The sportsbooks released most of their Week 2 betting odds Sunday night and as always, there are numbers which draw our attention for generating college football picks.
At this point as a football handicapper, not saying these are exactly plays for college football picks, rather elements to consider and different ways to look at these games and to determine yourself if these make sense.
These numbers were at Heritage and could have already been altered by the time you read this today.
Louisiana Tech vs. Western Kentucky: Hilltoppers -2 Point Home Favorite
The Hilltoppers have what will be one of their more important games all season in facing Louisiana Tech in the conference opener for both on Thursday night. Western Kentucky at these college football odds is not far off because my opening number would have them at three, but when you consider the kind of offense this team is supposed to have again, your initial reaction at least to me is somewhat surprising. However, what is really being stated is the oddsmakers are saying just how good Louisiana Tech is and they hammered the Hilltoppers at home last year 59-10.
Utah State vs. Utah: Utes -11.5 Point Home Favorite
In the Beehive State, this is a big battle, especially for the team from Logan. I wonder if the Utes will be as emotionally charged for this matchup with Utah State after facing Michigan? With how both Arizona schools struggled out of the gate, Utah could move up in the Pac-12 South, but in this contest, the Aggies have a very good defense and for now quarterback Chuckie Keeton is still healthy. This might be closer than it looks with the visiting team a sound 8-3-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings.
Temple vs. Cincinnati: Bearcats -8 Point Home Favorite
The Bearcats are the favorite to win the reconfigured AAC, now in the East Division. One team that could challenge them is Temple, making this a very meaningful early season clash which could have a rippling affect all year for the loser. What struck me was Cincinnati as an eight-point home favorite. Last year the Bearcats went to Temple to face their Top 25 defense as a seven-point favorite and they escaped 14-6, coving the spread and giving me a winner. Here we are almost 10 months later and Cincy with 16 returning starters is only up one more point from last season and playing at home. Not saying the number is wrong, just thought provoking and speaks to Owls improvement.
Iowa vs. Iowa State: Cyclones -5 Point Road Favorite
It is the confrontation in the Hawkeye State and its nor lost on those from Ames, the state is not known as the Cyclone State. For Iowa State, this rivalry is always a big deal, while the team in black and gold seems to treat it as just another nonconference contest. The Cyclones have been going in reverse the past couple years are 3-9 and 2-10 respectively, yet always are ready to face Iowa, having an 11-4 ATS mark since 2000. With the past four games decided by 15 total points, the five with the underdog might be worth a look.
Kentucky vs. South Carolina: Gamecocks -9 Point Home Favorite
After watching South Carolina in their opener against North Carolina, this appears to be a very average football team. Being favored by nine over Kentucky is not a shock, especially after the Wildcats blew a 33-10 third quarter lead over UL- Louisiana at home and broke the tie with a touchdown, with just 57 seconds remaining. However, my takeaway was the Gamecocks probably should not be favored by almost 10 points against anyone this season, at least from what I witnessed.
Rice vs. Texas: Longhorns -15.5 Point Home Favorite
Not complaining about the spread, rather what it says about the Longhorns program as they prepare to face Rice. Texas is on a 12-0 run (8-4 ATS) and is 40-1 SU the last 49 years against the Owls. Since 2000, they have beaten Rice by an average of 34.7 points a game with an average spread margin of 32.5 points. This is what caught my eye. The last time the Horns were this small a favorite versus Rice was 1998 at -6, which was coach Mack Brown's first year in Austin.