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College football Week 2 picks + viewing guide

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September 8th, 2020

An abbreviated Week 1 of the 2020 college football season is in the books. Only nine games were played, and most were decided by halftime.

The blowouts should end in Week 2.

As the NFL season kicks off in Kansas City, so does ACC and Big 12 football, the first of three Power Five conferences that will play this fall. Most teams will use the opening week to knock off the rust from a bizarre offseason by playing non-conference foes. As you’ll see, not every team is in action, and not every opponent is chump change.    

We still do not have a complete slate of games, but beggars cannot be choosers. These 21 games should help scratch your college football itch. Even though favorites were 5-4 ATS in the opening week, I believe a few underdogs could fill your pockets with cold hard cash in Week 2.

Date, timeMatchupTV station
Thu, Sept. 10, 8 p.m.
UAB at Miami (FL)
ACCN
Sat, Sept. 12, noon
Syracuse at #18 North Carolina
ACCN
Sat, Sept. 12, noon
Louisiana at #23 Iowa State
ESPN
Sat, Sept. 12, noon
Charlotte at App State
ESPN2
Sat, Sept. 12, noon
Eastern Kentucky at West Virginia
FS1
Sat, Sept. 12, noon
Louisiana Tech at Baylor
FOX
Sat, Sept. 12, 1:30 p.m.
UL Monroe at Army
CBSSN
Sat, Sept. 12, 2:30 p.m.
Duke at #10 Notre Dame
NBC
Sat, Sept. 12, 3:30 p.m.
Georgia Tech at Florida State
ABC
Sat, Sept. 12, 3:30 p.m.
UTSA at Texas State
ESPN2
Sat, Sept. 12, 3:30 p.m.
Campbell at Georgia Southern
ESPNU
Sat, Sept. 12, 3:30 p.m.
Arkansas State at Kansas State
FS1
Sat, Sept. 12, 4 p.m.
Austin Peay at Pittsburgh
ACCN
Sat, Sept. 12, 7 p.m.
Missouri State at #5 Oklahoma
TBD
Sat, Sept. 12, 7 p.m.
The Citadel at South Florida
ESPN+
Sat, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m.
#1 Clemson at Wake Forest
ABC
Sat, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m.
Tulane at South Alabama
ESPN2
Sat, Sept. 12, 8 p.m.
UTEP at #14 Texas
Longhorn Network
Sat, Sept. 12, 8 p.m.
Western Kentucky at Louisville
ACCN
Sat, Sept. 12, 8 p.m.
Houston Baptist at Texas Tech
ESPN+
Sat, Sept. 12, 10 p.m.
Coastal Carolina at Kansas
FS1

Louisiana Lafayette at #23 Iowa State

Sat, September 12 2020, 4:00 PM

Iowa State Cyclones

Spread

-11.5

Moneyline

-420

Total

O 57

Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns

Spread

+11.5

Moneyline

+320

Total

U 57

The Ragin’ Cajuns vs. the Cyclones might be the best mascot combination in all of college football this season. The game should live up to the name’s hype.

Louisiana has won the West division of the Sun Belt in back-to-back seasons, in head coach Billy Napier’s only two years on the job. A rising star in the coaching ranks, he chose to stay off the coaching carousel after leading Louisiana to a school record 11-win season in 2019.

With 14 starters returning (seven on offense, seven on defense), the Ragin’ Cajuns are primed to knock off Appalachian State at the top of the Sun Belt.

Just like Napier, Iowa State’s Matt Campbell was one of the biggest names on the coaching carousel in 2018. Once he opted to stay in Ames, the Cyclones did not look like a team with an excellent coach, as they went 7-6.

Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy is one of the best passers in the Big 12, but will he have enough weapons to keep up with Louisiana’s experienced offense? Billy Napier’s best squad is prepared to make a statement on a big stage to open the season.

Pick: Louisiana +11.5

Coastal Carolina at Kansas

Sun, September 13 2020, 2:00 AM

Kansas Jayhawks

Spread

-6.5

Moneyline

-235

Total

O 57

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Spread

+6.5

Moneyline

+190

Total

U 57

The Chanticleers are by no means a great football team. The same must be said about Les Miles’ squad.

Each team is projected to finish at the bottom of their respective conferences. In a battle of Big 12 and Sun Belt bottom-feeders, why not ride the team that won this game outright as seven-point dogs in Lawrence last year?

Another reason to be confident in Coastal Carolina — the team ranks 19th nationally in returning production, while Kansas comes in at No. 126.

Pick: Coastal Carolina +6.5

UAB at Miami

Fri, September 11 2020, 12:00 AM

Miami Florida Hurricanes

Spread

-13.5

Moneyline

-550

Total

O 55

UAB Blazers

Spread

+13.5

Moneyline

+400

Total

U 55

The Blazers were not impressive in Week 1 against Central Arkansas and failed to cover in the 10-point win over their FCS opponent. However, UAB at least has a game under its belt. That should help the Blazers do what almost every other double-digit dog against Miami does: keep it close.

Manny Diaz brought in Houston grad transfer D’Eriq King to energize a stale, inconsistent offense. The Canes return eight starters on offense, which should make for a high-scoring opening night game.

Even so, the betting trends are trends for a reason. I’ll believe Miami can win as double-digit favorites once I see it.

Pick: UAB + 13.5

NCAAF betting trends

  • Miami is 2-10 ATS over its last 12 games as double-digit favorites. The Canes failed to cover in five straight and have lost three straight up.
  • One of those straight-up Miami losses as double-digit favorites was to Georgia Tech (+18), who defeated the Canes 28-21 in overtime for one of their two wins in 2019. The rebuilding Yellow Jackets were 2-10 ATS in 2019. They open as 12-point dogs at Florida State, who was 4-6-2 ATS in 2019.
  • Georgia Tech has more returning production than any other FBS team, according to Phil Steele.
  • Iowa State is 2-7 ATS as a double-digit favorite since the start of the 2018 season.
  • Favorites were 5-4 ATS in Week 1 and covered by an average of 26.2 points.
  • Louisville is an 11.5-point favorite over WKU, yet ESPN’s SP+ calls for a 6.5-point spread — a significant difference.
  • North Carolina (-22) has not been favored by this great of a spread since it was a 24.5-point favorite over Maryland in 2012.

Wager on Week 2 of the NCAAF college football season at BetAmerica!

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