I enjoyed nothing more than putting my bank account’s balance in the hands of teenagers last week. As always, let’s bet responsibly this weekend. Here are my college football picks for Week Two.
Oregon at Ohio State (Ohio State -14.5, Over 63.5)
We have the treat of a top 25 battle to start the afternoon in Columbus. No. 12 Oregon goes across the country to No. 3 Ohio State for what the public believes will be a double-digit victory for the Buckeyes.
This game has huge College Football Playoff implications.
The spread opened at 10.5 and has moved in Ohio State’s favor to 14.5. This is the first time these two will play since the teams faced off against each other in the 2015 College Football Playoff championship game.
Ohio State is 9-0 against Oregon all-time, of course this is only the fifth time the two schools have played since 1983.
The status of potential No. 1 draft pick Kayvon Thibodeaux is in question. Whether he does or doesn’t play is of major significance, it’s unlikely he’s even 100 percent healthy. They’ll already be without linebacker Dru Mathis.
Oregon’s offense won’t be able to keep up with Ohio State for a full game, meaning the Ducks will probably try to have a run-heavy offense to control the clock. Minnesota ran the ball 50 times last week against the Buckeyes, averaging 4.1 yards per carry and despite a double-digit loss, had every chance to win.
Quarterback C.J Stroud struggled in the first half against Minnesota, but was much better in the second to carry the Buckeyes to victory. I expect a complete game from him in his first home game under center.
I expect the Ducks to hang around, which means points will be scored, but Ohio State will show again they are a second half team and roll for the cover.
Rutgers at Syracuse (Rutgers -2, Rutgers -125)
The Scarlet Knights are coming off a blowout victory over Temple and look to keep building momentum for the future tough Big Ten schedule.
Syracuse is 5-3 ATS in their last eight home openers and the home team is 9-4 ATS it their last 13 contests. The spread opened at 1.5 and has only moved in Rutgers favor.
Syracuse is coming off a 1-10 season in 2020 and Rutgers, went 3-6, is looking to start 2-0 for the first time since 2014. Three of Rutgers losses came by eight points or less.
Greg Schiano and his defense that forced five turnovers last week are primed to be a bit of a surprise in the Big Ten this season.
This is the same Rutgers team that defeated Michigan State, Maryland, and Purdue on the road last season after all.
The Scarlet Knights allowed just 3.1 yards per carry on 36 carries. Last week, Syracuse only threw the ball 17 times. Syracuse’s offensive line allowed 38 sacks last season, which was third-worst in FBS. That’s not a good sign with a team that forced three fumbles last week on top of two interceptions.
I love Rutgers in a big road win here.
Purdue at UCONN (Purdue -34.5)
The Huskies are not good at football. They are actually really bad. They got blown out by Holy Cross.
Holy Cross has a football team if you didn’t know. The spread opened at 27.5 and has moved to 34.5. Yikes.
Purdue covered their 7.5 spread last week and their pass first offense put up 30 points on Oregon State.
My only regret is not betting a game involving the Huskies the last two weeks. Slam the Boilermakers.
Buffalo at Nebraska (Buffalo +13.5, Under 54.5)
At the beginning of the week, I thought the over was a lock but I’ve since moved to the under based on the weather.
The forecast calls for 12 mph winds, which seems like the ground attack might be what both teams do. If you like watching the clock tick to zero, perhaps this is your game of choice.
Buffalo scored 69 points against Wagner last week but only threw the football 19 times. They controlled the clock last week averaging 26.2 seconds per play.
Nebraska bounced back after an embarrassing loss to Illinois. They average 37 points per game but 22.2 seconds per play. This game seems similar to Nebraska’s Week One game at Illinois in terms of time management.
Buffalo’s program also seems to be in a much better place than Nebraska’s with Scott Frost on the hot seat as well. Seems like a good spot for Buffalo to at least hang around on the road.
Mercer at Alabama (Mercer +53.5)
Alabama seemingly did not miss a beat last week, which was to no one’s surprise. The Crimson Tide are 5-0 ATS in their last five games.
However, Nick Saban is 1-5 ATS of spreads of 50 or more points. Mercer won 69-0 last week. Both teams are coming in with blowout victories. This will be another one for Alabama, but by less than 54 points.
That’s my favorite bets for Sept. 11. Follow me on Twitter at @CodyOnTap for more plays that I’ll tweet out Saturday.