It was another crazy Saturday in college football. Check out what we learned through Week 2, including the most profitable teams against the spread, so you use that information on your week 3 NCAAF picks
It’s no real shock that six of the top 16 team comprising the preseason AP Top 25 poll to begin the year have fallen: LSU, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, TCU and UCLA. That’s college football—expect the unexpected. Central Michigan’s Hail Mary, hook-and-ladder winning touchdown over Oklahoma State (30-27) on the final play of an untimed down that never should have happened encapsulates this unpredictability. The Cowboys’ defeat will likely be reanalyzed in greater scrutiny later in the year when playoff rankings are tallied. This doesn’t bode well for the Big 12, and leads are standings in what we learned through Week 2 of this already wild season. And so, it will impact how you should manage your College Football Picks.
What We Learned through Week 2:
1. Big 12 futures bets are in trouble
The Big 12 needs to work extra hard to earn a College Football Playoffs bid. The conference’s top three preseason teams each have a loss: Oklahoma, TCU and Oklahoma State. The lack of a conference championship game already places the Big 12 as the odd-man out when it comes to the committee’s selection process, particularly with its partiality to groupings rather than individual teams when selecting the final four entries. The committee weighs results to common opponents heavily, and there are a few “high-profile” nonconference games left on the Big 12 schedule, but whoever comes out on top will need dominoes to fall favorably from here on out.
2. Ohio State’s offense is back, and it’s topping the betting market.
The Buckeyes offense struggled out of the gates last season. Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett flipped time at quarterback, and the unit failed to find much rhythm. It averaged 10.9 points below market projections through its first five games in 2015. The offense is full throttle this year. It's put up 125 points through the first two games, and averaged 40-plus points in its last four played. The scoring explosion allows Ohio State to top all FBS teams with a 27.8 average margin covering the spread. The rest of the top five include: Army (19), Toledo (18.3), East Carolina (17.8) and Louisville (17.3). Jump in now and check the odds board on these teams.
3. SEC teams should never sleep on the FCS, it makes for bad betting numbers.
Georgia’s near loss to Nicholls State (26-24) as 53-point chalk places it in the bottom tier of ATS margin (-22.5) through the first two weeks. The Bulldogs haven’t loss to a FCS side in 76 years, and the near upset makes them 3-11 ATS in its last 14 games when gifting more than 20 points.
Auburn suffered a similar fate last season when it needed overtime to topple Jacksonville State 27-20 as a 47.5-point favorite in Week 2. The Tigers entered the season ranked No. 6 in the preseason AP Top 25 Poll, and went on to have a forgettable year. It was overvalued by the betting market all season, going 3-10 ATS in 2015. Will Georgia suffer a similar fate?
San Jose State (-30), Bowling Green (-27.8), Arkansas State (-21.3), and Iowa State (-19) round out the worst ATS teams with two games under its belts to start the year.
4. Louisville’s offense may be a cash cow against the total at this rate.
Louisville has topped the over-under market by 22 points per game through its first two contests. Quarterback Lamar Jackson, who opened the season at +5000 odds to win the Heisman, is skyrocketing up the board (+1800 last week). He’s accounted for 13 touchdowns through the first two contests: seven passing and six rushing.
TCU owns the top spot, soaring over the total in its first two games by a combined 62 points. This is in large part to its 41-38 overtime defeat to the Razorbacks on Saturday. TCU quarterback Kenny Hill rallied the Horned Frogs with three fourth-quarter touchdowns, but 6-foot-10 Arkansas LT Dan Skipper blocked a 28-yard field goal with 16 seconds left remaining to send the game into extra time. TCU then faltered.
Cal’s air-raid offense (20.5), Charlotte’s swiss-cheese defense (19.8) and Kent State (18.5) round out the top five teams going over the total.
5. Arizona and Clemson, two of last season’s top OVER teams, are burning bettors big time
In 2015, the Wildcats (10-2-1 O/U) tied New Mexico State, Syracuse, Arkansas State and Western Kentucky as the only programs to cash 10 OVER tickets on the year. To kick off this season, Arizona is 2-0 to the UNDER. Its first two combined scored have fallen 53 points below market projections, mainly due to a flat offense. The unit has put up just 47 points through two games after averaging 37.4 last season under head coach Rich Rodriguez’s up-tempo scheme. Starting QB Anu Solomon sat out of Saturday’s 31-21 too-close-for-comfort win over Grambling State with a bad knee, but Brandon Dawkins, who challenged Solomon for the top spot through camp, could have done more (15-of-29, 223 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs).
Clemson closed out last season with one of the most efficient offenses in the college football, and finished in the second tier of teams cashing nine OVER tickets. It ranks in the bottom five margin-wise (-19.8) through two games in 2016. Georgia Southern (-21.3), Appalachian State (-20.5), and Wake Forest (-19.8) round out the bottom five. The Tigers offense is misfiring badly, scoring below its projected team totals by 16 and 19 points against Auburn and Troy respectively. The ground game is concerning. Clemson gained 223 rushing yards per game in 2015, but its average is at 136.5 yards to start the year.
Weeks 1 & 2 of College Football were exciting and week 3 will not be different. If you want to place a bet on college football, we suggest that you visit our list of the best-rated sportsbooks to check which are the top ones, and then head on over to our top bonuses list, to see who has the best and most enticing offers.