College Football Week 2 is in the books and as we wait for the opening point spreads for Week 3 to come sprinkling in, let’s look at five observations from Week 2, including Clemson continuing to win in August and September, Oklahoma State and Maryland than credited.
1—Clemson is Straight Butter, SU and ATS in the Summer Months of August and September
After beating #16 Auburn, 14-6 between the sacred hedges at Death Valley on Saturday, lovable Head Coach Dabo Swinney (59-48-1 ATS) and defending national champions and No. 3-ranked Clemson (37/1 to win CFP National Championship, BetDSI) improved to a remarkable 18-0 SU in its L18 games before November since 2015—going a profitable 12-6 ATS (66.7%)—and despite seeing starting QB Kelly Bryant (19/29, 2 Rushing TDs) suffering what looked to be a nasty Injury after taking a mean hit from Auburn’s Dontavius Russell, having to go to the Medical Tent for attention (“I just had the wind knocked out of me,” Bryant said), the young Clemson QB returned quickly in his second collegiate start to help help the ACC Tigers hand Auburn (25/1 to win CFP National Championship, 5Dimes) and one of the SEC’s Tigers a very tough early season setback.
Clemson has now outscored its opponents 70-13 so far this season and Hunter Renfrow (9 Receptions, 62 yards vs. Auburn) and the Tigers are at Louisville (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) this coming Saturday to face 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson as ACC play opens with a bang with one of the biggest games of the early season (LOU -1, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook 2017 Games of the Year) and what looks like a wise spot to back the team that lately never loses before November. Back Clemson (8.9 ypp, #2 in NCAAF) until the calendar pages flip?
2—Oklahoma State, Receiving Corps Could Be Spoiling Some Big 12 (and Other) Parties This Season
Head Coach Mike Gundy (81-61-4 ATS) and Big 12 school Oklahoma State (33/1 to win CFP National Championship, 5Dimes) are off to a roaring start this 2017-18 NCAA College Football Regular Season, rolling at Home over Tulsa, 59-24 and covering ATS as 19½-point Favorites (70½) in Week 1, and then heading to South Alabama and manhandling the Jaguars, 44-7, covering ATS as big 28-point Road Favorites in Week 2 (68). So QB Mason Rudolph and the Cowboys (10-3 SU, 7-5 ATS in 2016) have respectively been 15½ and 9 points better than the Point Spread and have led 21-0 at the end of the 1st Quarter in both of their games, thanks in great part to stud WRs like AP Preseason First Team All-American James Washington (243 yards, 3 TDs, 30.4 ypc), Jalen McCleskey (107 Receptions, 1,082 yards, 10 TDs Career), Marcell Ateman (126 yards, 2 TDs, 14.1 ypc) and Tyron Johnson (87 yards, TD, 17.4 ypc).
Now No. 9 Oklahoma State and #2 Oklahoma (18/1 to win CFP National Championship, 5Dimes) will meet in the Bedlam Series (OKLA 12-2 SU L14, 86-18-7 SU All-Time) and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook Games of the Year here in Sin City opened Oklahoma up as 3-point chalks for that huge conference showdown at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater on Saturday, Nov. 4 (OKLA 3-1 ATS L4). Although their rivals, the Sooners lost RB Samaje Perine and WR Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma has W15 straight games vs. the Big 12 and the upstart Sooners upset #2 Ohio State on Saturday night at The Horseshoe in Columbus, 31-16 and Heisman Trophy candidate Baker Mayfield (25/33, 386 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs vs. Ohio State) and Oklahoma know how important not stumbling in this intrastate rivalry is. Oklahoma State is 6-2 ATS its L8 games, scoring 44, 37, 43, 45, 31, 20, 44 and 59 points and the Cowboys will travel to Pittsburgh (1-1 SU/ATS) to face the ACC’s Panthers on Saturday in Week 3 in what should be a competitive Non-Conference game in the Steel City (OK ST -6, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook 2017 Games of the Year). Lean Oklahoma State.
3—Oddsmakers, Sportsbooks Don’t Seem to Be Making Totals in UCLA Games High Enough Yet
Pac-12 side UCLA (13/1 to win CFP National Championship, 5Dimes) have played two times, and Bruins Totals have gone Over the closing Totals by a consensus 28 and 15½ points with 48 and 42 points have been scored by Halftime in both games (UCLA 35 HAW 7, UCLA 10-38 A&M) and both going Over after three quarters of play with every team scoring points in all eight quarters of play, save for Texas A&M in the 4th Quarter in Week 1 and Hawaii in the 1st Quarter in Week 2. Mercy. UCLA (110/1 to win 2017-18 CFP National Championship, 5Dimes) won convincingly, 56-23 in its Non-Conference game from Los Angeles on Saturday—scoring 86.2% of the Opening Total of 65 points themselves—with pass-happy QB Josh Rosen (5 TD Passes vs. Hawaii) and the Bruins and the Rainbow Warriors accounting for 42 of the 64½ points (65.1%) in the first 30 minutes of play at the Rose Bowl. The Total in Week 2 for UCLA (-24, 5Dimes) closed as high as 64½ (SportsInteraction) but the Final Score was still 14½ points higher than that closing Total which was actually bet down in most shops after opening up at 65.
Although Overs are 2-0 in UCLA games so far this young season, last year the Bruins were 4-7-1 in their Totals, so perhaps a little linemaker reaction to an 8-23 Under mark at Home the L5 seasons in Hollywood? Or maybe just the reality of playing Pass-heavy, Defensively lax teams like A&M and Hawaii in Weeks 1 and 2? One thing’s for certain: The Under is 17-9-2 the L28 UCLA games overall (65.4%). Next up for the Bruins in Week 3, a date at Memphis, who lost to the Bruins, 42-35 at UCLA back in 2014, but easily covered as big 22-point Road Underdogs. Woof. Lean Over (1st Half especially) against the Tigers who averaged 39 ppg last season playing in the AAC and on the fast-track playing AstroTurf playing surface of Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis.
4—Maryland Might Be Better Than Both the Oddsmakers, Public Both Think So Far
Turtles are slow, but then again so are lemmings, right? After going to Austin and denting Big 12 legends and then-No. 23 Texas as 18½-point Road underdogs in Week 1 in the opener for both schools, 51-41 (58½), 2nd-year Head Coach DJ Durkin (6-8 ATS) and underappreciated Big Ten side Maryland (6-7 SU, 4-8 ATS in 2016) continued to score points like it matters, hammering intrastate FCS side Towson State, 63-17 at Home on Saturday in Week 2 play (MD -34, 55) as true Freshman QB Kasim Hill (3 TD Passes) looked pretty good in his Terrapins debut—after Tyrrell Pigrome suffered a season-ending ACL Injury against the Longhorns—and RB Ty Johnson rushed for 124 yards (on just 5 carries) and 2 TDs in the romp as Maryland (45.0 ppg) improved to 2-0 SU/ATS.
WR DJ Moore (3 TDs vs. Towson State) and the quick-pace Terrapins (500/1 to win 2017-18 CFP National Championship, 5Dimes) have beaten the Point Spread by 28½ and 12 points now heading into a Week 3 date against AAC school Central Florida (6-7 SU, 7-5 ATS) in College Park and the upstart Terps—who registered their highest point total since 1954 this past weekend—have led 30-14 and 28-7 at Halftime of their first two encounters and have scored in every quarter in two stone cold Overs (92, 80 points). Send cash. The Over is 4-2 in Maryland’s L6 games overall. The Terrapins currently rank No. 5 in the nation, averaging a robust 8.2 yards per play from scrimmage after averaging just 5.2 yards per play last season.
5—Kansas State Continue to Exceed PAE Expectations, Cover Non-Conference Dates
Legendary 26th-year Head Coach Bill Snyder (152-102-9 ATS) and #18 Kansas State (95/1 to win 2017-18 CFP National Championship, BetDSI) continue to be an ATS money-maker of late, winning 55-14 at Home in the Little Apple against Charlotte in Week 2 on Saturday afternoon and covering the spread as robust 34-point favorites (BetOnline, Total 54). The Wildcats are now a gaudy 51-20 SU in Manhattan—although Saturday’s ATS cover was the first as a Home Favorite since Week 2 last season vs. FAU (KSU -23, Won 63-7)—and heading into the 2017-18 NCAA Division I FBS Regular Season, only Louisiana Tech (+3.6 PAE) had a higher Points Above Expectations (PAE) average than did Kansas State (+3.3 PAE). The 77-year-old Snyder and the Wildcats (2-0 SU/ATS in 2017, 31-18-1 ATS since 2013) improved to 30-13 ATS L10 years in Non-Conference games (69.8%) and QB Jesse Ertz and the Wildcats have gotten out to 38-16 and 38-7 leads at Halftime (KSU 2-0 ATS 1st Half in 2017) and purple-clad Kansas State had scored 55 points in consecutive games to open up for the first time since 1998.
In NCAAF Week 3, Kansas State hits the road for the first time and heads to Nashville to face SEC school Vanderbilt (6-7 SU, 8-4 ATS in 2016) to face the Commodores in a big Non-Conference showdown in which the Trend points to backing the Big 12 visitors. The two biggest challenges on the Wildcats schedule come on Oct. 21 when Mayfield and No. 2 Oklahoma pay a visit to Manhattan (OK -7½, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook Games of the Year) and on Nov. 18 when Kansas State heads to Stillwater to face No. 9 Oklahoma State (KSU 5-1 ATS L6 vs. OKLA ST) in what will be a huge showdown with the Cowboys. The Big 12 may be a Power 5 conference to watch this season with #2 Oklahoma (+14.2 ppg ATS), #9 Oklahoma State (+12.2 ppg ATS), #18 Kansas State (+13.0 ppg ATS) and #20 TCU (+8.5 ppg ATS) all looking good and off to combined 8-0 SU and 7-1 ATS starts with the only ATS Loss coming when the Horned Frogs barely failed to cover in Week 1 vs. FCS side Jackson State (65 Total yards, 1-17 3rd Downs (7%)), as 64-point Favorites, winning 63-0. (The horror, the horror.)
NCAAF WEEK 3 BETWORTHY EARLY PICKS: Clemson Money Line over Louisville, Maryland ATS over Central Florida, Kansas State Money Line over Vanderbilt