Bud Elliott: After a profitable Week 1, I turned in an awful Week 2, dropping the season record to 14-18 (-$530). Yuck. It was a bad week for many.
Note: Lines will vary from sportsbook to sportsbook. Visit OddsShark for a good overview.
Alabama -7.5 at Texas A&M (-106): Defense, defense, defense. Alabama has it. Does Texas A&M? I will pay to find out. This is also a game in which we may be able to discover whether Texas A&M misses some of its veteran receivers from a year ago.
For more picks, see Bill Connelly's math picking every game this weekend.
Tennessee at Oregon -27.5 (-110): Tennesee's final score was inflated last week by five Western Kentucky turnovers in the span of six plays. Turnovers have a strong luck component, and are tough to replicate from week-to-week. Tennessee may be able to hang for a little while, due to its strong run game behind a good offensive line and a strong run defense up the middle, but if Oregon blows this open, I do not see much of a shot for a backdoor, thanks to Tennessee's anemic passing attack.
New Mexico at Pitt -22 (-105): Pitt's run defense is not awful, and I look for it to be able to put points on New Mexico.
Louisville -13 at Kentucky (-110): This feels like a trap. Kentucky is improved from last year. But I am taking Louisville, the more veteran team with the superstar QB.
Maryland -7 at UConn (-106): Maryland has played nobody of note, but has looked very good. UConn was soundly beaten at home by an FCS team.
Wisconsin at Arizona State -5 (+100): Todd Graham is an excellent coach, and while I like Wisconsin, I have concerns about its secondary facing the spread attack in the desert.
Notre Dame -21 at Purdue (100): Purdue is a bad football team, both on offense and defense. It's probably the worst team in the B1G. I expect Notre Dame's defense to shut down the Boilermakers and give the Irish offense short fields.
Georgia Tech -8.5 at Duke (-106): A very experienced offensive line controls the game for Georgia Tech in a battle between coaches I respect a whole lot.
Boston College at USC -14 (-102): Boston College has been resurgent under Steve Addazio. And USC has been a mess under Lane Kiffin. However, USC's defense is awesome, and I do believe USC will get a bit more out of its offense this week.
Fresno State -9.5 at Colorado (-105): Fresno has too much offense for Colorado and the resurgent Buffs.
UCLA at Nebraska Over 70 (-106): Nebraska's defense is bad, and its offense is awesome. UCLA likes to play a fast pace as well. Points, points, points.
Washington -9.5 at Illinois (-106): I am a believer in this Washington team, and think the defense under DC Justin Wilcox will limit the surprising Illinois offense.
Central Michigan at UNLV -7 (-106): UNLV has allowed an incredible amount of non-offensive points this year. Against Arizona, the Rebs allowed two pick-six touchdowns and also gave Arizona the ball on their own nine via a fumble. Against Minnesota, UNLV allowed a kick return for touchdown, a pick-six, and a blocked field goal for touchdown. Is UNLV bad? Yes. Are they quite as bad as their final scores have indicated? No. With just average luck, this line would be double digits.
Kansas at Rice -6.5 (-110): Rice is a better football team than Kansas. If a team of Rice's caliber had, say, Iowa State jerseys on, and played in a major conference, this line might be closer to 10.
FAU +12.5 at USF (+100): I've watched FAU play twice now (yes, I am seeking treatment). They have a solid defense against the run, an awesome punter, and an offense that can move the ball when it doesn't shoot itself in the foot.
Bethune-Cookman (-3) at FIU (-110): An FCS favored over an FBS? Yes. FIU is a total mess. It gained three yards per play against UCF at home last Saturday. Three. As in, it would need to run 100 plays to reach 300 yards.
Bethune Cookman at FIU Under 48.5 (-110): I don't see this being a shootout. At all.
UTEP -6 at New Mexico State (-110): New Mexico State's run defense is atrocious. UTEP can run the football well.
Surprising futures lines
It's interesting to see how much the public and media overreacts to final scores and doesn't pay attention to box scores. Vegas doesn't overreact. And they look at components of a box score, not just final scores.
Take the game between Florida and Miami, for instance. Miami won 21-16. But Florida outgained the Hurricanes by more than 200 yards, and was clearly the better team, with the small exception of turnovers -- the part of the game with the largest luck component. Miami vaulted to No. 15 in the polls. And with the biggest win under Al Golden, one would think that the lines for Miami would go up by a lot, and down a good bit for Florida.
But that has not happened. Florida is an underdog of five points at LSU, favored by a full seven at Missouri, an underdog of four against Georgia, an underdog of just three and a half at South Carolina, and a pick'em hosting Florida State, according to SportsBook.com.
Miami has fewer available lines, but the Hurricanes have seen their two available lines go against them. Miami was an eight-point underdog at Florida State before the season, but is now a 12-point underdog. Similarly, Miami was a pick'em at North Carolina, but is now an underdog of three points.
But it's not just Miami and Florida. Several other teams have strange lines.
Also, USC is still favored at home over UCLA by 2.— TomahawkNation.com (@TomahawkNation) September 10, 2013
And Texas is still favored by 3 at TCU, 1 v. OU, 2.5 v. OKSU, 13 v. Texas Tech and by 2.5 at Baylor. #Hookem?— TomahawkNation.com (@TomahawkNation) September 10, 2013
Week 2 was also not kind to the season-long wagers. While a loss to Illinois doesn't kill my potential hedge of Cinci +440 for the Big East, the loss of its quarterback to a horrific leg injury certainly does. Illinois Under 3.5 (-110) also doesn't look probable after the win over Cincinnati. And Michigan State Over 8.5 wins (-165) does not look great, either, as the Spartans' offense doesn't look to have made any improvements.
Week 3 provides some important games for the season-long wagers, and some could even be decided this weekend.