Preview and predictions for NCAA Football Week 2
Following last week's results that saw eight Top 25 teams lose including No. 3 Clemson as a small favorite to No. 5 Georgia, we're back for more big game betting picks, insight and information you can bet on. Three Top 25 teams lost to unranked teams the first full weekend of college football, and we've again seen line movement and adjustments at the leading online sportsbooks. Lets see if we can sort out some winning picks, opinions and leans to direct you towards the end zone and profit without fumbling along the way.
A few chip-in winners last week along with some not preferred picks. No comments on a few of the performances and quarterback play, but recall that while the big name teams and brands in the Top 25 rankings draw most the headlines, attention and betting action, those games don't necessarily offer the best value or betting opportunities. The online sportsbooks take the most bets on those games, which in turn drives the handle on the top teams and match-ups.
Did you notice in your recaps, results and box score analysis that five teams won outright as +17 or more last week? Along with covering big point spreads, there was some huge moneyline payouts on:
- Montana +1100 won 13-7 at Washington (+22.5)
- UC Davis +1060 won 19-17 at Tulsa (+22)
- East Tennessee St +920 won 23-3 at Vanderbilt (+21)
- Northern Illinois +710 won 22-21 at Georgia Tech (+19)
- Utah St +605 won 26-23 at Washington St (+17)
Also, scoring has not met linemaker's expectations. The over/under results this college football season are 31-57-1 (65%). That's 31 overs, 57 unders and one push (pending closing lines) with unders hitting at 65% on more than 90 games.
With 82 college football teams returning 17 or more starters due to NCAA rule changes, one-time transfer rules and 'super seniors' allowed another year of eligibility due to COVID and a shortened 2020 season, there has clearly been more continuity and strength on defense. Scoring through the first full week plus five Week zero games averaged 52.3 points per game - down nearly 7 points per game from last seasons opening contests covering nearly 100 games.
Week 2 Top 25 Match-ups
Top-ranked Alabama picked up 59 first place votes in this week's AP Top 25 poll, and Georgia received the other four first place votes at No. 2. The rest of the top 10 is Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Clemson, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Iowa State and Iowa. Also, Penn State checks in at No. 11 after last week's Top 25 road win at Wisconsin, and Oregon is No. 12 and one of the two Top 25 match-ups this week.
Saturday, Sept. 11
No. 12 Oregon at No. 3 Ohio State - 12 p.m. ET on FOX
Line: Ohio State -14.5 and Total 64 at SportsBetting.ag, another OSGA top rated sportsbook and affiliate of BetOnline
This line opened -13.5 and total 62 at Circa Sports in Las Vegas on Sunday. Ohio State had four TDs of 55 yards or more last week and overcame a halftime deficit to beat Minnesota (+14), 45-31. Disappointing push on our card, and now Oregon fans face disappointment with All-American DE Kayvon Thibodeaux (leg) day-to-day ahead of the Ducks prime time showdown in Columbus. Trend bettors are going back a number of years to point out that Oregon is 1-7 ATS on the road when taking points. The Buckeyes offense may be dynamic and continue to get rave reviews and hype, but no can we recommend laying inflated points against a top Pac-12 team with top recruits, speed and top-3 units across the board in the Big 12 other than at quarterback. The Ducks were not sharp in last weeks 31-24 win over Fresno State and allowed nearly 300 passing yards. But Oregon can balance the attack, put pressure on the Buckeyes second-game starting quarterback and hang tough with Thibodeaux status key to making the play.
Opinion: Oregon plus the points and a pick with Thibodeaux starting
No. 10 Iowa at No. 9 Iowa State - 4:30 p.m. ET on ABC
Line: Iowa State -4.5 and Total 47 at BookMaker
This line opened -4 and total 44.5 in Las Vegas on Sunday, and the line on this game over the summer was Iowa State -6.5. For the 68th time in series history and first time ever with both teams ranked in the Top 25 and now Top 10, the Hawkeyes and Cyclones will battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy from Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa. ESPN GameDay will be on site, and the Hawkeyes have won the last five matchups against the Cyclones. That includes an 18-17 road win in 2019 and a thrilling 44-41 overtime win over Iowa State in 2017. Still, Cyclones head coach Matt Campbell has done one of the best jobs in college football turning around the fortunes at Iowa State. Last week's close 16-10 win over FCS Northern Iowa meant much more to little brother while Iowa State didn't show their hand with this big inter-state rivalry on deck. Iowa is annually fundamentally sound under superb 23rd year coach Kirk Ferentz. Last week the Hawkeyes only had 303 yards offense, but a pair of pick 6's in the first half hurt the Hoosiers hopes as QB Penix was putrid in a 34-6 Iowa win. All league first team running backs are one's to watch with Iowa's Tyler Goodson and Iowa State All-American Breece Hall. Iowa State has some edges along the line of scrimmage and clearly at quarterback with Brock Purdy. We note that under coach Campbell, the Cyclones are 9-0 ATS when favored by less than 7 points at home. The Cyclones should snap the 5-game losing streak to Iowa.
Pick: Iowa State (-4.5)
FairwayJay is a proven sports handicapper and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. He chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events. Read more great insights from FairwayJay and follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay