College Football Week 2 Odds, Picks: Collin Wilson’s Top Saturday Bets, Including Florida vs. Kentucky, BYU vs. Baylor
Chris Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: BYU linebacker Morgan Pyper (10).
- Week 2 is here, which means Collin Wilson has plenty of college football bets locked in.
- He has turned his focus to four games: Alabama vs. Texas, Tennessee vs. Pitt, Kentucky vs. Florida and Baylor vs. BYU.
- Check out how Wilson is betting all four Week 2 college football games below.
After an incredible Week 1 that featured plenty of stellar midweek and weekend games, Week 2 of the college football season is upon us.
The eyes of the entire college football world will be on Austin at noon ET, as Steve Sarkisian’s squad hosts his former boss Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide. With the amount of respect between these two coaches, I’m also eyeing a second-half bet if the game script goes as expected.
Shortly after, Josh Heupel will take Tennessee’s high-powered offense to the Keystone State to take on Pat Narduzzi’s stout Pitt defense.
Billy Napier also looks to stay undefeated as Florida’s head coach when his team hosts Kentucky in an SEC East battle that could determine who will play the role of Georgia’s main contender for the division crown.
Then, to cap off the night, Baylor travels to BYU in what will be a future Big 12 Conference showdown — and could be the best matchup of the day.
Collin Wilson’s Week 2 College Football 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 the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|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.|
Alabama vs. Texas
All eyes in the college football world will turn to Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday at noon ET. The Crimson Tide are set to give the Longhorns an early SEC preview despite the rarity of the travel.
While Alabama has played plenty of early non-conference games at neutral sites, the Tide have not been in hostile territory this early since a win at Penn State in 2011. There are plenty of storylines in this game, with the relationship of the head coaches at the forefront.
The Nick Saban coaching tree runs deep, as a handful of former protégés are now head coaches at SEC schools. Steve Sarkisian is set to join that group when Texas leaves the Big 12 after a successful two-year stint as the Crimson Tide offensive coordinator.
Both Sark and Saban had kind words for each other in their respective media day trips, acknowledging that their relationship goes far beyond the football field.
Texas football coach Steve Sarkisian said the Alabama game plan was done three months ago
— Anwar Richardson (@AnwarRichardson) September 5, 2022
Alabama is the favorite on the board to win the National Championship, while Texas is projected to battle with a number of teams for the Big 12 crown.
The Longhorns may not have the experience or talent level of the Crimson Tide, but they will certainly look to make a statement as to how far Texas has come in the Sark era.
For the Crimson Tide, the trip to Austin represents a soccer “friendly,” where victory and full health are the goals.
The competition at cornerback continues to heat up, as Eli Ricks, Khyree Jackson and Kool-Aid McKinstry posted similar coverage grades against Utah State.
The depth and talent of the Alabama back seven reigned supreme against the Aggies, leaving the passing-based offense with no points and just eight completions on the day.
Utah State quarterbacks Logan Bonner and Levi Williams combined for just five completions and 54 yards passing, as four defenders in the Tide secondary posted a forced incompletion.
The remainder of the defense stayed in a base front without blitzing — no sacks were recorded, as Alabama created just five tackles for loss.
The game plan for Texas was kept off of film, as 20 different players recorded a tackle for Alabama but generated close to no Havoc on the evening.
The fireworks were all left for the offense, led by last season’s Heisman Trophy winner.
Bryce Young’s ability to evade pressure and keep his eyes downfield is one of his elite traits.
Reminds me a little bit of a guy named Russell Wilson. pic.twitter.com/Q0hCpq0fdE
— Bradon Deacon (@BradonDeacon) September 4, 2022
Bryce Young led Alabama to an offensive score in each of the first nine drives of the game. The sophomore posted six total touchdowns, five of which came through the air.
If there’s an area that deserves attention, it’s his number of scrambles, as Young left the pocket four times to record 107 yards on the ground. The number of open-field tackles on the Heisman winner must decrease for Alabama to win the national title.
195 passing yards
— ْ (@GiantsBetta) September 4, 2022
Expect running back Jahmyr Gibbs to get more action against Texas after just nine touches on the ground against Utah State. The transfer from Georgia Tech posted 4.3 yards after contact and just one catch in the passing game.
Coordinator Bill O’Brien did well in limiting the explosive back, but an increase in carries and targets is expected to maneuver around a Texas defensive line that wrecked ULM.
Quinn Ewers is officially the starting quarterback at Texas after sitting a season at Ohio State before hitting the transfer portal.
The freshman had plenty of positives against Louisiana Monroe — before his Porsche was towed at least. Ewers has the ability to sling the side arm, read multiple progressions and step up in the pocket with great awareness of pressure.
Solid showing in his debut. Lots of room to improve. pic.twitter.com/yGnYgT0Qjc
— CJ Vogel (@CJVogel_TFB) September 4, 2022
The stat sheet is where some of the shine comes off of an explosive debut. Ewers managed two turnover-worthy plays to just one big-time throw, including an interception while throwing on the run.
The quarterback found himself in a pressured pocket just three times from the Warhawks’ defense, resulting in one of his turnover-worthy plays.
Freshman left tackle Kelvin Banks will be under a microscope against Alabama’s edge positions, but he posted the highest pass and run blocking grade of any lineman against ULM.
Ewers favored receiver Xavier Worthy and tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders with 13 total targets, but future NFL pick Bijan Robinson will be the most important weapon against Alabama.
The junior was limited to just 10 rushes and five targets in the passing game ULM, as he displayed explosiveness in limited action. Robinson posted a high 2.2 yards per route run despite an average depth of target of 0.0, indicating the running back creates explosiveness from the backfield.
Bijan Robinson's "negatives" section is gonna be difficult to write pic.twitter.com/7QY6IjoU73
— James Foster (@NoFlagsFilm) September 6, 2022
The offense has the pieces to be methodical and explosive through Robinson and Ewers, but the defense will be the key for Texas.
ULM created 12 missed tackles, with half of them recorded against the linebacker tandem of Jaylan Ford and Ethan Burke. Sophomore Barryn Sorrell is expected to get duties in standard downs but was a liability against the pass.
ULM quarterback Chandler Rogers attacked the middle of the field on 10-of-19 passing attempts, an area that will dictate success for the Longhorns’ defense.
The Warhawks are near the bottom of FBS power ratings, but the returns from the Longhorns’ defense are positive. Four edge position players led the team with 14 total pressures, as Texas generated four sacks — all from the defensive line.
The Longhorns’ front seven must produce similar success against an Alabama offensive line that allowed just two pressures against Utah State.
Alabama vs. Texas Betting Pick
There are not many investors looking to fade Saban on the road in Austin, but if Texas wants to compete in this game, there may be an avenue through the trench.
The Alabama offensive line struggled to keep a clean pocket in standard and passing downs against Utah State, forcing Young to scramble for explosive plays.
With a full SEC schedule on deck, Young’s health is paramount and dependent on tackles Tyler Steen, JC Latham and Amari Kight.
Both Steen and Latham posted the lowest grades in run and pass blocking against Utah State, which is not a good combination coming in against edge Keondre Coburn, who posted four quarterback hurries against Louisiana-Monroe.
Alabama did not show any control around the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, posting a Stuff Rate outside the top 100 offensively and defensively.
Defensive coordinator Pete Golding tempered down the Crimson Tide to a base defense and is expected to show wrinkles against Ewers. But if Alabama can’t force its way into the Texas backfield, there may be plenty of rushing gains from Robinson and Roschon Johnson.
The hope for Texas is that Ewers’ decision-making improves when the Longhorns get off schedule and are forced to pass.
Alabama has the talent to blow out 125 FBS teams, including Texas. The question is whether Saban is running the offense in fifth gear through the second half.
There have been multiple marquee football games that required Alabama to win and press on without injury. The Crimson Tide raced to a 21-point lead against Notre Dame in the playoff, only to go into cruise control by rushing the ball and draining the clock to allow an Irish cover.
This concept played out once again in last year’s semifinal after gaining a 17-3 halftime lead against Cincinnati.
The goal of this game from the Crimson Tide’s point of view is victory and full health — not the routing of a former assistant.
The Action Network projection is Alabama -15.5, indicating the Tide are oversold in the market. Spread numbers of 19 and 20 are not key, as sharp buyback on Texas has come when +21 has been presented.
The only side in this game is a play on the Longhorns, as the offense will continue to play at full speed even in a scenario where the Tide lead by 35 or more points.
If Alabama takes a four-score lead into halftime, look for the customary second-half under bet to be in play to close this chapter between Saban and Sarkisian.
Pick: Texas +21 (-120 or Better)
Tennessee vs. Pitt
Two teams with victories in Week 1 of college football will meet in a rematch of a shootout from last season.
Plenty has changed for both Tennessee and Pittsburgh since the Panthers left Knoxville with a victory. Kenny Pickett no longer runs an uptempo passing attack for the Panthers, while Hendon Hooker was named the starting quarterback after the Volunteers’ Week 2 loss in 2021.
Tennessee hammered Ball State in the season opener, holding the Cardinals scoreless through halftime while gaining 569 total yards in the game. The Volunteers’ defense contributed with plenty of quarterback hurries and tackles for loss.
The same can be said about the Pitt defense after an evening harassing JT Daniels and West Virginia. The Mountaineers had unexpected success against the Pitt defense on both the ground and through the air, which makes this game one of the more intriguing matchups of the weekend.
Head coach Josh Heupel was pleased with the results from the Ball State victory. Tennessee converted all three attempts on fourth down while also averaging 5.8 points on nine offensive trips past the 40-yard line.
The Volunteers ran tempo at 20.9 seconds per play and faced little resistance in marching down the field.
Tennessee ran the ball 60% of the time, as Heupel noted that running against the Pitt defense was pivotal.
— Davey Hudson (@Davey_Hudson) September 2, 2022
Three separate running backs reached the end zone against Ball State with Jaylen Wright averaging 5.5 yards after contact. The offensive firepower was never in question in the MAC opener, ending with Hooker throwing two touchdowns and 12 different players having a target in the passing game.
The offensive line was solid in providing protection, as the only two pressures recorded came from backup guard and tackle positions.
The Tennessee defense firmed up when Ball State got into scoring position. Despite four drives exceeding the Volunteers’ 40-yard line, the Cardinals averaged just 2.5 points per trip.
Both tackle grading and Success Rate against the rush were good enough to finish in the top 40 after a single week of play, but the defense struggled to create Havoc.
Outside of a Kamal Hadden interception, Tennessee missed 11 tackles and failed to record a sack.
Kamal Hadden's second career interception was also the #Vols second takeaway of the game.
He immediately ran and pointed to someone in the crowd. pic.twitter.com/tn3pglDM0X
— Kellyanne Stitts (@KellyanneStitts) September 2, 2022
The talk in the offseason among Pittsburgh fans revolved around the move to a more run-based attack under new coordinator Frank Cignetti Jr. The Panthers elected to run the ball on 61% of snaps with middling success in Cignetti’s debut.
After a single data point against the West Virginia defense, Pitt ranks 92nd in Stuff Rate and 94th in Line Yards. Those numbers will keep the Panthers off schedule when the game plan revolves around the run.
The great news for Pitt is that there were multiple explosive runs from Rodney Hammond Jr.
— Collin Wilson (@_Collin1) September 2, 2022
Both Hammond and Israel Abanikanda had explosive plays catching the ball out of the backfield.
Quarterback Kedon Slovis went 8-for-8 on passes between the hash marks at 10 yards or fewer, mixing in play action on a third of his passing attempts.
A lack of a solid running game kept the Panthers in passing downs for most of the game, but cashing in on drives that went beyond the 40-yard line contributed to the victory in the Backyard Brawl.
Over the summer, a narrative emerged that Pitt would field one of the best defenses in the nation.
West Virginia quickly found success through the air, but surprisingly had freshman running back CJ Donaldson gain 125 yards on just seven carries. Donaldson created four missed tackles and generated an average of 12.5 yards after contact against the Pitt defense.
CJ Donaldson’s TD was MEAN 😤 pic.twitter.com/VJqGEN1k87
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 2, 2022
There are plenty of counting stats for Pitt — eight tackles for loss, three sacks and seven quarterback hurries. The ultimate boom-or-bust defense paid off with a pick-six to seal the game late.
Questions remain heading into this matchup with Tennessee, a team that has the weapons to replicate the West Virginia air attack, along with a few running backs to pound against a Pitt tackling grade of 45th.
Tennessee vs. Pitt Betting Pick
There are plenty of reasons to believe this game will be full of points. The Pitt defense was torched on the ground by West Virginia, while also allowing explosive plays on known passing downs.
The Panthers are one of the most Havoc-minded defenses in the nation, but allowing the Mountaineers to record 22 first downs was not an expected result.
Tennessee did not record a pressure against a Ball State offensive line that lost 40% of experience from last season. The back seven generated a pass breakup and an interception, but the Cardinals spent all four quarters playing in known passing downs.
Specifically, Tennessee was targeted successfully between the hashes.
Ball State quarterback John Paddock completed 19 passes on 24 attempts on plays between the hashmarks. This target zone is the exact zone Cignetti elected to attack with success for Slovis in Week 1.
If Ball State generated 11 missed tackles from gains within the hashmarks, the Pitt offense should have plenty of success, too.
The Action Network projects this game closer to a pick, as an opener of Tennessee -5 quickly took steam to a full touchdown. Both of these teams finished top-10 nationally during Week 1 in converting scoring opportunities into points, indicating an over bet is in play.
Considering Pitt has the schematic advantage on the Tennessee defense, the best play is on the Panthers to cover at home.
Pick: Pitt +6.5 or Better
Kentucky vs. Florida
A summertime conflict between Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari and Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops erupted on which sport Kentucky best represents.
If the Wildcats can upset Florida in Week 2, Lexington will keep all eyes on the gridiron and not the upcoming midnight madness tip. Despite multiple suspensions that may linger into this week, Kentucky found a groove against Miami (Ohio) in the season opener.
Florida, meanwhile, won its first game under Billy Napier in a marquee showdown with Utah. The Gators were explosive and cashed on their limited attempts into scoring position. Consistent pressure from the defense resulted in turnovers that assisted Florida in the win.
The Wildcats and Gators are in a battle royal with Tennessee to determine a true contender to Georgia, as this game determines which SEC East team will be dumped over the top rope.
Running back Chris Rodriguez was not eligible for the first game against Miami (Ohio), but backup Kavosiey Smoke anchored a rushing attack that averaged just 1.9 yards per carry.
Smoke created three missed tackles in seven rushing attempts, averaging 3.7 yards after contact. The minimal ground game was enough to allow quarterback Will Levis to operate in passing attempts.
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) September 4, 2022
Levis targeted 12 different players, but none were more important than slot receiver Tayvion Robinson. With an average of 22 yards per reception, Robinson was targeted twice as often as any other option.
Levis finished off the Miami (Ohio) defense with three touchdowns and an interception. A closer look at the numbers shows more turnover-worthy plays than big-time throws.
The Kentucky defense continues to bring a lunch pail mantra, creating four tackles for loss and three sacks. The Wildcats posted one of the highest tackling grades from a national level.
Kahlil Saunders produced three pressures from the edge position, as an opening touchdown by the RedHawks would be their only trip to the end zone of the day.
Anthony Richardson continues to be electric.
Although the quarterback failed to log a big-time throw against Utah, his activity in scrambles and designed rushing attempts kept the Pac-12 defense on its heels.
With two explosive runs and three rushing touchdowns, any team that struggles to tackle in space will have trouble containing Richardson.
This angle of Anthony Richardson’s 2-point conversion last night is UNREAL 🔥 pic.twitter.com/V1h5SN04hy
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) September 4, 2022
With Heisman odds rapidly moving up the board, the question remains if any team can force Richardson into passing downs. Florida had the 12th-highest rate of standard downs in Week 1, a characteristic carrying over from Napier’s time calling the Louisiana offense.
The Kentucky defense must be prepared not only for the scramble but also execution against misdirection. The Florida offense executed in play action and screens with a combined 9-for-11 effort against Utah.
The Gators defense did enough to win the game against an offense that lit up the Rose Bowl last January. Both Gervon Dexter and Brenton Cox Jr. combined for eight tackles and four pressures, but Utah marched the field on seven drives that eclipsed the Florida 40-yard line.
The Utes managed just 3.5 points per trip in scoring opportunities. Florida’s red-zone defense then ended the game.
Amari Burney picks off Cam Rising to seal the game 🏈pic.twitter.com/K4sfqysTlG
— 247Sports (@247Sports) September 4, 2022
Utah was methodical in sustaining drives but was limited in explosive plays on the ground and through the air. The Florida defense showed up when it counted, posting a top-20 rank in limiting standard downs explosiveness.
Kentucky vs. Florida Betting Pick
Stoops continues to make changes in the offensive trench after an ineffective run game and unexpected pressure on Levis against a defensive front from the MAC.
Levis was sacked four times, and Miami (Ohio) also added four tackles for loss.
Kenneth Horsey will move from left guard to left tackle after not allowing a pressure in 24 offensive snaps. The move pulls David Wohlabaugh out of the tackle rotation after he allowed five pressures. Firming up the tackle position should result in a cleaner pocket for Levis and additional yards on zone run attempts.
Slot coverage will be of the utmost importance for the Florida defense, as Levis is expected to rely on Robinson in the quick passing game.
Utah elected to target right inside linebacker Amari Burney on eight passing attempts with plenty of success. Burney allowed six receptions with an average of 13.7 yards per catch. With an unexplosive running game that doesn’t feature Rodriguez, attacking the linebacker unit through the air will provide the most success for Kentucky’s offense.
The biggest wild card in this game is the Wildcats’ ability to tackle Richardson. Kentucky posted one of the highest tackling grades in the nation, a defensive trait that carries over season to season.
After sitting two games due to injury, Richardson was limited against Kentucky last season. The freshman quarterback created just one missed tackle and gained just 25 yards on five designed run attempts.
The Action Network projection makes this game Florida -2, as the market has adjusted Kentucky for the losses of Rodriguez and linebacker Jordan Wright. If the status of those players improves before Saturday, there should be a bump in the market on the Kentucky number.
With offensive line modifications, there’s an expectation that the run game and pass protection will improve. Mother Nature may also play a role with rain expected in the second half in the Swamp.
Look for this game to be a grind on both sides, as Kentucky excels defensively in stopping the explosive play while providing elite tackling.
The Wildcats offense will search for a consistent rushing game behind a modified offensive line. If they don’t find it, Levis will be dependent on attacking the linebackers through the slot.
A point spread of Florida -6 represents a buying price on Kentucky. But the better bet comes on the under as Florida continues its red-zone defense while the Wildcats eliminate explosiveness from the Gators offense.
Pick: Under 52.5 or Better · Kentucky +6 or Better
Baylor vs. BYU
Another round of the Jeff Grimes Bowl is set to take place when Baylor travels to Provo to take on BYU.
As a former offensive coordinator for the Cougars, Grimes departed Kalani Sitake’s staff after the 2020 pandemic season to take the same role under Dave Aranda in Waco. Grimes was essential in the maturation of Zach Wilson and now leads an offense that won the Big 12 last season.
These two teams are quite familiar with each other after a 38-24 Bears victory last October.
Both teams entered Week 1 with plenty of questions on the offensive side of the ball. Baylor lost every contributor at the receiver and running back position, but those hurdles were not visible in a route of Albany in Week 1.
For BYU, injury concerns to a number of key contributors prefaced a trip to South Florida. The Cougars routed the Bulls in the Florida humidity, scoring a touchdown on the first three offensive drives.
Baylor has lost just one game since it last played BYU, making this the spotlight game during the Week 2 nightcap.
Aranda and Grimes were littered with questions revolving around playmakers on the offensive side of the ball.
Baylor may have answered those with a 69-point output against Albany. The Bears scored a touchdown on the first five possessions in the second half.
Quarterback Blake Shapen ended the scrimmage by completing 17-of-20 passes. Wide receiver Seth Jones and tight end Ben Sims served as the main targets at five apiece, but the most explosive plays were made by Monaray Baldwin out of the slot.
— I14Sports/knctsports (@KNCT_SPORTS) September 4, 2022
Shapen was deadly in play-action passing, completing all four attempts and accumulating two touchdowns.
Setting up play-action was a solid running game led by Richard Reese and Qualan Jones. Both backs combined for seven missed tackles, as Jones averaged 4.8 yards after contact.
Aranda’s multiple personnel did not disappoint against Albany, as tackle TJ Franklin provided four pressures and five different players recorded a pass breakup.
Cornerback Al Walcott was targeted the most, allowing just eight yards after the catch on five receptions allowed.
Albany won just two games last season, but Baylor curtailed all of the questions heading into the season.
Before this season, BYU had gone 1-8 all-time in games played in the state of Florida, but that was not apparent in Week 1.
Despite injury concerns to some of their top talent, the Cougars dominated a South Florida team that was projected for improvement this season.
Christopher Brooks led the ground attack with 135 yards on 13 attempts, creating seven missed tackles with an average of 9.5 yards after contact.
Quarterback Jaren Hall continued excellent play under center with the only blemish coming from a red-zone interception after a 12-play drive.
Hall targeted 12 different players, although a lack of explosiveness existed among the top two pass-catchers in Kody Epps and Brayden Cosper. This is still one of the most methodical offenses in college football, racking up 27 first downs in 34 minutes of possession.
If there’s concern for the Cougars, look no further than a Havoc-less defense. BYU posted a single sack and just two tackles for loss against the South Florida offensive line.
Bulls quarterback Gerry Bohanon has the ability to scoot out of the pocket but saw a grand total of five pressures in 31 dropbacks.
The Cougars defense struggled to end drives without points, as three Bulls possessions crossed the 40-yard line and resulted in 4.7 points per trip.
Baylor vs. BYU Betting Pick
The question with BYU is how much of the offense and defense was left off of tape in preparation for Baylor.
Wide receiver Gunner Romney was held out of play, while fellow receiver Puka Nacua received just one target against the Bulls. Both Nacua and Romney are listed on the depth chart for Baylor and would add an even more explosive element than what was on display against South Florida.
No new update on #BYU WR Puka Nacua and Gunner Romney from OC Aaron Roderick.
— Mitch Harper (@Mitch_Harper) September 7, 2022
Walcott replaces star linebacker and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Jalen Pitre. Albany had the most offensive success targeting Walcott in passing attempts, and BYU and Hall are expected to follow the same plan.
BYU’s defense also played coy in the opener, playing a non-aggressive base that allowed defenders to react after South Florida exposed the play. Although Grimes knows the BYU defense inside and out, expect Sitake to have held a few wrinkles of blitz and coverage schemes off of film.
This is a BYU team that traveled to Florida and endured multiple hours of lightning delays before routing the home team.
Now back at home with elevation as an advantage, Baylor must leave the state of Texas. The Bears struggled in Big 12 games away from Waco, suffering two losses and minimal offense in a victory over Kansas State.
Baylor lost most of the back seven heading into this season, returning less than 50% of pass breakups. Look for BYU to avoid Baylor’s defensive line and aim straight for the back seven in a preview of a future Big 12 conference matchup.