Week 1 is in the books and now we turn our attention to Week 2. This week and next week are huge overreaction weeks in the college football betting market, so watch for some big adjustments and likely some big line moves as a result of the one or two data points we have on these teams.
We’ve got another compelling slate of non-conference matchups, but also several teams that are starting off conference play early, leading to a lot of situational spots of note for the second week of the season.
Remember, these angles are never sole justifications for making a bet, just a part of the handicap that you want to consider.
Appalachian State Mountaineers at Texas A&M Aggies (-17, 55)
The amount of effort put forth by App State in last week’s 63-61 loss to North Carolina could absolutely have some lingering effects in College Station this week. Not only are the boys from Boone off to a rough physical and emotional start, the early forecast shows temperatures around 90 with a dew point in the 70s on a sweltering day in the Lone Star State. Meanwhile, Texas A&M barely broke a sweat in rolling over Sam Houston State in a shutout victory in Week 1. It looks like an uphill climb for the Mountaineers this week.
Tennessee Volunteers (-6.5, 65.5) at Pitt Panthers
“Road revenge” is a term that you’ll hear a lot. It’s likely overblown across the board, but you’ll want to evaluate it on a case-by-case basis. After rekindling the Backyard Brawl against West Virginia, Pitt draws a second straight tough game, this time as a home dog against Tennessee. The Panthers went to Knoxville and beat the Volunteers 41-34 with the help of a goal-line stand late in the fourth quarter. Tennessee was -3 in turnover margin and committed 13 penalties for 134 yards, which may also be fueling the Vols money, but the revenge spot will get a lot of buzz as well.
Iowa State Cyclones at Iowa Hawkeyes (-3.5, 41.5)
After last week’s game that set offense back about five decades in Iowa City, the Hawkeyes host rival Iowa State in the 69th installment of the CyHawk Trophy rivalry. The Hawkeyes have won six in a row in this matchup, holding Iowa State to 17 or fewer points in five of the last six. This is the first time the game has been in Iowa City since 2018 because COVID canceled the 2020 version. While this game in a vacuum is fascinating, and many will likely sour on Iowa after last week’s offensive showing, I’d also think about fading both teams in big favorite roles in Week 3 with Iowa hosting Nevada and Iowa State hosting Ohio.
Old Dominion Monarchs at East Carolina Pirates (-13, 53.5)
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to fade both teams this week? Old Dominion upset Virginia Tech in Norfolk last Friday night and East Carolina came within a missed field goal of beating NC State in Greenville. ODU does have an extra prep day coming out of Week 1, which could certainly make a difference. It’s a lot better to win in dramatic fashion than lose in dramatic fashion, so even though Old Dominion is in the more traditional letdown spot, I’m more worried about ECU.
Kentucky Wildcats at Florida Gators (-4.5, 52.5)
The Billy Napier era began with a bang as Florida upset a very popular Utah team with a game-saving interception in the end zone, while Kentucky had some issues with Miami of Ohio before pulling away late. The Kentucky/Florida rivalry has been one of the most one-sided affairs in college football. How one-sided, you ask? How about this. Kentucky has two head-to-head wins since 1987 and three since 1980. The Wildcats actually won in Gainesville back in 2018 to snap a 31-game losing streak against the Gators. Kentucky also won last season in Lexington. The ‘Cats have not won two in a row over Florida since 1976-77.
Baylor Bears at BYU Cougars (-3.5, 53.5)
What a fun game this is going to be! Baylor heads from Waco to Provo to face a really strong BYU bunch in the altitude. Provo is over 4,500 feet above sea level, which creates conditions that Baylor virtually never faces. This is a revenge game for the Cougars, who lost 38-24 last season as a Top-25 team going down to Texas. The teams combined for over 940 yards, with Baylor amassing over 300 yards on the ground. Even though BYU was ranked, Baylor closed around -5.5 in that game, so we’ve got about a nine-point adjustment.
UTSA Roadrunners (-2, 56) at Army Black Knights
I’ve saved the best for last this week. UTSA put everything into a Big Brother vs. Little Brother game last week against Houston and came up short in triple overtime. It wasn’t just that UTSA lost. The Roadrunners also blew a 21-7 lead in the span of 2:35 in the fourth quarter and got a miracle 37-yard field goal to send the game to overtime. Houston’s final scoring drive in regulation was an 18-play, 77-yard, 10:30 marathon for the UTSA defense. Houston had the ball for over 35 minutes of regulation. Now the Roadrunners have to face Army’s triple-option attack and absorb a bunch of cut blocks in hopes of playing gap-responsible football, to go along with travel to West Point. UTSA is lined as if they are the better team, but there are a lot of spots working against them.