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4 College Football Picks Against the Spread (ATS) for Week 0

Ronnie Rivers, Fresno State Bulldogs Football

Ronnie Rivers and Fresno State open the season as a huge home favorite against Connecticut

College football is finally back, with a small lineup of games on tap for Week 0 this weekend. The action will really pick up in Week 1, but at this point, we will take whatever we can get.

Related: Week 0 College Football Picks

What we get in Week 0 is a Big Ten division game that could actually go a long way in determining whether or not Nebraska goes to a bowl this season and a couple of big favorites with UCLA and Fresno State looking to get off to a good start at home.

Note: All times are ET and all games are on Saturday, Aug. 28.

Illinois (+7.5) vs. Nebraska, 1 p.m.

The Big Ten will officially kick off the 2021 college football season with a Big Ten West showdown between Illinois and Nebraska. Originally, this game was supposed to be played in Ireland, but the pandemic led to this game shifting to Champaign. Bret Bielema makes his official return to the Big Ten in his Illini debut, and there is little reason to trust Nebraska as a favorite on the road in conference play, even against Illinois. This could be an outright victory by the Illini. Illinois 26, Nebraska 24

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Connecticut (+27.5) at Fresno State, 2 p.m.

Fresno State opens the season as a big favorite at home against the Huskies, but this is a line that could be a bit too high for the season opener. UConn is a lowly program that didn't play last season, and a trip across the country is not an easy one to make for the season opener. This one could get away from the Huskies in a hurry, but they may be able to keep it just close enough to avoid having Fresno State cover. Fresno State 43, UConn 24

UCLA (-18) vs. Hawaii, 3:30 p.m.

If you don't like one big favorite on the west coast in Week 0, then perhaps you will take this one. UCLA opens the season at home against Hawaii. The Bruins return plenty of starting experience after taking some steps forward last season. They'll start things on the right foot with a three-score victory over Hawaii at home. UCLA 41, Hawaii 20

UTEP (-10) at New Mexico State , 9:30 p.m.

UTEP returns looked to be improved last season despite their lack of success in conference play, so there is reason to believe the Miners can come away with a double-digit victory against a New Mexico State team that had their struggles against a new FCS school in the spring. UTEP 31, New Mexico State 17

Podcast: Week 0 Preview, Final Predictions, the Alliance and Latest Preseason News and Notes

— Written by Kevin McGuire, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @KevinOnCFB, on Instagram, and Like him on Facebook.