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College Football Betting Against the Spread: Week 2


Every Friday for entertainment purposes only, I will bring you my top college football picks against the spread. I do not condone, approve or encourage gambling on sports in any way. But if you are a fan of football — college or pro — and you don't think gambling has played a huge role in the growth and popularity of the sport, then you are simply being ignorant. And behind closed doors, the powers that be understand the impact betting has had on the game of football.

2012 Record Against The Spread: 7-2
Last Week: 7-2

Ohio State and Baylor were double-digit favorites last week and both provided easy covers while ACC teams Miami and Clemson provided winners as well in key season openers. Iowa State was the only BCS team facing a mid-major at home that was an underdog — and they won by two touchdowns. Alabama was an easy pick and Louisville was very impressive. The Big Ten supplied my two losses as Michigan State won outright but missed the cover while Penn State's emotional season debut ended in defeat.

Note: All lines are as of date of publication

Louisiana Tech (-3.5) at Houston
There may not have been a worse season debut than Houston’s 30-13 loss to Texas State. There is no Case Keenum, no Kevin Sumlin and the result ended up being 326 total yards of offense against a team that joined the FBS ranks this year. The Bulldogs are loaded on offense, are used to winning (reigning WAC champs), and went 11-2 last season against the spread. They have also had two weeks to prepare as their tough opener against Texas A&M was postponed last week. Prediction: Louisiana Tech (-3.5)

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Georgia (-2) at Missouri
The Dawgs and Mark Richt fully understand what this game means to their SEC championship hopes. A trip to South Carolina is the only tougher road game facing UGA all season and Mizzou is making its SEC debut. These two offenses are led by stellar quarterbacks in Aaron Murray and James Franklin, but one team possesses a vastly superior defense. The second this line dropped below the field goal benchmark, I jumped on a team that was 3-1 against the spread as a road favorite last season. Prediction: Georgia (-2)

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Vanderbilt (-3.5) at Northwestern
One of these two teams can play defense. One of these two teams is physical at the point of attack. One of these teams plays in the SEC. Vandy should overpower the Wildcats after the Northwestern defense allowed nearly 600 total yards last week to Syracuse. Vandy should be able to score at will and could pull away comfortably in the end. Northwestern was 0-3 as a home dog against the spread last season. Prediction: Vanderbilt (-3.5)

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NC State (-4.5) at UConn
The Wolfpack secondary was under fire last weekend against the Vols, however, there might not be a player on the UConn offense (other than Lyle McCombs) that would start for Tennessee. And the one area that played well for NC State last weekend was the rushing defense. This is a great match-up for NC State’s strengths and quarterback Mike Glennon should bounce back this weekend. Prediction: NC State (-4.5)

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UCF (+18) at Ohio State
If you throw out the 2011 season, the Buckeyes are 13-2 against the spread as home favorites since 2009. This includes doubling the 23-point spread last week in a 46-point win over Miami, Ohio. Yes, UCF scored 56 points last week but it was against lowly Akron. Ohio State is a far superior football team and will roll to another win this weekend. Prediction: Ohio State (-18)

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Wisconsin (-7) at Oregon State
When the Beavers came to Madison last fall, no one gave them a chance to win. Montee Ball ran for 118 yards and two scores in the 35-0 win over Oregon State. After Wisconsin struggled breaking in new offensive pieces last weekend, bettors have brought this line down from 11 to 7 points. The Badgers will be on edge this weekend and Oregon State is walking into this game without the benefit of a warm-up against Nicholls State — a game that got postponed last weekend. Prediction: Wisconsin (-7)

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UL Lafayette (+3) at Troy
Mark Hudspeth and ULL started their 2012 season with a 40-0 win over Lamar and look to clear their first big conference hurdle of the season this weekend. Quarterback Blaine Gautier didn’t even play much in this battle last fall that ended with an easy 31-17 Rajin Cajuns’ win. Gautier is back this time around he should be able to make big plays as the Troy defense allowed 459 yards and 29 points to UAB last weekend. Look for ULL to win a close, high-scoring game, so the points feel like a gift. Prediction: UL Lafayette (+3)

Washington (+24) at LSU
Since winning the 2007 BCS national title, LSU and Les Miles are 8-14-1 as home favorites against the spread. So for a team in Washington that has an explosive offense and veteran quarterback, 24 points seems like entirely too many. There is no chance LSU loses the game outright, but winning by four touchdowns for an offense that still has to iron out some kinks feels like a lot to ask. Predictions: Washington (+24) 

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- by Braden Gall

Follow @bradengall

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