Week 2 of the college football season has some big-time matchups, and I will be looking at a lot of top-end teams and games on the docket. When betting on a lot of early-season college football action, you get a lot of bad beats surrounding big spread and motivation tactics. I want to attack games where we know both teams are prepared to bring their A-games to the stadium on Saturday.
Texas A&M (+17.5) at Clemson
This is my favorite game of the week, and it’s because of the question marks surrounding both teams. Particularly on the defensive side of the ball, both teams are playing a lot of new players. The difference being is I think that Texas A&M could be reloading with similar to better talent at some spots, where I don’t think this is really the case for anyone on Clemson’s defense.
Something I have harped on all offseason is that people within the media have gotten caught up in Clemson’s recent success and just assume that they have done it like the other powerhouses. They just have not, and I think that this line is giving their reloading ability too much credit. Clemson is not bringing in the talent that other top teams are on a yearly basis until the 2020 recruiting class.
I think that this assumption that Clemson will reload is much different than assuming the same about someone like Alabama, and I am really skeptical that Clemson will look as talented as they did last year on the defensive side of the ball. Texas A&M and Kellen Mond looked great in the opener, and I expect this team to put up points on a very inexperienced defensive line and linebacking group.
Give me the Aggies and the points here all day long.
LSU at Texas (+6)
This line is just too big for teams that are really similar in structure. You can make arguments that LSU is more talent-rich on the first string than Texas is, but I would dispute that the gap is worth six points in a road game in primetime. Texas showed that it can hang with the big boys last year in its bowl game with Georgia.
I think Texas has the better coaching staff, and I think that we will see a great game between two second-tier college football teams. This line should be even, and that means that I will ride with the Longhorns and the points here.
Army (+22.5) at Michigan
This spread is just too big for the playstyles of these teams and how they are going to manage the game and the clock. Last year, we saw Army take Oklahoma to overtime because they were capable of managing the clock very well.
In this game, I expect Michigan to get more stops, but Michigan’s offense did not look smooth last week, and I don’t think that the new play-caller, Josh Gattis, is comfortable in that role yet. I expect a low-scoring game that allows Army to cover this spread.
Cincinnati at Ohio State (-16)
Ohio State was without three of its top four defensive ends, and it held Florida Atlantic to negative total yards in the first half before calling off the dogs last week. Florida Atlantic is a very different offense, but they really have more talent on their offense than Cincinnati does. Cincinnati is also rocking three second-year players on the offensive line in a row, and this is not going to go over well when attempting to defend Chase Young and company off the edge.
Ohio State’s offense with Justin Fields will almost 100 percent depend on how many hits they allow him to take, but I think that their defense will absolutely shut Cincinnati’s bland offense down and allow the comfortable cover in a game that is barely more than a two-touchdown spread.
Nebraska (-4.5) at Colorado
Nebraska was one of the darlings of the offseason under Scott Frost, and I think that this line is a little bit of an overreaction based on the Cornhuskers’ first showing of the season. The defense was likely better than expected, and I think the offense is going to get back on track.
Frost has run an offense like this with similar players and gotten elite performances out of it time and time again. I have no reason to believe that Nebraska will struggle to move the ball again this week, especially with the struggles last week. I like the Cornhuskers by double digits here.