• Utilizing PFF Greenline, here are the best bets to make in Week 0.
• To see exact cover probabilities of every game this weekend for free, click here.
We finally made it. College football is back, which means so is betting on college football games.
Using PFF’s Greenline tool is the best way to gain a market edge, as it provides exact cover probabilities for every game’s side, total and moneyline bets. Last season, Greenline had a 156-138 record with a +11.64% return on investment. Not to mention, it’s available for free on a one-week trial here.
While Week 0 serves as a mere appetizer for what’s to come in Week 1, there is still money to be made this weekend. Here are the best bets to place for the 2022 season’s opening week, via PFF Greenline.
Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Northwestern Wildcats (+375)
Last season, Nebraska had the worst pass-blocking grade in the Power Five by double-digit points. Enter transfer QB Casey Thompson, formerly of University of Texas, who doesn’t handle pressure too well. His 7.8% turnover-worthy play rate under duress last year was the sixth-highest in the Power Five. Northwestern will rely on Adetomiwa Adebawore to create most of its pressure, but he’s proven to be more than capable. His 78.2 pass-rush grade in 2021 is the third-best by a returning Big Ten edge defender.
Nebraska’s strength is their defense, led by edge defenders Garrett Nelson and Caleb Tannor. However, they should be neutralized by Northwestern LT Peter Skoronski, PFF’s top offensive tackle in the country. RT Ethan Wiederkehr is also a strong player, posting a 70.8 grade last year that ranked in the top-15 among Big Ten tackles. Northwestern should be able to both create pressure on Nebraska while keeping pressure away on offense, making an upset more feasible than the listed odds would suggest.
Best Bet: Northwestern ML (+375)
UConn Huskies @ Utah State Aggies (UNDER 59.5)
It wasn’t pretty for the Huskies last season. Their offense was the lowest-graded in the country and third-worst in terms of expected points added per play. Penn State-transfer Ta’Quan Roberson takes over at quarterback and was a four-star recruit in 2018, but he’s only earned a 44.2 grade on 78 career snaps.
Last year was a magical one for the Aggies as they won their first Mountain West title since joining the conference in 2013. Gone from that team are their three leading receivers, including Deven Thompkins, who had the second-most receiving yards in the country. Utah State’s offense ranks just 88th in PFF’s Power Rankings entering the 2022 campaign, so some regression should be expected.
These two offenses should struggle to find their footing in the opener, making the under a smart bet.
Best Bet: Under 59.5. PFF Greenline sees a 4.7% edge in the under for this game, making it by far the top value play of Week 0.
Charlotte 49ers @ Florida Atlantic Owls (UNDER 60)
The defense wasn’t to blame for the Owls missing a bowl game last season, when the unit finished with a top-30 grade in the country. However, the finished with a bottom-30 grade in the FBS. The receivers will have to step up after none finished with a grade of 70 or higher last year.
The 49ers don’t have a problem in that aspect, returning their three leading receivers from a unit last year that ranked top-15 in the nation in terms of receiving grade. Where Charlotte does have a problem is protecting QB Chris Reynolds: the 49ers allowed a 34.2% pressure rate in 2021, 10th-highest in the country.
The under is the best bet in this game, but our simulations also like Charlotte both on the moneyline and against the spread.
Best Bet: Under 60.
Vanderbilt was one of the worst Power Five teams last season — and that shouldn’t change too much this year. The Commodores’ offense logged the second-lowest grade in the Power Five in 2021, while the defense finished higher than only six schools. That combination led to a 2-10 record, their third straight season with three or fewer wins.
Hawaii is undergoing a culture change with a familiar face in a new role. Timmy Chang is now the Rainbow Warriors’ head coach after throwing for the second-most passing yards in NCAA history. Along with offensive coordinator Ian Shoemaker, Chang will likely employ a similar up-tempo spread offense, which could give Vanderbilt a lot of issues. The quarterback who’ll run the Rainbow Warriors' offense is a question that remains unanswered. Brayden Schager is the most experienced of the bunch, but transfers Joey Yellen (Pitt) and Cammon Cooper (WSU) were both four-star recruits in their respective classes. PFF’s Power Rankings also has Hawaii at No. 89 in the country, while Vanderbilt sits at 115th.
If you’re feeling confident, Greenline also sees significant value on Hawaii’s moneyline and the under in this game.