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College Football Week 2 picks, predictions against the spread

We love college football, and we love gambling. Here’s our favorite plays on the board this week.

Utah Utes quarterback Bryson Barnes and quarterback Nate Johnson congratulate each other for their combined win against the Florida Gators at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

College football isn’t just one of the best sports to watch on a Saturday afternoon, it’s also one of the best to find ways to make plenty of cash as a sharp sports bettor. Each week we’ll find the best value for NCAA football games against the spread, total, and on the moneyline so you can make plenty of cash. No touts, no fees, and just the best numbers we can find.

Here are our best picks on the board to get all the dollars in Week 2 of FBS football. All lines are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook:

Collin Sherwin: 2023 Record 2-1

Utah -7 vs. Baylor

Let’s just say what we’re hearing out of Baylor’s camp is bad, and that their defensive line looks like a MASH unit heading into just Week 2. Cue the Utes OL, who should be able to run the ball at will this week. Not having to lay the hook here is simply glorious, and this should turn into a road-grade paving.

Texas A&M vs. Miami Under 51

Jimbo Fisher might theoretically not be calling plays anymore, but that doesn’t mean the famously control freak head coach won’t have an influence on the pace of this one. Fisher’s teams consistently finish at the bottom of the nation in pace, and the new clock rules should limit possessions even more.

Meanwhile the Canes might have lit it up in Game 1 against The Other Miami, but that offense with Tyler Van Dyke will find more challenges in a five-star filled front seven for the Aggies.

Marshall -3 vs. East Carolina

We had high hopes for the ECU Pirates this season, hoping they would continue to build on last season’s success despite QB Holton Ahlers finally having to get a real job. But the saddest of sad field goals as the final gun went off was the only thing that kept them from a shutout in the Big House last week.

Meanwhile Marshall barely escaped the UAlbany Great Danes at home, but that was a confluence of circumstances that will keep this line artificially low. Expect QB Cam Fancher to be ready, and a run game that shouldn’t find much resistance on Saturday.

Grace McDermott: 2023 Record 1-2

Colorado -3 vs. Nebraska

The Buffaloes ran all over TCU in Week 1 and are fired up and ready to roll coming into Week 2. While Colorado needs some defensive development, Nebraska does not have the offense that TCU does. Nebraska opened with a loss to Minnesota, and I think they get smoked here to move to 0-2 for the season. The Buffs pulled their run defense together by the second half of the TCU game, which they will need to build on as they host the Huskers.

Tulane +7.5 vs. Ole Miss

Tulane hosts the Rebels in this top-25 matchup. Green Wave quarterback Michael Pratt looked nearly perfect in Tulane’s opener against South Alabama, and Ole Miss is sticking with Jaxson Dart despite struggles last year. After making a name for themselves in 2022, this is exactly the type of opportunity that Tulane has been looking for, and with some key starters returning after last season, I like Tulane’s chances to cover here.

Utah -7.5 vs. Baylor

Baylor got beat up at home by Texas State last week. If they can turn things around in a week to cover this spread against Utah, power to them, but that feels unrealistic. The Utes bulldozed Florida with a backup quarterback starting for them. Whether it’s Bryson Barnes or Cam Rising out there for Utah this weekend, the Bears are in for a tough game against a much better team than the one they lost to last week.

Nick Simon: 2023 Record 1-2

Colorado -3 vs. Nebraska.

We all saw the fireworks show that was Colorado vs. TCU last Saturday and the Buffs have some DUDES. When you have guys like Shedeur Sanders, Travis Hunter, and Dylan Edwards, you’re always a threat to score at anytime. As for Nebraska, it probably should’ve won that game against Minnesota last Thursday. They held the Golden Gophers to just 3.6 yards per play and an abysmal 2.2 yards per rush. The problem is, they turned the ball over four times to Minnesota’s one. They should be able to clean some of that up but still, do you trust Jeff Sims if this game comes down to a track meet? Give me Colorado to cover here. Boulder is going to be fired up.

Texas A&M -4.5 vs. Miami

Both teams did ultimately did what it had to do against G5 opponents in their openers, but I thought the A&M looked more impressive against New Mexico than Miami did against Miami (OH). Connor Weigman was hella efficient for the Aggies, going 18-23 for 236 yards and five touchdowns in the win. Van Dyke also had a pretty efficient game for Miami, outside of the interception he threw. The real matchup to look forward to here will be Henry Parrish Jr. vs. the Aggie front seven and if he can get the run game going for the Canes. I’ll still defer to TAMU winning by a touchdown. This game should be entertaining and not the abomination last year’s game was.

Texas State +14 vs. UTSA

TSU made a statement in G.J. Kinne’s first game by whooping Baylor last Saturday. The Bobcats showed immediate proof of concept on offense and former LSU and Auburn quarterback T.J. Finley has finally found himself a home in San Marcos, TX. Meanwhile, UTSA was sloppy in its opener against Houston last week as Frank Harris was picked off on the first three drives of the second half. Considering that this is a rivalry showdown between two schools in the I-35 corridor, Kinne should have his guys fired up for a second week in a row. Give me the Bobcats to cover.

Chinmay Vaidya: 2023 Record 3-0

Texas +10.5 - Oregon ML (+125)

The Longhorns struggled a bit to put away Rice last week, which could’ve been a case of them looking ahead to this contest. A year ago, Texas was likely a Quinn Ewers injury away from taking out the Crimson Tide in Austin. Going into Tuscaloosa and getting a win over any Alabama side is difficult, and Texas’ form is somewhat concerning. There’s also the stat about Nick Saban’s record against former assistants, and Steve Sarkisian isn’t exactly at the top of that particular list. I think 10 points is enough of a cushion for Texas in this one. Oregon looks like a machine, and Texas Tech is coming off a brutal double overtime loss to Wyoming. I think the Ducks roll easily in that contest.

Notre Dame - Colorado - Utah ML (+210)

This number has gone up significantly over the course of the week, which is good news for those who waited until Saturday to make wagers. Notre Dame has a tricky matchup against NC State, but the Irish are the more talented team and Sam Hartman looks good in this offense. The Utes smoked Florida with backup quarterbacks, and should be able to handle a Baylor squad reeling from a loss to Texas State. The “Coach Prime” hype might be over the top, but the Buffs are better than Nebraska. If there’s a game I’m most worried about here, it’s the Notre Dame one. Otherwise, this is great value.

Stanford +29 vs. USC

The Trojans look like the legitimate College Football Playoff contenders everyone thought they would be, but there are still some questions defensively. Stanford is coming off a decent win over Hawai’i, and should be able to keep things relatively close. The last time USC covered this big a spread against Stanford was 2006. In the 17 games since then, the Cardinal are actually outright winners in 10 contests and actually won the last game in Los Angeles. I think USC avoids the loss but 30 points is way too much.