Betting Against the Spread: College Football Week 2 Picks

Each week, Braden Gall offers his top picks of the week as well as every Top 25 game.

Like it or not, Las Vegas rarely gets it wrong, so tracking betting lines should always be a big part of each football weekend — even if there are no bets on the line. Whether you condone gambling or not, think of it as becoming a more informed fan.

My big underdogs to watch — Ohio, UL Monroe, UL Lafayette and Toledo — went 1-3 against the spread last week. But my Top Picks of the Weeks delivered in a big way, winning on four of the five. Week 2 of the college football season will always offer some over-corrections as some opening weekend performances were flukes. The key is knowing which ones, like say, Virginia, were flukes and which ones were legitimate.

2013 Record Against the Spread: 4-1 (4-1 last week)

Week 2 Picks of the Week:

Western Kentucky (+14) at Tennessee
The Hilltoppers were up 35-20 on Kentucky with less than 10 minutes to go last weekend. A couple of late scores made the score look closer than the game actually was because Western Kentucky was simply the better team by a wide margin. Tennessee crushed a bad OVC team in Austin Peay but played its starters barely more than a quarter. The Vols will likely win a close one by leaning on the ground game but Bobby Petrino is simply THAT good on game day. If Big Orange nation isn’t careful, the Toppers could win this game outright. Pick: Western Kentucky +14 

Arizona (-10) at UNLV
Arizona won 35-0 without star tailback Ka’Deem Carey last weekend while UNLV allowed 51 points to Minnesota. Carey returns to the lineup this weekend and forms a nasty tailback duo with Daniel Jenkins, who rushed for 139 yards on a 11.6-yard clip. Rich Rodriguez is still ironing out his quarterback situation but this offensive scheme is too strong for the Rebels to stop. UNLV allowed 5.8 yards per carry to the Gophers last weekend, whose backfield has been hit hard with injuries. Something seems off with this line. Pick: Arizona -10

Oregon (-21.5) at Virginia
This might be a classic Week 1 over-correction. Virginia unexpectedly beat BYU in Week 1 and that seems to have skewed this point-spread in a big way. The Cavaliers totaled 223 yards of offense, ranking dead last among BCS teams with 3.0 yards per play. The game was played in a monsoon, delayed for two hours and Virginia needed a blocked punt and turnover to even possess the ball in BYU's red zone. Conversely, Oregon scored 66 points (covering the 59-point spread) on 772 yards of offense despite having the ball on offense for less than 20 minutes. This is going to be ugly. Pick: Oregon -21.5

Florida (-3) at Miami
There are a lot of reasons to jump on the Miami bandwagon in 2013. Stephen Morris is a great quarterback, Al Golden is a rising coaching star and the defense showed improvement in Week 1 against FAU. Yet, Florida is still the big dog on the Sunshine State block after a dominating defensive performance last week. Toledo is a solid offense that averaged over 6.0 yards per play last year. The Gators totally shutdown the Rockets in the opener: Six points, 50 plays, 205 yards of offense and 3.8 yards per play. The Gators will control the line of scrimmage and impose their physical will upon Miami’s defense — that was ranked 120th nationally at 486.4 yards allowed per game last season. Pick: Florida -3

Texas (-7) at BYU
With two minutes to go in the second quarter, New Mexico State was up 7-0 on Texas last weekend. Over the next 8:37 of game time, the Longhorns scored five touchdowns to take a 35-7 lead. The new-look Horns offense finished with a school-record 715 yards and covered the 42-point spread. BYU lost in a bit of an aforementioned fluky performance against Virginia, deflating this game’s balloon to some degree. The Cougars are much better on defense than New Mexico State but the slow start last week should have the Horns on edge this weekend. Pick: Texas -7

Cincinnati (-7.5) at Illinois
The Bearcats are a far superior team in all aspects and they proved that by drubbing Purdue 42-7 last week. Illinois needed a goal-line stand in the waning moments of their opener with Southern Illinois. Cincy brings a balanced attack while Illinois struggled to move the ball whatsoever on the ground last week. Look for Cincinnati to go 2-0 against the Big Ten Leaders division out of the gate. Pick: Cincinnati -7.5

Week 2 Previews and Predictions: ACC | Big 12 | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC

Top 25 Picks Against the Spread:

Note: games with FCS opponents won't be included each week

Top 25 GamesMitch LightBraden GallSteven LassanDavid Fox
No. 2 Oregon (-21.5) at Virginia
San Diego State (+27.5) at No. 3 Ohio State
San Jose State (+26.5) at No. 5 Stanford
No. 6 South Carolina (+3) at No. 11 Georgia
UAB (+35) at No. 9 LSU
No. 10 Florida (-3) at Miami
No. 13 Oklahoma St (-26.5) at UTSA
No. 14 Notre Dame (+4.5) at No. 17 Michigan
No. 15 Texas (-7) at BYU
West Virginia (+20.5) at No. 16 Oklahoma
Syracuse (+12) at No. 19 Northwestern
Southern Miss (+28.5) at No. 22 Nebraska
Buffalo (+27) at No. 23 Baylor
Washington St (+15) at No. 25 USC
Last Week:11-77-1110-811-7


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