College football is officially back and we managed a winning week despite a late scoop (strip?) and score to lose a bet. I’m not going to complain too much because it’s early in the season and positive vibes only, but that was certainly a tough one to swallow. USF was covering the entire game!
Either way, as Ted Lasso (and probably many others) would say, “be a goldfish.” When betting on sports, you have to have a short memory and move on to the next week. The season rolls on and we need to as well.
Last week’s record: 2-2, +0.35 units
Season record: 3-2, +1.35 units, +27.3% ROI
I took things a little light last week with the new clock rules and with the start of the new season, but now that we have some data from this season, we are going to push it a little more. Nine bets in total this week and a lot are due to, in my opinion, overreactions to Week 1 results. Let’s dive in!
Week 2 college football best bets
Please make sure to shop around at various sportsbooks for the best possible number. Over the course of the season, a half point here or five cents there will add up.
Worst line to bet is the final number that I would make a bet at. For example, if I bet under 49.5 and the “worst line to bet” is 49 -110, I would not make that bet at 48.5 -110 or 49 -115.
All bets are to win one unit on favorites and risk one unit on underdogs unless otherwise noted. All odds are from BetMGM and are locked when the pick was made. Click here for live odds.
Illinois +3.5 (-115) at Kansas
What did I say about overreactions? Well, I was very close to fading Illinois last week and now I’m backing them in Week 2. Illinois’ close win over a solid Toledo squad is a little more encouraging when you see that they outperformed Toledo in just about every meaningful box score statistic. A pick-six almost doomed Illinois, but that box score came out kind of how I expected it too. So to say these teams are about equal is a bit of a stretch for me.
Worst line to bet: Illinois +3 (-115)
Vanderbilt +10.5 (-110) at Wake Forest
From a final score perspective, it looks like Wake Forest took care of business against Elon last week, but that was aided by a pick-six and an Elon interception inside the 10-yard-line. Vanderbilt will be a step up in class this week. Wake Forest is going to feel the loss of Sam Hartman against an SEC foe. There’s just no way Wake should be laying more than double digits in this game. This game opened up Wake Forest -14 and I wouldn’t be shocked to see this keep trickling down as the week goes on.
Worst line to bet: Vanderbilt +10 (-115)
Maybe I’m going to overreact here, but Baylor put in one of the more gutless performances I’ve seen in a long time. Add in the fact that Baylor has to turn to its backup quarterback this week and I feel even better. Utah has its own quarterback injury issues, but this is just the better team. The Utes have more talent, I think they’re better coached and I think Baylor could be in for a long season. Give me the Utes.
Worst line to bet: Utah -8 (-110)
This is purely because I think we are overreacting to Colorado beating a possibly bad TCU team. This is a double-digit move from the look ahead lines a week ago so I’m going to take a stab. Although, I’m going to reduce risk because Colorado, when healthy, has a ton of dudes who know how to play ball. If this loses, let’s hope that Deion Sanders brings up this article in his postgame presser. I’d be honored.
Worst line to bet: Nebraska +3 (-105)
Purdue +3 (-110) at Virginia Tech
Again, I faded Purdue last week and they lost as a favorite, but here I am backing them in Week 2. I saw the Fresno State game as a coin flip and I don’t see this game as much different. Actually, I think Purdue should be favored here. Virginia Tech put it to a bad Old Dominion team last week, but Old Dominion actually found some success on offense only to have three fumbles do them in. First wrong team favored bet of the year? I think so.
Worst line to bet: Purdue +3 (-110) or Purdue ML +115 if +3 is not available
Texas A&M -4.5 (-110) at Miami (to win 1.5 units)
Bobby Petrino, come on down! Texas A&M’s offense looked functional in its win over New Mexico. Yes, New Mexico is likely one of the worst teams in college football, but Texas A&M was super efficient. That wasn’t a guarantee the last two years, no matter the opponent. I was criticized for having Texas A&M in my preseason top-15 because the Aggies didn’t have an offense. Well, watch out.
Worst line to bet: Texas A&M -7 (-110)
Marshall -3 (-110) at East Carolina
Marshall played a close game against Albany last week, but absolutely dominated from a box score perspective. EPA/Play, yards per play, success rate, total yards, whatever meaningful metric you want to look at shows that Marshall should have won by margin. I don’t have any opinion of what ECU did against Michigan. They got smoked and they were supposed to get smoked. I think we are reacting a little too much to Marshall’s Week 1 result here.
Worst line to bet: Marshall -4 (-110)
SMU +16.5 (-110) at Oklahoma
If you want to shop around and wait for a +17, feel free. I’ll be grabbing some +17 to add to my position if the chance presents itself. Listen, SMU is really good for a non-Power 5 school (soon to be Power 4 school). Oklahoma looked great in Week 1 against Arkansas State, but now the Sooners are playing a real opponent. This is a big number for a team with a defense that I’m not super confident in. At the very least, the backdoor should be open in this game, but I think SMU could make this closer than people want to admit.
Worst line to bet: SMU +14 (-110)
Arizona State +3.5 (-110) vs. Oklahoma State
Sure, Arizona State only beat Southern Utah by three points, but that was in large part due to poor special teams play by the Sun Devils. I’m not saying that’s not a problem, but it’s more likely that it’s noise than any long-term problem. My numbers make this closer to a pick ’em so getting a field goal plus the hook is a no-brainer for me. Hopefully we can end our Saturday night with a Pac-12 After Dark winner.
Worst line to bet: Arizona State +3 (-110)
(Photo of Jeff Sims: David Berding / Getty Images)