This article is part of our College Football Best Bets series.
Here we are in Week 2, as I continue my journey to pick every college football game this season. The goal? 60% correct, at the bare minimum. Here is how Week 1 turned out -
SIMULATED BETS: 44-39-2
REAL-MONEY BETS: 3-2
My big win was taking UCLA over LSU, which I saw coming from a mile away. Chip Kelly's got his groove back with his best roster in years, and don't be surprised to see them atop the Pac-12. My weak spot was taking too many shots on road underdogs. While I took some shots that worked out, others did not, and by a wide margin. Still, I managed 53%, which isn't bad for Week 1, where we are just learning about team tendencies. With the vig, I come out a slight loser, but we are using the simulated bets as 1 Unit per game. Unweighed. To break even against the rake, you need something north of 56-57%, depending on how many underdogs you go with.
CC -25.5, DUKE -20, OSU -14.5, USF +28, UTEP +26, ILL +10, KSU -17.5, Army -6.5, ALAST+49, PITT -3, OKST -12.5, SC -2, MSU -20.5, INDS +26.5, M-OH +20,WYO -6.5, FLA -29, RUTG -2, VT -20, ND -17, PUR -24, BC -17.5, COLO +17, FAU-7, UAB +24.5, AFA -5.5, NEB -13.5, TCU -11.5, TEM -7, PSU -22.5, USA -14.5, MER +56.5, ISU -4.5, USU, -7.5, NORST +42.5, GT -18.5 TUL -44.5, OH -28.5, CMU -38, MURST +35.5, WVU -46/5, SCST +49, WMU -10.5, PORST +29, UTSA -37.5, CHAR -25.5, ORST-11, NEV-34.5, ASU -34.5, USC-17, SDSU +2, COLST -7, FRESST -32, FSU -27, OLEMISS -34.5, HOW +45, IND -29.5, MIAFL -7.5, EKU +30, MSST +1, FIU -2, ODU -19.5, LSU -38.5, MICH -7, UNC -26, KU -5, LAL -26, NMST +18, NTX +22.5, GRAMST +24, UTAH -7, MEM -5.5, SELA +11.5, EMU +26
And here are my five real-money bets for the weekend -
PITTSBURGH (-3) @ Tennessee
I'm going with the road favorite here, partly based on Pitt's absolute obliteration of UMass. Tennessee had an equally impressive win against Bowling Green, but they come into Week 2 with serious injury concerns. The public is leaning heavily on Pitt here, and I'm rolling with them.
SOUTH CAROLINA (-2) @ East Carolina
Once again, going with the road favorite here. The Gamecocks looked rock-solid against a weak opponent in Week 1, while ECU was never really in the game against the Mountaineers. Do we get Zeb Noland again on Saturday? If Luke Doty can't go, he'll be under center again.
NOTRE DAME (-17) vs. Toledo
This game could get out of hand, with the Irish covering easily. The line is probably this narrow due to some great offensive weapons and the best defense they've fielded in years, but QB Carter Bradley is largely untested and will get hurried by the Irish front four on every down. I think the Rockets will crumble under pressure.
SOUTH CAROLINA STATE (+49) @ Clemson
I don't think Clemson's languishing offense was an outlier against Georgia. Unless D.J. Uiagalelei learns to get out of trouble more frequently, this could be a long season against stronger opponents. Their defense will be a problem for SC State, but I have my doubts about Clemson's ability to score 50.
UPSET WITH THE SPREAD: NORTH TEXAS (+22.5) @ SMU
I like Jace Ruder and top connection Roderic Burns in this matchup for the Mean Green. Their new 4-2-5 defense is something the Mustangs haven't seen on tape, and it could cause some problems for Tanner Mordecai, who is finally getting his chance in Dallas after transferring. I think this game will come down to which new defensive scheme excels. They're both playing in new systems, and I think UNT has the better chance with the points.