If you’re looking for some invaluable last-second betting advice for tomorrow’s slate of college football games, then you’ve come to the right place.
There are some incredible matchups this weekend, and your wife/girlfriend or husband/boyfriend is going to start thinking you love your TV more than her (Secondary advice: Do not let her/him know that you love your TV more).
Below are the odds of the most intriguing Week 2 college football lines, courtesy of Vegas Insider.
How about some Friday night lights? You won’t need to get your fix by going to your local high school’s game—instead, you can watch the ACC go head-to-head with Pittsburgh (-4.5) at Boston College and an East Coast late-night goodie with Washington State (-3.5) at Nevada.
Personally, I think Pitt has an underrated roster and is the new favorite to win the ACC Coastal Division after Miami’s lackluster performance against Louisville Monday night. The Panthers collectively rushed for 409 yards during last week’s 62-0 blowout over Delaware, and I expect them to exploit Boston College’s gaping holes at linebacker. I’m thinking this ends up being a three-score finish, with Pittsburgh roaring on top.
I was pretty surprised by Washington State’s defense when it allowed 41 points to Rutgers on opening night. However, Connor Halliday was magical, finishing 40-of-56 for 532 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. Nevada has ranked 69th, 88th, and 60th in passing defense over the last three years, and ranked 75th in long pass plays allowed in 2013 with 117 over 10 yards, 43 over 20, and nine over 30.
Nevada’s offense just hasn’t been the same since Chris Ault retired, so take this as you please.
On to Saturday’s key games.
Kansas State (-12) is the favorite over Iowa State, which just gave up 34 straight points to North Dakota State in a 34-14 loss. I’m not too comfortable taking the Cyclones to cover—these poor fellas might be worse than Kansas this year.
SMU (+2.5) is playing the underdog role for the second straight week, and boy that didn’t work very well for them the first time. June Jones’ offense compiled 67 total yards and used three quarterbacks in a 45-0 loss to Baylor on Sunday. North Texas was equally unimpressive against Texas, but Dan McCarney’s Mean Green has an identity at home, where they went 5-1 last season.
Missouri (-3.5) is a small favorite on the road at Toledo. Vegas is showing no love to the reigning SEC East champions—and for good reason. The Tigers lost what could be an insurmountable number of key elements to their 12-2 season, and the Rockets (10-2 at home last two years) have the tools to actually win this thing. Holy Toledo!
Remember that one time when Texas A&M sophomore Kenny Hill threw for 511 yards against South Carolina in a shocking 52-28 upset in Columbia? Yeah, well, East Carolina (+16.5) will be looking to do the same. The Pirates had one of the most dynamic passing attacks in the country last season (No. 8 in the country), and both quarterback Shane Carden and star receiver Justin Hardy are back at it.
I don’t expect ECU to come away with the win, but it should be able to spread the Gamecocks’ defense out and cover. Let’s not forget that the offense was able to do this in Chapel Hill last year.
USC (+2.5) hasn’t won at Stanford since 2008 and is 2-5 against the Cardinal over the last seven contests. However, USC did come away with a hard fought 20-17 win in the Coliseum last season, and are expected to be a much improved team in 2014 (we got a small sample size of that last Saturday). Stanford, on the other hand, hasn’t been able to prove that it can overcome the loss of linebackers Trent Murphy and Shane Skov, who have been the heart of the defense in recent years. I like the Trojans in this one.
They say a team progresses the most from Week 1 to Week 2, and that’s when you’ll know what kind of football team you’ll have. Well, it’s time to show us what you’re made of, Ohio State. The Buckeyes (-11) host Virginia Tech Saturday night, and despite how awful it looked for the first half against Navy, I’m expecting a huge showing from the offense.
Hokies DC Bud Foster will always coach a strong defense, but this VTU squad is nothing like what it had in 2013 and won’t be able to carry an anemic offense for four quarters. Expect Ohio State to win big in its home opener.
This is a big weekend for the Big Ten. There’s a lot of weight on Michigan State’s (+12.5) shoulders as it takes on Pac-12 powerhouse Oregon in Eugene. I figured Vegas would project the Ducks as the favorite, but setting it at 12.5 points is a little surprising. Michigan State was able to beat Stanford in the Rose Bowl last season, and the Cardinal seem to have Oregon’s number as of late.
It’s going to be interesting to see how the Spartans’ defense handles Marcus Mariota, and how Oregon’s defensive front matches up with the physicality of Michigan State’s offensive line. I don’t know if I’d go as far to say that MSU will win, but I’m comfortable taking Sparty to cover.
Lastly, we head over to Michigan (+3.5) and Notre Dame, who will be taking another break from each other in 127-year relationship. This on-again and off-again couple need each other and the two love birds will surely be back at it in no time (but not before seeing some other people first).
Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner had a lot of success in last year’s edition, going 21-of-33 for 294 yards and four touchdowns, but if the Wolverines can get half the production it received from its ground game during last week’s performance (350 yards), then the holes left by suspended players on the Irish defense will be exploited and U-of-M will improve on its series record of 24-16-1.
Here’s a look at some of the Week 2 college football lines:
- FAU at Alabama (-40.5)
- Navy (-3) at Temple
- Arkansas State at Tennessee (-17.5)
- Fresno State at Utah (-12)
- Akron at Penn State (-14.5)
- Ohio at Kentucky (-13)
- Eastern Michigan at Florida (-38)
- Ole Miss (-20) at Vanderbilt
- San Jose State at Auburn (-32.5)
- Georgia Tech (-10) at Tulane
- Maryland (-13.5) at South Florida
- BYU (-1) at Texas
- Oklahoma (-24.5) at Tulsa
- Memphis at UCLA (-23)