All wagers at -110 odds unless otherwise noted. Visit Odds Shark for updated lines throughout each game week.
Season record: 8-7
Welcome to a terrible week of college football viewing. Note I said viewing, not gambling. Awful games can be quite advantageous to bet.
1. Louisville at Syracuse +15: This is an obvious look-ahead spot for the Cardinals with FSU on deck, and Syracuse has the ability to throw the ball for a potential backdoor cover if needed.
2. Penn State at Pitt -5: Trust Pitt’s defense to keep Penn State in check and Penn State is a popular public underdog. When the public, which usually bets favorites heavily likes an underdog, race to the window to back the favorite.
3. Boston College at UMass +17: Boston College just played a game in Ireland, and it was an emotional loss. This is UMass’ Super Bowl.
4. Arkansas at TCU -7.5: Both teams struggled in Week 1 but the public is backing the underdog here, which is often a strong indication to take the favorite.
5. Texas Tech +3 at Arizona State: Pat Mahomes is the better QB in this game by a large margin and is good enough to beat the Sun Devils’ blitzing defense.
6. Western Kentucky +30 at Alabama: I am a big fan of Western Kentucky’s offense under coach Jeff Brohm, a rising star in the business. This is a major sandwich spot for the Tide coming off a win over USC with Ole Miss on deck.
7. Tulsa +30 at Ohio State: Ohio State has Oklahoma on deck and Tulsa is improved enough to take advantage of this look-ahead spot.
8. BYU at Utah -3: Utah has the defensive line to get enough stops to get its offense going.
9. Wake Forest +5 at Duke: Both teams have issues at quarterback and neither deserves to be favored by more than a field goal.
10. UTEP +29.5 at Texas: This is a wager against Texas being up for this game after its big win over Notre Dame (why Brian Kelly played someone other than DeShone Kizer for every snap I’ll never understand) with a revenge game against Cal on deck.
11. UConn +4 at Navy: Connecticut is an excellent defensive team and has enough discipline to give Navy trouble, particularly with Navy playing a backup QB.
12. Cal at San Diego State -7: Cal might be sneakily bad, and its win over Hawaii was unconvincing. San Diego State plays some hellacious defense.
13. North Carolina at Illinois +9: This wager scares me because North Carolina could have easily defeated Georgia had it just run the football when formation dictated.
Of P5 schools in Wk1, UNC faced 3rd highest rate of 6 or fewer defenders in the box but had the 8th highest rate of passes vs. that defense.— David Hale (@DavidHaleESPN) September 8, 2016
However, it is hard to believe UNC will be fired up to go on the road at Illinois.
14. Ohio at Kansas -2.5: Kansas is a favorite! It must be for a reason! (The reason is Ohio looked quite poor in Week 1, losing at home to Texas State).
15. Cincinnati at Purdue +6: Purdue QB David Blough as a home underdog to an AAC team not named Houston or USF is a chance worth taking.
16. UCF +36 at Michigan: Central Florida is an underrated football team and plays a funky system that Michigan may not be prepping for as much as it normally would with some legitimate competition (Penn State, Wisconsin) in the coming weeks. UCF’s winless 2015 season is creating some residual value.
17. Akron +24 at Wisconsin: Wisconsin might be overvalued after its upset of LSU, and the Badgers offense is not very good. Covering 24 after an emotional win might be tough.
18. Middle Tennessee State at Vanderbilt -5: Vanderbilt’s defense is nasty and this is a wager against the popular public underdog that MTSU has become.
19. FAU +25 at Miami: This game means a lot more to FAU than it does to Miami.
20. Washington State +11 at Boise State: The Cougars’ loss to an FCS team in Week 1 creates some value here, just as it did when WSU lost to an FCS team to open the 2015 season.