College Football
2023 College football, NFL odds: Best bets for Texas-Alabama, Bengals-Browns
College Football

2023 College football, NFL odds: Best bets for Texas-Alabama, Bengals-Browns

Updated Sep. 9, 2023 2:52 p.m. ET

The first full weekend of college and NFL football is finally here.


Our best bets are 1-3 this season, and I’m still kicking myself for laying the lumber with TCU against Colorado. Remember, this place isn’t the space for a million picks or five-team parlays either. These will always be the games I love the most.

Let’s go to work and get back on track.


Ohio Bobcats at Florida Atlantic Owls (-3.5, O/U 62)

Expect Kurtis Rourke back under center for Ohio.

The MAC’s best quarterback got his bell rung in Week 0 against San Diego State, and despite his intentions to re-enter the game, the coaching staff wouldn’t allow it. He then missed the next game against Long Island. However, reports indicate Rourke is roaring to go for this high-powered rematch.

Ohio won last year’s meeting 41-38.

Rourke clearly restores balance to the Bobcats offense, and Florida Atlantic has one of the nation’s most explosive units. Former Nebraska quarterback Casey Thompson directs a speedy, talented attack and the pace of this game should be insane. Think of the Energizer bunny on steroids.

The scoreboard operator better be ready. 

PICK: Over 62 points scored by both teams combined

Will Jalen Milroe prove himself as Alabama's starting QB?

Joel Klatt analyzed the matchup between No. 11 Texas Longhorns and the No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide.

Texas Longhorns at Alabama Crimson Tide (-7, O/U 54)

This number feels light, doesn’t it?

Alabama was a three-touchdown favorite last year in Austin, and the Tide barely escaped with a last-minute 20-19 victory. I remember it vividly because I went to the game and forgot sunscreen. Temperatures hovered around 100 degrees on the field, and I looked like the Kool-Aid man for three whole days. It was not a pretty sight. 

Anyways… I love it when Nick Saban’s teams are undervalued. Sure, they’re replacing Bryce Young, Jahmyr Gibbs and Will Anderson, among others, but the cupboard is never bare at Bama, and I’m higher on redshirt sophomore quarterback Jalen Milroe than most. 

Texas has a mean defense, but I think the Tide will make the necessary adjustments at halftime and pull away late. It’s mostly about the number, though. You don’t get many chances to lay a touchdown with Alabama at home.

Roll Tide.  

PICK: Alabama (-7) to win by more than 7 points

NFL Week 1 Bets: Packers vs. Bears and Bengals vs. Browns

Chris "The Bear" Fallica and former NFL offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz take a look into the best bets in week 1 of the NFL regular-season.

Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5, O/U 47.5) at Cleveland Browns

This should be a riveting battle for Ohio bragging rights.

Cincinnati is one of the betting public’s favorite teams, and to no surprise, the sportsbooks are pulling for the underdog Browns. I always find it interesting when Las Vegas opens a game at -2.5 instead of -3. That’s some serious built-in respect for Cleveland.

The Browns’ elite defensive line against the Bengals’ middle-of-the-pack offensive line is the most important matchup in this one. If Myles Garrett and Za’Darius Smith can consistently pressure the pocket and get to Joe Burrow, I won’t be surprised if the Browns win outright.

Cincinnati has Super Bowl aspirations, but Cleveland is very live.

PICK: Browns (+2.5) to lose by fewer than 2.5 points (or win outright)

Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers (-3, O/U 51)

Who isn’t excited for Justin Herbert against Tua Tagovailoa?

This has all the makings of a fantastic tilt with two of the league’s best young quarterbacks and speed and skill all over the field. Most pundits are picking Kansas City or Buffalo to represent the AFC in Super Bowl LVIII, but don’t be surprised if one of these teams makes a run.

For all the talk about offensive fireworks, the most underrated move of the offseason was Miami bringing in Vic Fangio as defensive coordinator. That guy is a schematical wizard, and there’s a reason he wins everywhere he goes.

I have more faith in Miami at this point, and there’s also a sizable Mike McDaniel 20-1 Coach of the Year ticket burning a hole in my back pocket. Sometimes you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.

Give me the Fish outright.

PICK: Dolphins Moneyline (+140) 

2023 Record (1-3, -2.3)

Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and NESN. He previously worked for WGN Radio, NBC Sports and VSiN. He'll probably pick against your favorite team. Follow him on Twitter @spshoot.


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