Wilson: College Football Week 2 Games I Bet Right Away, Including Texas A&M-Clemson
Photo credit: John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kellen Mond
- College football Week 2 spreads and totals have already been released at some sportsbooks.
- Below I give projected lines for Week 2 games and hit on bets I've already made.
Las Vegas-based Circa Sports was the first operator to put out college football Week 2 point spreads and totals. While speculation ran rampant after changes at the Wynn and legalization in several other states, it was Circa that was first to market.
As of this writing, Circa is the only operator to also release totals. College football handicappers generally had to wait until Monday or Tuesday for totals in prior seasons, but Circa Sports has changed the game.
I was able to get multiple bets down on Week 2 openers. Plenty of others numbers are on the cusp of investment. This article will look at the numbers I have already hit, plus projected spreads so you can keep an eye on lines as they move.
College Football Week 2 Projected Spreads
Note: A negative number indicates the home team is favored by that many points; inverse for a positive number.
Texas A&M at Clemson (-17.5)
Jimbo Fisher makes a return visit to Clemson after years of having close calls against Dabo Swinney. Last season, Texas A&M gave Clemson its toughest game — a 28-26 victory by the Tigers in which the Aggies had more total yards. Besides Fisher’s exit year at Florida State in 2017, the Texas A&M head coach has beaten Clemson or stayed within 10 points in a loss over the past decade.
While the number is correct mathematically, not enough has changed from last year’s rosters to warrant a spread this high. Most importantly, Kellen Mond returns after posting more than 10 explosive plays in last year’s game. Even though Texas State is a mid-tier Sun Belt team, the Aggies were able to limit them to eight rushing yards on 15 attempts in Week 1.
Pick: Texas A&M +17.5 or better
California at Washington (-13.5)
One of the rising coaching stars in college football is Justin Wilcox. The Bears head coach turned Cal into a defensive juggernaut in 2018, ranking 13th in S&P+, complemented with a overall number of seventh in the nation against IsoPPP. Wilcox was able to beat Washington 12-10 last season, notching a victory over an old mentor in Chris Petersen.
Some of Petersen’s most successful Boise State seasons came in the late 2000s. From 2006 to 2009, Wilcox was the defensive coordinator for the Broncos. Our Action Network projection makes this game Washington -8.5, giving the current 13.5 number value for the Bears. Look for Cal to have better ball protection after three fumbles in a two-touchdown win against a tough FCS team in UC Davis.
Pick: Cal +13.5
Army at Michigan (-22.5)
The Rice cover against Army was fascinating from a box score perspective. The Owls averaged six yards per rush through 30 attempts, while the Black Knights averaged just 4.1 yards per carry on 56 attempts. Rice was able to generate a couple of explosive plays — a 38-yard pass and a 54-yard run — throughout the game. If the Owls had made both of their field goals, the outcome may have been different.
While those defensive numbers may be a result of the new defensive coordinator for Army, Josh Gattis took over the controls as offensive coordinator at Michigan. The Wolverines had 45 rushing attempts compared to 33 passes, but quarterback Shea Patterson was able to hit three different receivers on completions of 28 yards or more. Zach Charbonnet was able to tally eight carries for an average of 11.3 yards per rush, while Christian Turner was successful in short-yardage conversion attempts.
I have not yet bought into this line, as it’s hovered between 23.5 and 22.5 at multiple operators. Our Action Network line makes this game Michigan -30, and if the direction of the market does not gravitate towards 21, there will be a play before the number is 24. Michigan should dominate the trenches on both sides, while the loss of defensive coordinator Jay Bateman may make Army exposed in explosive plays.
Pick: Michigan -22.5