The second full week of college football is serving up some really good non-conference showdowns that will make for some interesting games to pick against the spread. From Oregon visiting Ohio State in the early time slot to some late-night action between BYU and Utah, the Week 2 schedule has some must-see matchups to keep you watching all day long.
After a couple of successful weeks picking against the spread, we are once again putting things to the test this week with intense rivalry games and some challenging point spreads to consider. Big favorites at home? A home underdog winning outright? It’s all here in this week’s assortment of picks against the spread.
Note: All times are ET and all games are on Saturday, Sept. 11.
Ohio State (-14.5) vs. Oregon, 12 p.m.
This game has received all kinds of hype, but it may not live up to it. Ohio State got off to a slow start last week in a Thursday night opener before C.J. Stroud and Chris Olave and the rest of the Buckeye offense got things rolling. Meanwhile, Oregon had to come up with some plays to take care of Fresno State in the fourth quarter. The Ducks will have trouble keeping Ohio State down for long, and the Buckeyes could send Oregon home with a really tough loss. Ohio State 34, Oregon 17
Tennessee (+3) vs. Pittsburgh, 12 p.m.
Tennessee is a home dog this weekend against Pat Narduzzi’s Pitt Panthers, and the Panthers have some nice advantages to defend that logic. Quarterback Kenny Pickett and Pitt’s offense should have some success against the Vols, but Tennessee should manage to make some key plays against the Panthers’ defense to defend its home turf. Expect a scrappy game in Knoxville from start to finish. Tennessee 26, Pittsburgh 22
Notre Dame (-17) vs. Toledo, 2:30 p.m.
Notre Dame has a short week to prepare for its home opener after escaping Tallahassee with an overtime thriller Sunday night, but that shouldn’t be too much of a concern. Notre Dame’s offense should be more than equipped to handle Toledo with one less day to prepare. Toledo won’t be able to slow down Notre Dame long enough to keep this one close. Notre Dame 43, Toledo 20
Iowa (+4) vs. Iowa State, 4:30 p.m.
This is the game that has been the most curious to me all week, and it has served as a reminder that those who set the lines aren’t necessarily as reactionary as I may be. Watching Week 1 games, Iowa was among the most impressive in my book. Iowa State was far from it, although a matchup with the Hawkeyes figures to bring out a better game from the Cyclones. Iowa roughed up a good Indiana team last week, though, and Iowa has won six of the last seven meetings, including five straight. Iowa will find a way to keep that streak going. So take Iowa and run with it. Also consider taking the under. Iowa 20, Iowa State 16
BYU (+7) vs. Utah, 10:15 p.m.
Utah has enjoyed quite a run in the Holy War with nine consecutive wins in the series, including a 30-12 victory in the last meeting two years ago. But the previous six meetings have been decided by one score, suggesting this line is a pretty good one. I’ll ride with history and expect another one-score game that goes down to the wire. BYU at home manages to keep this one close enough for my liking. Utah 27, BYU 24
Last week: 4-1
Podcast: Week 2 Preview, Predictions and Picks Against the Spread