College Football PrizePicks for Week 2: Value on Dorian Singer, Austin Reed & Evan Stewart (Sept. 9)
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: USC’s Dorian Singer.
Everyone is scrambling to adjust to a new season, from players and coaches to writers and announcers.
Was Week 1 truly a preview of what’s to come or simply a mirage? The truth is always somewhere in between, and projecting player stats this early in the season is as much art as it is science.
With that in mind, I’m breaking out my paintbrush and cobbling together a three-play entry over at PrizePicks.
College Football PrizePicks for Week 2
In the table below, you'll find each of Mike Calabrese's top PrizePicks plays from Saturday's slate of games. Click on any pick or team logo to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|Time (ET)||Player Prop|
Specific betting 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.
Texas A&M vs. Miami
The talk of the offseason in College Station was Bobby Petrino’s arrival and whether or not he could play nice with Jimbo Fisher. Would Fisher truly relinquish play-calling duties, or would it be a forced marriage?
This can be a real concern, evidenced by Clemson’s befuddling debut with a new offensive coordinator. Dabo Swinney stated that superstar OC Garrett Riley would still be running the “Clemson offense.” Would Jimbo do the same to Petrino?
Through one game, the answer is "no."
Texas A&M looked far more dynamic with Petrino calling plays on Saturday. The Aggies scored 52 points, took shots downfield and made life easy on sophomore quarterback Conner Weigman.
My main takeaway, from a projection standpoint, is that Stewart is Weigman’s go-to receiver. Not only did Stewart catch eight passes for 115 yards, but he was targeted 11 times in limited duty. The backups saw significant action in the second half, which means that his 11 targets would likely have been in the 16-17 range had he played the entire game.
And finally, there’s the Miami secondary in this game. Its talent is evident, but this defensive backfield includes two transfers at cornerback operating in a new system. Even against an overmatched Miami (OH) team in the opener, the Canes surrendered 80 yards to the RedHawks' top receiver, Gage Larvadain.
I believe Stewart will surpass 80 yards in what should be an entertaining four-quarter battle at Hard Rock Stadium.
Pick: Stewart Over 69.5 Receiving Yards (Play to 73.5)
Houston Christian vs. Western Kentucky
I had to grit my teeth to fire this one in because Reed operates one of the most pass-happy offenses in the country.
After tearing it up at Division II West Florida, Reed came over last season to WKU and averaged 338 yards through the air per game. And in the Hilltoppers’ opener, he played all four quarters and stuck to his average with 336 yards against USF.
So, on its face, this number appears a bit low — but then you get to the Tops' opponent.
Houston Christian, formerly Houston Baptist University, is very familiar with WKU. After all, HBU was raided by WKU two years ago when the Hilltoppers grabbed their offensive coordinator, star quarterback, star wide receiver and a few other starters in the portal.
Former Husky Bailey Zappe set the NCAA passing touchdown record for a single season with 62.
Since Zappe’s departure from HBU, it hasn’t just been the school’s name that changed. The program fell off a cliff. The Huskies went 0-11 in 2021 without Zappe and just 2-9 last fall.
This team is horrific. It played two ranked FCS opponents and one FBS opponent last fall and lost by an average of 37 points.
This game will be a blowout that won’t necessitate Reed playing past the third quarter. Star receiver Malachi Corley may be limited in this game as well after being carted off in their opener.
I foresee a bit more running and fewer attempts for Reed than usual. These elements make this square too good to pass up.
Pick: Reed Under 320.5 Passing Yards (Play to 314.5)
Stanford vs. USC
If you follow USC beat writers on social media, it’s hard to miss their fawning over Singer. The supremely talented transfer is a finished product who already has chemistry with Caleb Williams.
But as I mentioned in my Week 0 column where I played under on his reception total, the USC offense has too many mouths to feed. Somehow, in just two games, 15 different receivers have caught passes. Six different pass-catchers have reeled in touchdown passes, and no one has more than six receptions through two games. That’s an astonishing achievement.
And here comes a Stanford team ready to be fed directly into the woodchipper.
Stanford’s defense allowed Hawaii’s Brayden Schager to connect with 10 different receivers last Friday night. USC will pick this team apart, and sharps in the market tend to agree.
The implied score in this game is USC 50, Stanford 21. That tells me we’ll see more of the USC bench and a statistical spreading of the wealth at the Coliseum.