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College Football Week 2 Odds, Picks, Predictions: 6 Best Bets for Saturday Afternoon, Featuring Texas A&M vs. App State

College Football Week 2 Odds, Picks, Predictions: 6 Best Bets for Saturday Afternoon, Featuring Texas A&M vs. App State article feature image
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Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: Lebbeus Overton #18 of the Texas A&M Aggies.

  • Saturday's Week 2 college football slate rolls on, as we turn our attention to the afternoon games.
  • Our staff came through with six best bets for the afternoon kickoff window, including Appalachian State vs. Texas A&M and Virginia vs. Illinois.
  • Check out all six of our best bets and picks for Saturday's afternoon games below.

The Week 2 college football slate is far from over, as we roll right into Saturday afternoon’s games.

Six of our staff’s 17 total best bets are for games kicking off during the afternoon window. Whether you’re looking for your typical spread or total bets or you want to explore first-half and team-total plays, we have you covered.

Read on for our team’s best afternoon bets below, and be sure to check out our 11 other picks from the noon, evening and late-night kickoff windows.


Saturday Afternoon College Football Best Bets

The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college football staff is targeting from today’s slate of games. Click the team logos for one of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.

Game
Time (ET)
Pick
3:30 p.m.
Air Force Team Total
3:30 p.m.
App State +19
3:30 p.m.
Under 54
3:30 p.m.
Maryland -27
3:30 p.m.
Pitt 1H +4.5
4 p.m.
Virginia +4
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.


Colorado vs. Air Force

Saturday, Sept. 10
3:30 p.m. ET
CBS
Air Force Team Total Over 33.5

By Dan Keegan

Air Force’s run game holds a significant advantage against a limited Colorado run defense and should be able to score at will.

Last year’s metrics show the discrepancy.

Photo Credit: ACTION ANALYTICS.

The Falcons hung 48 points and had five rushers go over 75 yards against a top-five FCS defense in Week 1.

Rumors of quarterback Haaziq Daniel’s demise were greatly exaggerated. He bounced back beautifully from offseason surgery, rushing for 107 yards and passing for 109.

This might be one of the best versions of the service academy flexbone offense we’ve ever seen.

The Falcons will be going up against an accommodating Colorado defense. In Week 1, the Buffaloes allowed TCU to score 38 points, with 31 of those coming in the second half. The Frogs barely needed to pass the ball and instead rung up 275 yards on the ground at 9.2 yards per carry.

The vibes around the Colorado program are bad right now. We know how difficult it can be for a team to stay focused and competitive against a service academy triple option when it’s overmatched.

Defense is about effort, and defending the triple option is about focus and assignment football — two things that might be in short supply on the Colorado sideline on Saturday.

I love Air Force in this spot, and I believe it’s going to score a ton of points this week.

By betting on its team total instead of the game, I avoid worrying about Colorado’s contributions to the number. By avoiding the large spread (Air Force -18), I don’t have to worry about a potential backdoor cover.

Give me the Air Force team total over.

Pick: Air Force Team Total Over 33.5 (Play to 35)



Appalachian State vs. Texas A&M

Saturday, Sept. 10
3:30 p.m. ET
ESPN2
Appalachian State +19

By CJ Vogel

I hate that I’m riding App State again this weekend. After the heartbreak I experienced last week against North Carolina, this is only torture I am imposing upon myself.

However, the Aggie offense that was on display in the opener against Sam Houston should inspire absolutely no one. Yes, A&M put up a lot of yards, and the stat sheet looks pretty. But only 31 points at home to a significantly worse opponent is bleak.

The Aggie offensive line did not have a good showing, and as a result, A&M averaged just 3.4 yards per carry. Aside from a 71-yard run late in the fourth quarter, UNC averaged a pedestrian 4.1 yards per carry against App State.

If this trend were to continue, and A&M is forced to keep the ball in the hands of Haynes King, I would feel very confident in the Mountaineers’ ability to keep this game close.

All of this goes without saying, but App State can score, score in a hurry and score when it matters, as evidenced by the 40 points it put up in the fourth quarter against UNC.

Pick: Appalachian State +19 (Play to +18.5)

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Appalachian State vs. Texas A&M

Saturday, Sept. 10
3:30 p.m. ET
ESPN2
Under 54

By Kyle Remillard

Appalachian State’s Week 1 loss to North Carolina looked more like a basketball score than a football score. The defense was nonexistent, as the two teams combined for 62 points in the fourth quarter alone.

The scoring summary felt like I was reading a small novel as the Mountaineers were defeated, 63-61, after failing to pick up a two-point conversion to tie the game.

The Mountaineer defense is leaps and bounds better than what it showed last week. The group ranked among the top 25 in Success Rate, Havoc and Points per Opportunity last season. It should bounce back in a strong way against a Texas A&M offense that didn’t look terrific in its Week 1 opener against Sam Houston.

Aggies quarterback Haynes King tossed for 360 yards but also threw two interceptions. The rushing attack produced only 3.4 yards per carry on 32 attempts.

It’s likely going to be a long day offensively for Appalachian State.

The offensive is reliant on the rushing attack of Camerun Peoples and Nate Noel, who combined to rush for 2,000 yards last season. But the Texas A&M front seven is among the top in the country. The Aggies are even more elite against the pass, ranking top-three in Points Per Attempt and Passing Success Rate.

After last week’s high-scoring affair, I anticipate this game to be a slow grind that features two dominant defenses.

Pick: Under 54 (Play to 52.5)



Maryland vs. Charlotte

Saturday, Sept. 10
3:30 p.m. ET
Stadium
Maryland -27

By Mike Calabrese

Charlotte was supposed to be a plucky “half team,” capable of hanging around in high-scoring affairs. Instead, the 49ers are limited at quarterback due to injuries and inefficient play.

Super senior Chris Reynolds has been banged up and may sit for the second straight week. If he does, James Foster or Xavier Williams will be forced into action once again, and that’s bad news for Club Lit.

The pair combined to go just 17-for-31 for 248 yards and zero touchdowns against an FCS opponent last week.

Maryland, meanwhile, just played one of its best games defensively in the Locksley era. The Terps suffocated the Buffalo offense, allowing just 248 total yards while racking up seven tackles for loss.

The Bulls hit just one play of 20 yards or more against a Maryland defense that surrendered over five of those plays per game in 2021 (T-106th).

Dating back to last season, Will Healy’s defense has allowed 38 points or more in seven of its last eight games. Through two games in 2022, it’s already giving up 520.5 yards per game (119th) and doesn’t have the athletes in its secondary to keep up with a talented Maryland receiving corps.

I foresee a huge game for Taulia Tagovailoa. The Terps’ QB1 was fantastic in September last season (10:1 TD-INT ratio), and he should torch the 49ers in this one.

Pick: Maryland -27 (Play to -28)

Tennessee vs. Pitt

Saturday, Sept. 10
3:30 p.m. ET
ABC
Pitt 1H +4.5

By Thomas Schlarp

The Tennessee offense is going to be a lot of fun to watch this season. Hendon Hooker may find himself in the Heisman conversation, and he and Cedric Tillman are a duo that will make for many restless defensive coordinators.

But the Volunteers have one problem on Saturday: They have to face the antithesis of fun — one Pat Narduzzi.

Narduzzi continues to field one of the nation’s best defenses. Sure, this unit allowed 404 yards of offense and 31 points to West Virginia in Week 1, but there’s reason to believe that was more of a one-off than a trend.

The entire starting defensive line that ranked second nationally in sacks per game (3.9), third in tackles for loss per game (8.1) and sixth in rushing defense (89.2 yards per game) from 2021 is back this year.

And three starters are back in a veteran-heavy secondary that’s now had the rust shaken off by a West Virginia offense that’s similar to Tennessee’s.

New offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti Jr. is also already living up to his promise to slow things down. Pitt threw on just 43.3% of its plays against the Mountaineers, compared to 53.4% in 2021. The Panthers ran 24 fewer plays than the Vols in Week 1 (62 vs. 86).

I think Pitt’s defense and slower tempo can at the very least keep this close in the first half before Tennessee eventually gets things going in the second half.

Pick: Pitt 1H +4.5 (Play to +3.5)



Virginia vs. Illinois

Saturday, Sept. 10
4 p.m. ET
ESPNU
Virginia +4

By BJ Cunningham

Virginia may have only four starters returning on offense, but it’s a solid group to have coming back.

Brennan Armstrong was one of the best quarterbacks in all of college football last season. He had a PFF passing grade of 90.3, averaged 8.5 yards per attempt and produced a whopping 35 big-time throws, which ranked fourth in college football.

Oh, he also averaged 7.6 yards per carry on the ground in 2021.

Armstrong also has all three of his top targets coming back after they combined for 209 catches, 2,918 yards and 16 touchdowns. All three of them also had a PFF receiving grade over 75.

Illinois allowed 4.4 yards per play to Wyoming and Indiana in its first two games, which is quite impressive. However, it finished outside the top 65 in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, Passing Success Rate Allowed, Havoc and Defensive Line Yards, per CollegeFootballData.

The defensive line loses two starters, but the biggest concern comes in the secondary. Illinois has only two starters returning and no starting experience behind them.

The Illini finished 38th in EPA/Pass Allowed last season and allowed Conner Bazelak to throw for 330 yards against them last Friday night.

Armstrong absolutely torched Illinois last season, throwing for 405 yards and five touchdowns en route to a 42-14 win.

Tommy DeVito has shown through the first two games that he’s just an average quarterback at best. He’s averaging just 6.0 yards per attempt through two games and owns a PFF passing grade of 75.7.

If he gets into a high-scoring matchup with Armstrong, Illinois is losing this game. I have Virginia projected as a -1.3 road favorite, so I love the value on it at +4.5.

Pick: Virginia +4 (Play to PK)

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