San Jose State

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

READ MORE: 2023 College Football Week 0 Sleeper Picks