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Betting Against the Spread: College Football Week 2 Picks and Odds


Well that's not the start to the college football season that I envisioned. Georgia Southern fell half a point short of covering against woeful Savannah State. It's hard to get mad at FCS schools for not covering games that they aren't expected to win.

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Outside of that, it was a great week on the field. There were upsets, great games and plenty of overreactions after 60 minutes of football. Week two represents quite the opposite as a lot of ranked teams go home to take out frustrations on lesser opponents. That doesn't affect me, who doesn't mind some of those matchups. With that, here are my thoughts on this week’s slate.

Record: 1-4

Rice (0-1) at Army (1-0)

Sat., Sept. 10 at 12 p.m. ET

Army, coming off of a huge surprise win on the road at Temple, now gets to host Rice. The Black Knights won 28-13 and racked up 329 yards rushing in the win. Even more surprising was the defensive effort that I just don't believe will be there consistently. Rice lost 46-14 to Western Kentucky and couldn't stop the Hilltoppers from doing anything. Last year these two teams played in Texas and the Owls won 38-31. Army rushed for 378 yards in that game and still nearly won. Rice has gone over in nine of its last 14 road games while Army has gone over in six of its last nine as a favorite. I think this one should go back and forth a bit with each team throwing a punch or two. SELECTION: Over 52.5

Central Michigan (1-0) at Oklahoma State (1-0)

Sat., Sept. 10 at 12 p.m. ET

Both of these teams started off with easy, season-opening wins. The Cowboys beat SE Louisiana 61-7 in a game that they basically gave the starters off for about half of it. This is a very good offense that should have no problems moving the ball on the Chippewas. CMU rolled over Presbyterian 49-3 accounting for more than 500 yards of offense. The Chips have a very nice stable of running backs and veteran Cooper Rush at QB. These two met in Mount Pleasant last year to open up the season and Oklahoma State won 24-13 in a low-scoring battle. I don't see that happening in this one, as OSU is home and able to get something from the crowd. The Cowboys have gone over in nine of their last 14 home games and 14 of their last 23 Saturday games. I think this one is a high-scoring affair. SELECTION: Over 61.5

Georgia State (0-1) at Air Force (1-0)

Sat., Sept. 10 at 2 p.m. ET

This one figures to be a high-scoring affair, as Air Force's rushing attack that put up 401 yards faces against Georgia State who allowed 325 yards against Ball State. The Falcons want to grind this game out, but they have a little bit more of a passing threat then they have had in the past. The Panthers’ offense scuffled against Ball State, especially with two turnovers and less than 300 yards of total offense. Still, I feel like the game will open up especially after Air Force gets a nice lead. These two played in Atlanta back in 2014 and it was a 48-38 AFA win. SELECTION: Over 53

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Eastern Illinois (0-1) at Miami (Ohio) (0-1)

Sat., Sept. 10 at 3:30 p.m. ET

Both EIU and Miami lost in last week, although each team showed flashes of positive play. Miami was competitive at Iowa while Eastern Illinois outgained their opponent, fellow FCS member Western Illinois. Both teams have solid passing attacks and questionable defenses. Last year the Panthers lost 41-0 to Northwestern in their FBS game. Meanwhile, the RedHawks beat FCS opponent Presbyterian 26-7 in an unimpressive showing last year. Not a lot of analysis here as I think EIU is the better team so I'll take the 11. SELECTION: Eastern Illinois +11

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Bethune Cookman (0-0) at North Texas (0-1)

Sat., Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. ET

North Texas is a pretty bad football team that got blown out last year against an FCS team, losing 66-7 to Portland State. Bethune-Cookman has a dual-threat quarterback in Larry Brihm Jr. The Mean Green were gashed by SMU last week, giving up nearly 600 yards. On offense, UNT is still learning a spread system and has had issues with protection. Bethune-Cookman has a good secondary and a lot of athleticism up front. I'll fade the Mean Green with a pretty good FCS program. SELECTION: Bethune Cookman +14

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— I think I missed the value on Penn State in the renewal of its in-state rivalry with Pittsburgh. It's the first time these Keystone State teams have played since 2000, which means that more is at stake. PSU's new-look offense struggled in its opener, while the Panthers beat Villanova 28-7 with James Conner getting into the end zone as the best story on the field last week. Pitt has covered in just four of its last 14 home games and five of its last 16 overall. PSU probably had more value at 6 or even 5 though.

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— I don't understand the money pouring in on Wake Forest in its road tilt with Duke. The Demon Deacons’ offense is incapable of scoring a ton of points so why are people believing in them? Yes, Duke doesn't have Thomas Sirk under center and Wake's defense is very good, but generally I need my underdogs to score points. I'm really interested in the Blue Devils, which have covered in 17 of their last 27 games overall, but I'm holding off considering how much this line is moving.

— I'll admit that the Tennessee-Virginia Tech line is not doing what I thought it would. I figured people would jump on the Hokies and this thing would go down. Instead, it's going up probably because of an SEC bias and maybe the public is getting smart and giving Appalachian State credit for what it did in Knoxville. I really lean hard to the Hokies, but there are so many questions involving the venue and the crowd that I'm going to stay away.

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.