Best bets for Week 1
Florida on upset alert? Notre Dame in a rout? Here are the top 10 value picks
The opening week of the college football season always features plenty of big favorites, and 2013 is no exception as only 16 of the 44 Football Bowl Subdivision games carry single-digit point spreads. As a result, we'll be eating a good bit of that early chalk as we kick off our weekly look at the top 10 plays on the board.
Also on tap is an introduction to a few teams we'll be looking to back (like UNLV and UAB) or fade (like Nevada and Vanderbilt) all season.
Here's a look at the 10 best bets for Week 1 of the 2013 college football season.
Nevada Wolf Pack at UCLA Bruins (-20.5)
ATS pick: UCLA
Endorsements of UCLA will be few and far between in this space, but in Week 1 we seek to attack unfledged coaching staffs debuting in difficult situations. Communication issues, substitution gaffes and other unforced errors of game management can be worth significant points to the favorite. Brian Polian's Nevada squad does return offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich, quarterback Cody Fajardo and some good receivers -- a plus against a green UCLA secondary -- but the offensive line is suspect and Nevada is completely remodeling its defense into a new Tampa 2 scheme. This defense is in no condition to slow the Bruins' playmakers, and the Nevada organization is generally ill-equipped to compete in a decent Pac-12 school's stadium in its first game without Hall of Famer Chris Ault calling the shots.
Score: UCLA 48, Nevada 21
Toledo Rockets at Florida Gators (-24)
ATS pick: Toledo
To read all of Will Harris' top ATS picks and score predictions for Week 1 of the 2013 college football season, become an ESPN Insider today.
MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HEADLINES
- Sources: Longhorns kick four more off team
- Longhorns WRs charged with sexual assault
- Auburn's Marshall pays pot possession fines
- Washington QB Miles suspended for opener
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
College Football on Insider
Brian Fremeau of Football Outsiders examines the five teams with the harshest 2014 schedules.