College Football Pick’em
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The results from all of the opening weekend games in college football are not yet final, but oddsmakers are already hard at work setting the betting lines for the Week 2 schedule. Unlike the Week 1 lines, which in many cases spent a ton of time on the board, this is the first chance to see how the books, and the bettors, are going to react to the first impressions from teams across the country.
The biggest game of the Week 2 slate is undoubtedly No. 1 Alabama making the trip to Texas as Nick Saban faces off against former offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and a Longhorns program looking to make a statement with the Crimson Tide in town. The schedule also includes the beginning of conference play in the SEC with No. 20 Kentucky at Florida and South Carolina at No. 19 Arkansas among the highlights and more exciting on-campus nonconference games like Tennessee at No. 17 Pittsburgh and No. 10 Baylor at No. 25 BYU.
Plus, it’s the routine time in the schedule where we get a couple of notable in-state rivalries. The CyHawk Trophy will be awarded to either Iowa State or Iowa, while Lincoln Riley gets his first turn leading USC against David Shaw and Stanford.
Caesars Sportsbook has started to release odds for Week 2 action, so we’ve decided to highlight the spreads from a few of the week’s biggest games.
No. 1 Alabama (-19) at Texas: There was a slightly slow start to the Quinn Ewers era at Texas with an early interception once the highly touted Ohio State transfer took the field, but it didn’t take long for him and the Longhorns offense to start pouring it on against ULM. Saturday afternoon will prove to be a much tougher test against an Alabama defense that pitched a shutout in a 55-point win against Utah State. Alabama frequently gets huge spreads in games against quality competition, but to be favored by nearly three touchdowns on the road might say more about the Crimson Tide than anything else.
Tennessee (-5.5) at No. 17 Pittsburgh: This game was a thriller in 2021 as Kenny Pickett and the Panthers escaped from Knoxville with a 41-34 win. At that point in the season, the Vols had both Hendon Hooker and Joe Milton playing at quarterback, so now that Hooker has assumed total control of the offense, Tennessee will look to return the favor and hand the home team a loss in this Power Five nonconference showdown.
No. 20 Kentucky at Florida (-6.5): This game game took on a new level of excitement after the Gators beat top-10 Utah on Saturday night in The Swamp. The emergence of Anthony Richardson as a star for 2022 now becomes the focal point for Kentucky’s defense, while Wildcats quarterback Will Levis prepares to face a Gators defense that rose to the occasion with a game-winning interception in the end zone. After Florida won 31 meetings in a row, the series has become much more even in recent years with both programs winning two of the last four and Kentucky claiming victory last year in a 20-13 defensive grinder. The oddsmakers are clearly impressed by the Gators performance as well as the home-field advantage in Gainesville, making them nearly a touchdown favorite in the matchup.
No. 10 Baylor at No. 25 BYU (-2.5): This is a massive opportunity for BYU, a future Big 12 member, to make a statement with the reigning Big 12 champions in town. It’s a game that’s truly got the feel of a toss-up, where Baylor might be favored if it was in Waco but the Cougars get the slight edge as just less than a field-goal favorite on the opening line. Both teams were impressive in their season-opening wins, with Baylor beating FCS Albany 69-10 and BYU enduring multiple weather delays before blowing out USF 50-21 in Tampa.
Iowa State at Iowa (-3): While neither team is in the AP Top 25, this is still a matchup that you don’t want to miss because each of the last four meetings have been decided by 10 points or fewer. But while the games have been close and competitive, the final results have been largely one-sided with Iowa claiming six straight victories in the series. Iowa State is a narrow road underdog, but it should enter with some confidence considering how the Hawkeyes struggled to score against South Dakota State in Week 1.
Arkansas State at No. 2 Ohio State (-44)
Marshall at No. 5 Notre Dame (-18.5)
Appalachian state at No. 6 Texas A&M (-16)
Hawaii at No. 8 Michigan (-48.5)
Kent State at No. 9 Oklahoma (-33.5)
No. 14 USC (-11) at Stanford
Akron at No. 15 Michigan State (-35)
Southern Miss at No. 16 Miami (-27)
Washington State at No. 18 Wisconsin (-17)
South Carolina at No. 19 Arkansas (-9.5)
No. 22 Wake Forest (-6) at Vanderbilt
No. 24 Houston at Texas Tech (-3)
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