College Football Betting Primer: Things to Know Before Placing Week 2 Bets
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. Pictured: A Texas Longhorns helmet.
The college football season ramps up with a loaded Week 2 schedule. Some of our best games this weekend are rematches of 2022 humdingers — App State vs. North Carolina, Texas vs. Alabama, and Texas A&M vs. Miami, I guess.
Here's a look at some of the most compelling spots on the docket. Enjoy the games, and let's get to the window.
With this game kicking off an hour before the noon games start, the real degenerate move is to bet Wake Forest first quarter -2.5. That'll provide a little appetizer and a quick taste of the action before the full slate gets underway.
The handle on this game is massive. There is a lot to like about Colorado as this is clearly going to be one of the best passing attacks in college football this season.
But there are also things to like about Nebraska. The Buffaloes didn’t get a single tackle for loss or sack against TCU, and looked pretty leaky in run defense.
This game opened over the summer in look-ahead spots with Baylor favored by small margins. However, news of Blake Shapen’s injury (he is out for a few weeks) and the reaction to Baylor’s effort against Texas State, swung this to Utah -7.5.
The Bears got pushed around last week, which is a bad sign with Utah coming to town. The Utes will likely be without their starting quarterback as well, but Cameron Rising is a full go in practice.
GOP presidential candidates will be at this game, including Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump. Can we get some props markets on this? An over/under on how many times FOX shows Trump? Odds on if Gus Johnson will make a “6-foot-3, 215 pounds” joke?
There's lots of hype for this one. Lane Kiffin has been preaching all week about not overlooking Tulane, which makes me think his guys are in danger of doing exactly that.
This total has steamed up a full touchdown since opening at 59.5, so bettors are locked in for the likelihood of a high-scoring affair.
UTEP is favored on the road against a Power 5 school, though it hasn't won in that scenario in decades. Northwestern might be as bad as 2022 Colorado. If you bet this game, you are holding your nose no matter which side you have.
Are you trusting the worst Power 5 roster just because they are a Big Ten program playing at home? Or are you trusting in Dana Dimel’s disastrous late-game clock management? Neither is a particularly inspiring wager.
Last year’s game was a slog, a 17-9 rockfight. But both sides have new offensive play callers this year and will be looking to open it up (Bobby Petrino for the Aggies, and Shannon Dawson for the Hurricanes).
Our Collin Wilson laid out a strong case for Miami and the over, which might feel like a shock if you watched last year’s game.
Last year, these teams met in the mountains and opened the season with a basketball game. Well, they played football, but both teams scored in the 60’s. Carolina might actually play a little defense this year — at least, it did last week against South Carolina — but Joey Aguilar was on fire last week, as four of his seven completions went for touchdowns. If Texas A&M and Miami fail to oblige and score a plethora of points, at least we know these teams will.
Surely you are already a loyal listener to our Group of Five Deep Dive podcast, right? At this point, I’m listening for Mike Calabrese’s epic anti-Trent Dilfer rants as much as I am for the (typically excellent) analysis and picks.
Calabrese’s case for a Georgia Southern romp is as compelling as it gets.
Texas Tech thought it was going to have a dream season after Joey McGuire won nine games last year. The Red Raiders were one of the most trendy sleeper teams in the nation, but sometimes the breakthrough sleeper picks never breakthrough.
If Oregon can handle its business — the Ducks are favored by a touchdown after hanging 81 on Portland State last week — Texas Tech win total tickets might be dead in the water before the leaves turn.
Last year’s game was an instant classic as Texas lost a squeaker thanks to Quinn Ewers’ injury and Bryce Young’s wizardy. We can only hope we can get as compelling a performance this season.
One angle might be to avoid the spread and bet the total. Texas is going to want to turn this into a track meet with its dangerous receivers, Ewers' golden arm and Steve Sarkisian's nefarious playbook. Meanwhile, Nick Saban is going to want to put teams in the crock pot this year.
Boise State is a home dog — have we learned nothing from the past two decades of college football? I know last week was rough against Washington, but the Huskies have one of the best passing attacks in the country and Boise has an inexperienced secondary.
You know who doesn’t have a top-tier passing attack? UCF, with converted wide receiver John Rhys Plumlee leading the way. He headlines a potent ground game, but consistent, well-rounded football has been a challenge for the Gus Malzahn/Plumlee combo, especially in road games.
Florida State is on a short week and coming off a massive, energizing win. It will handle Southern Miss with ease, despite the likely heroics of Frank Gore Jr.
However, the Noles will likely want to get guys some rest, and Southern Miss should keep working out the kinks of its newfound passing attack with Clemson transfer Billy Wiles at quarterback.
Keep an eye out for the backdoor cover, especially if the spread remains bigger than 28.
Does Stanford have the juice to score a late-night stunner? Well, its Week 1 offense looked more capable than offseason prognostications indicated. New head coach Troy Taylor’s run game scheme is going to give people fits and tight end Ben Yurosek is a star.
Meanwhile, USC is still figuring out if it should play defense this year.