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College Football Week 1 Player Props & Odds: Saturday’s 5 Top Picks, Including Oregon State’s Deshaun Fenwick

College Football Week 1 Player Props & Odds: Saturday’s 5 Top Picks, Including Oregon State’s Deshaun Fenwick article feature image
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Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images. Pictured: Deshaun Fenwick (Oregon State)

  • The Week 1 Saturday slate is upon us, and with a massive amount of games across the nation, we have a plethora of player props for you to bet.
  • From noon to late-night in Corvallis, we have you covered.
  • Dive right in with two ACC receivers for the college football Week 1 slate.

On a loaded Saturday, we’re not just targeting spreads, moneylines and totals here at The Action Network.

We’re also diving fully into the player prop market, as our experts have five different selections from the noon ET games on the East Coast to late-night affairs on the West Coast.

Dive in below!

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Saturday College Football Player Props for Week 1

In the table below, you’ll find each of our college football staff’s top player prop picks from Saturday’s slate of games. Click on any pick or team logo to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.

Time (ET)
Player Prop
12 p.m.
12 p.m.
2:30 p.m.
9:30 p.m.
10 p.m.
Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NCAAF Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.

North Carolina vs. Appalachian State

12 p.m. ET
Saturday, Sept. 3
ESPNU

WR Josh Downs Receiving Yards

By Alex Hinton

In 2021, Josh Downs emerged as one of the nation’s best receivers with 1,335 yards in 13 games as a sophomore.

Despite a new quarterback, Downs proved he is not slowing down this season. In the season opener, Downs had nine receptions for 78 yards and two touchdowns.

The 78 yards from Downs would have fallen just short of this week’s line. However, Downs averaged 8.6 yards per reception last week.

He averaged 13.2 yards per reception and 102 yards per game last season.

Downs should clear this line if he has six catches and 80 yards, a typical kind of game for him. However, he may be in line for a ton of targets this week.

North Carolina’s defense struggled a bit with Florida A&M last week, giving up 279 yards passing and 24 points. Now it hits the road to battle a dangerous Appalachian State team.

Late line movement has made the Mountaineers favored to take down the Tar Heels at home.

App State can attack UNC on the ground and through the air with Chase Brice. That means it could be a shootout in Boone, NC.

UNC will want to target its best offensive player early and often to keep pace.

Pick: Josh Downs Over 80.5 Receiving Yards (-118) · Play to 85


Rutgers vs. Boston College

12 p.m. ET
Saturday, Sept. 3
ACC Network

WR Zay Flowers Receptions

By Alex Kolodziej

Flowers owned a 33.6% receiving yard share in Boston College’s offense last season despite poor quarterback play. He has been the Eagles’ yardage leader each of the last two years.

He also chose to return to Boston College for the 2022 season, turning down multiple six-figure NIL offers from other programs in the new era of poaching.

And that type of loyalty to BC will pay off for Flowers — the coaching staff explicitly stated in the offseason Flowers will be rewarded for staying.

These verbal pledges from offensive coordinator John McNulty included buzz words and phrases such as getting the wide receiver into the “Biletnikoff race” and school record books.

He’s certainly in reach of shattering the program’s all-time numbers, needing 70 more receptions and 821 yards to pass former Boston College wide receiver Alex Amidon in both respective categories.

An incentivized Flowers has a great draw out the gates.

He draws cornerback Max Melton and a Rutgers secondary that, in general, allowed the third-most yards per completion in the entire nation last season.

The Scarlet Knights didn’t name a defensive backs coach until late spring, the final of any position group for a brand-new staff under Greg Schiano.

This is an egregiously short number, and I’m fine playing it all the way up to 5.5 in what will become a Flowers-filtered BC offense this season.

The 4.0’s and 4.5’s on Flowers props will be long gone in the coming weeks

Pick: Zay Flowers Over 4 Receptions · Play to 5.5


Bowling Green vs. UCLA

2:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, Sept. 3
Pac-12 Network

RB Zach Charbonnet Rushing Yards

By Cody Goggin

I spoke about this mismatch in my guide for this game, but UCLA’s offense should thrive against Bowling Green’s defense.

Last season, the Bruins had the 22nd-most explosive rushing offense in the nation and ranked 19th in Rushing Success Rate. UCLA had the volume as well, rushing on 58% of its plays (20th in FBS).

Zach Charbonnet returns this year and ran for 1,153 yards a season ago. Charbonnet went over this total last year in seven of his 12 games.

UCLA also loses its top three receivers from 2021, including Greg Dulcich and Kyle Phillips, who were both selected in the NFL draft.

Since it’s Week 1, I would expect UCLA to lean heavier on the legs of Charbonnet and quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson as it works the new receivers into this offense.

The defense of Bowling Green makes this an even better bet. The Falcons’ defense ranked 110th in FBS last season in Rushing Success Rate.

UCLA is currently favored by 23.5 points, so the game script should lend itself to a very heavy rush rate. As long as Charbonnet doesn’t get benched early in a blowout, I expect him to go off this game and hit well over 105.5 yards.

Pick: Zach Charbonnet Over 105.5 Rushing Yards (-115) · Play to 119.5


Idaho vs. Washington State

9:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, Sept. 3
Pac-12 Network

QB Cameron Ward Passing Yards

By Mike Calabrese

If Cameron Ward plays three quarters of football on Saturday night in Pullman, he’ll attempt at least 35 passes. This is assuming they blow out the Vandals. Because if they don’t, and Ward gets to play for a full 60 minutes, his stat line could be insane.

Allow me to explain.

Ward and his head coach Eric Morris set the FCS world ablaze last season at Incarnate Word. Using an Air Raid system, Morris dialed up pass after pass all season long.

The result? Ward threw for 4,648 yards and 47 touchdowns in 13 games (357.5 ypg), while attempting 46 passes per contest. Not only did Ward transfer to Wazzu, but Morris left the FCS ranks as a head coach to become WSU’s offensive coordinator.

You’re getting a star transfer quarterback with a Mike Leach coaching tree play-caller against a middling FCS opponent.

Our friends over at The CFF Site are even more bullish on Ward in his FBS debut than I am. They are projecting 335 yards out of the IW transfer.

Barring an injury or weird game flow in which Wazzu scores multiple non-offensive touchdowns, this is easily the top play on the player prop board for Saturday.

Pick: Cameron Ward Over 250.5 Passing Yards · Play to 279.5


Boise State vs. Oregon State

10 p.m. ET
Saturday, Sept. 3
ESPN

RB Deshaun Fenwick Rushing Yards

By Doug Ziefel

The Oregon State Beavers ran the ball at a 59% clip last season, which was good for 20th highest in the country. They also had a ton of success, as the Beavers were 12th in the country in yards per rush and third in Rush Play Success Rate.

Deshaun Fenwick has been anointed as the starter this season, and should be in a workhorse role.

Fenwick was extremely efficient last season, as he averaged 5.7 yards per carry and only had four games where he had double-digit rushing attempts. Last year’s starter BJ Baylor had double-digit carries in all but one game, but isn’t with the program anymore.

While volume is the key for this prop, the matchup is just icing on the cake. Boise State was ravaged on the ground last season, as it ranked 77th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed.

In addition, the Broncos allowed 4.3 yards per carry. So with a bit of math, at that rate, we would need 14 carries for Fenwick, which is highly probable. And given the success that the Beavers have had on the ground, he may not even need that amount.

Pick: Deshaun Fenwick Over 60.5 Rushing Yards (-115) · Play to 69.5


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