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September 1, 2023

Who doesn’t love ❤️ upsets? We know college football bettors certainly do. Senior editor Max Meyer has his favorite Week 1 moneyline picks for three different categories — underdog around a field goal, underdog around a touchdown and double-digit underdog.

SMALL UNDERDOG: Florida State ML (+108 vs. LSU)
LSU was strong at defending the short pass last season but was much more vulnerable giving up big throws downfield. Even with addressing the secondary in the portal, it’ll be a very tough task facing Jordan Travis and Florida State’s collection of weapons. FSU’s OL has a ton of experience, as this group has over 200 career starts. I think this line trends closer to pick when it’s closer to Sunday night’s kickoff.

MEDIUM UNDERDOG: Louisiana-Monroe ML (+260 vs. Army)
Army is rolling out a new offense this season, as it’ll be moving away from its traditional triple-option attack to lining up in shotgun. But Army will still run the ball a lot and that clock will be ticking away. Service academies are strong fades as big favorites due to fewer possessions in those games and that will be emphasized even more with the new clock rules. Louisiana-Monroe only won 8 total games the past two seasons, but 5 were as at least a 9-point underdog (ULM is +9 vs. Army).

BIG UNDERDOG: Colorado State ML (+340 vs. Washington State)
Colorado State allowed a CFB-worst 5.2 sacks per game but attacked that position in the portal. If the OL can even moderately improve, this offense has the QB and skill-position group to make some noise. Luckily for the Rams, Wazzu was middle of the pack in 2022 in pressuring the QB (73rd in sack percentage) and lost two of its top disruptors. CSU ranked 17th in pass yards allowed per play (6.4) and brings back 4 of 5 from last year’s starting secondary, a tough matchup for the Cougars’ pass-happy attack.