My season record for college football gambling picks sits at 6-7 (46 percent) -$170 after Week 1. Alabama, BYU, Clemson, Northern Illinois, Marshall and Georgia Tech were definitely the correct sides. However SMU, Tulsa (which lost its star receiver during the game to an ACL tear), Southern Miss/Nebraska Under, Miami/BC Under and FIU were flat wrong wagers. Frustratingly, Minnesota and Michigan State controlled their games and outgained UNLV and Boise, respectively, by a large margin, but failed to cover due to some horrendous turnovers. Hard luck losses and lucky wins tend to even out over the course of enough plays, and there is little reason to worry.
Week 2 has a distinct lack of marquee games on the slate, so let's get to the wagers.
Utah at Utah State Under 53.5 Points. I've been on the Utah bandwagon primarily because of the Utes' defense. But Utah State returns eight defensive starters and isn't terrible defensively. Both teams will look to run the ball and shorten the game.
UCF +18.5 at Ohio State: The Buckeyes are a very talented team, and they looked great in Week 1, but this is still the first season of Urban Meyer's offense. And UCF, with a solid defense, is one of the more underrated teams in the country.
Toledo at Wyoming -3: Vegas knows something I do not. That something is probably related to two cross-country trips by Toledo in as many weeks.
Kansas State -6.5 vs. Miami: Miami did beat Boston College last weekend, but allowed 441 passing yards (537 total) to a BC team without its top tight end, receiver, and running back, being outgained by 20 percent per-play (5.3 for the Canes and 6.3 for the Eagles). Kansas State beat a better Hurricanes team last year in Miami, and Bill Snyder is a wizard. I did bet the Wildcats under eight wins last month, but this is a game I expect KSU to win.
Iowa -4.5 vs. Iowa State: Is Iowa more than a field goal better than State on a neutral site? Is home field worth at least 3.5 points? I think so, and the line should be seven. Since it's not, there is line value. Also, my Iowa State under 4.5 wins wager is probably sunk if the Cyclones pull the upset.
Auburn at Mississippi State -3: Did you watch Auburn-Clemson? Did you see how poorly Auburn's new pro-style offense utilized the skills of its running quarterback? Until Auburn frees Kiehl Frazier from the pocket, competent defensive coordinators will have fun with the sophomore's head. Also, this is a classic letdown game after the loss in the Dome. Auburn also showed poor gap discipline defensively against Clemson's spread option game, and Mississippi State runs the spread option. This is more of a bet against Auburn than it is for Mississippi State.
N.C. State at UConn Under 50: I am a big fan of UConn's defense and defensive coordinator, Don Brown. I am not nearly as high on the Huskies' offense. I expect N.C. State to come out a bit sloppy in this one after its loss to Tennessee last Friday. Also, my season win total wager really needs N.C. State to not drop this game.
Vanderbilt -3 at Northwestern: If Northwestern hadn't pulled out a referee-aided 42-41 victory over Syracuse last week, this line would be considerably higher. Northwestern won despite being outgained 596-337 (per play of 6.3 to 4.7). Vanderbilt has two extra days of prep time, having played Thursday. My season win total bet of the Wildcats under 6.5 wins would look a lot better if the favored Commodores take care of business here.
Oklahoma State at Arizona +11: Arizona's score was deceiving last week. So was Oklahoma State's. Here's betting that Arizona's pass defense keeps the Cowboys' freshman quarterback in check better than Savannah State did. Now if the Wildcats could just do something in the red zone. The best of both worlds is a close Cowboys win, given that I do have OKSU over 8.5 wins for the season.
Akron at FIU -23.5: I'm not sure how many more times we'll be able to bet against this Akron squad that is one of the worst-coached and least-talented teams in the FBS. FIU, on the other hand, was blown out by Duke last week. If you look closer, however, you'll see that FIU did not play quite as badly as the 46-26 score indicated. It did move the ball on drives of 64, 75, 80, 64, 37 and 60 yards before the game was firmly in garbage time. Unfortunately for the Golden Panthers, they were stopped on downs twice and missed two field goals. This week, FIU won't have to kick as much.
Louisiana Monroe +31 at Arkansas: I am not as high on Arkansas this year as some, and Louisiana Monroe is a team that can hang around if the Razorbacks don't take preparation seriously. There is also a huge look-ahead factor here, as Arkansas welcomes Alabama next week.
Indiana at UMass +14: An Indiana team that barely defeated FCS Indiana State is now good enough to lay two touchdowns on the road? Gimme the dog. Indiana does not have a defense like UConn's (this sentence sounds more serious in hoops season).
NMSU +21.5 at Ohio: I like Ohio. And I'm a big fan of the Bobcats' quarterback. But the hangover here could be fairly substantial after beating Penn State. New Mexico State can score a bit and the back door should be open here.
Bonus Notes: The Florida at Texas A&M -1.5 game should be interesting to watch, but without having seen Florida's real offense, I can't back either side. Georgia -2 at Missouri looks enticing, but I am not betting either side without knowing who Georgia is actually going to have suspended. This looks like strength vs. strength (Missouri's rushing offense vs. Georgia's rushing defense) and weakness v.s weakness (Missouri's passing offense vs. Georgia's secondary).
While we’re here, let’s watch some of the many fine college football videos from SB Nation’s YouTube channel: