College Football Week 2 Betting Odds and Early Predictions
College football fans saw their fair share of touchdowns over the first three days of the 2012 season, especially by offensive units that were favored by 28 or more points, as those teams averaged 44.3 points per game.
The Alabama Crimson Tide and LSU Tigers got off to solid starts in hopes of reaching the BCS National Championship Game for a second consecutive year, earning decisive victories over the Michigan Wolverines and North Texas Mean Green, respectively.
Both Southeastern Conference schools will be in action next Saturday, as we take an early look at the Week 2 betting odds and make some early predictions along the way.
UCF Knights at Ohio State Buckeyes
Urban Meyer watched his team score a decisive 56-10 victory over the Miami (OH) RedHawks as 25.5-point home favorites on Saturday, as the Ohio State Buckeyes racked up 538 total yards of offense.
The Buckeyes have won 58 consecutive regular season non-conference home games against unranked opposition, while Meyer has delivered a money-making 19-2-1 against-the-spread record in that situation over the course of his career at four different schools.
UCF was similarly impressive in winning its seventh-straight season opener, posting a 56-14 win over the Akron Zips as 24.5-point road favorites on Thursday night. The Knights haven't scored that many points against a non-conference foe since the 2001 campaign.
Meyer has faced off against Knights head coach George O'Leary once over the course of their careers, earning a 42-0 as 22-point home favorites on September 9, 2006, which came during his time at Florida.
Week 2 Betting Odds: Ohio State Buckeyes -15.5
Miami (FL) Hurricanes at Kansas State Wildcats
The Miami Hurricanes displayed incredible balance offensively in their 41-32 victory over the Boston College Eagles as two-point road favorites on Saturday, throwing for 207 yards and gaining another 208 on the ground.
There's no doubt that the Hurricanes will be revenge-minded in this spot, suffering a 28-24 loss as 12.5-point home favorites in last year's meeting on September 24. Starting the season with two road games may not be a hindrance, considering the program is 10-5 when playing back-to-back games away from home since 2000.
The Kansas State Wildcats scored 35 points in a 51-9 home win over the Missouri State Bears, but they won the statistical battle by just 75 yards. Senior quarterback Collin Klein got off to a solid start to the 2012 campaign, combining for 223 yards of total offense while throwing for two scores.
Week 2 Betting Odds: Kansas State Wildcats -6.5
East Carolina Pirates at South Carolina Gamecocks
The South Carolina Gamecocks nearly tripped up against the Vanderbilt Commodores when opening a season with their highest ranking in school history, coming away with a 17-13 win as 6.5-point road favorites on Thursday night.
Heisman Trophy candidate Marcus Lattimore demonstrated that he's moved past a knee injury that ended his 2011 season prematurely, rushing for 110 yards on 23 carries while reaching pay dirt twice.
The East Carolina Pirates were able to overcome a scoreless first quarter against the Appalachian State Mountaineers, opening up their 2012 campaign with a 35-13 home victory on Saturday.
Sports bettors need to be aware that the Pirates have scored three consecutive victories in this series when playing in Columbia, but the last such trip was in 1999.
These two teams combined for 93 points in last year's meeting at Bank of America Stadium, with the Gamecocks winning by 19 as 21-point neutral-site favorites. Each side lost four fumbles, but the Pirates threw the only interception.
South Carolina will aim to win its 11th straight home-opening contest against non-conference foes.
Week 2 Betting Odds: South Carolina Gamecocks -22
Ball State Cardinals at Clemson Tigers
The Clemson Tigers have enjoyed tremendous success when passing and rushing for at least 200 yards in the same game, something they were able to accomplish in their 26-19 victory over the Auburn Tigers as two-point neutral-site favorites on Saturday.
It's almost a sure thing that the offensive unit will match that type of production against a Ball State stop unit that allowed 366 yards in a 37-26 win over the Eastern Michigan Eagles on Thursday night.
Tigers running back Andre Ellington was the star of the show inside the Georgia Dome, gaining 228 rushing yards, which secured the program a victory over a Southeastern Conference opponent for the ninth time in 11 campaigns.
Sammy Watkins will be sitting out the final game of a two-game suspension this weekend, but this Saturday's host has won eight consecutive home openers by an average of 20 points per game.
Sports bettors may want to hold off facing the Tigers after such a high-profile victory, considering the Cardinals have lost 15 consecutive road openers against BCS opponents.
Week 2 Betting Odds: Clemson Tigers -26
USC Trojans at Syracuse Orange
The USC Trojans went into the halftime break with a 35-point lead, which resulted in a 49-10 victory over the Hawaii Warriors as 44.5-point home favorites on Saturday inside the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Quarterback Matt Barkley is a leading contender for the 2012 Heisman Trophy, but national media members better start hyping up his two main receivers, as Marqise Lee and Robert Woods are dynamic football players on the perimeter of Lane Kiffin's offense.
Sports bettors need to take notice that the Warriors started just one senior in their season opener, which led to a rather easy outcome for the host.
The Syracuse Orange managed to go over the 500-yard mark offensively for the first time since the 2003 campaign, but it wasn't enough in a 42-41 setback to the Northwestern Wildcats as two-point home favorites.
Ryan Nassib will enter this matchup with more passing yards than Barkley, as he threw for a school-record 470 yards. He completed 25 of 37 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown in last year's 38-17 loss in this series as 17-point road underdogs.
I don't anticipate a straight-up victory by the home underdogs in this spot, but it's important to note that the program has won its last three games versus ranked foes.
Week 2 Betting Odds: USC Trojans -26.5
Air Force Falcons at Michigan Wolverines
The Michigan Wolverines had won 13 straight games in September—but then they met the Alabama Crimson Tide. It was a painful 60 minutes of action, resulting in a lopsided 41-14 setback as 13-point neutral-site underdogs inside Cowboys Stadium on Saturday.
Denard Robinson likely lost any opportunity of winning the 2012 Heisman Trophy, completing just 11 of 26 passes for 200 yards while gaining 27 rushing yards on 10 carries.
The Air Force Falcons did what they do best in their 49-21 season-opening win over the Idaho State Bengals, gaining 484 of their 626 yards on the ground.
I believe the Wolverines are in for a challenge in this spot, as they will need to prepare for an entirely different type of running game. The Falcons have also split their last six games versus BCS opponents, losing those contests by an average of four points per game.
Week 2 Betting Odds: Michigan Wolverines -22.5
Michigan State Spartans at Central Michigan Chippewas
Michigan State Spartans running back Le'Veon Bell gained a career-high 210 yards in Friday night's 17-13 victory over the Boise State Broncos as 8.5-point home favorites, but sports bettors shouldn't look past the defense's effort in this contest.
The stop unit became the first to hold Boise State without an offensive touchdown since 1997, which directly led to a 255-yard statistical advantage.
Central Michigan was tied going into halftime against the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks, ultimately coming away with a 38-27 home victory. The Chippewas will enter this week with a minus-three turnover differential.
I'm not a big fan of laying any points on the Spartans considering their offensive star ran the ball 44 times last week, especially with a home game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on deck.
Week 2 Betting Odds: Michigan State Spartans -22
Florida Gators at Texas A&M Aggies
The Florida Gators earned a hard-fought 27-14 win over the Bowling Green Falcons as 28-point home favorites on Sunday, which extended the nation's second-longest season-opening win streak to 23 games.
Heading to College Station with one of the youngest rosters in the Southeastern Conference is going to be no picnic considering the Texas A&M Aggies will be hosting ESPN's College GameDay in College Station.
Sports bettors will need to be careful in playing the Aggies in their first-ever game in the nation's best conference considering their first game against Louisiana Tech was postponed due to Hurricane Isaac.
The Gators didn't win anyone over in Week 1, but they may have been looking ahead to potentially winning their eighth consecutive road opener, with each of those contests coming against conference foes.
Week 2 Betting Odds: Texas A&M Aggies -2
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Alabama Crimson Tide
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers may want to think twice about traveling to Tuscaloosa after watching game film of Alabama's offensive line blowing Michigan off the ball, but they did manage to capture a 49-10 season-opening victory over Austin Peay.
Balance is still the name of the game offensively for the defending national champions, with Alabama gaining 232 yards on the ground while throwing for 199. Quarterback A.J. McCarron was great in the play-action passing game, which fed off freshman T.J. Yeldon being effective in the backfield.
A letdown is certainly possible with a road game against the Arkansas Razorbacks on deck, but the Crimson Tide's defense has dominated opponents in the opening 30 minutes, allowing seven points or less in 17 of their last 18 first halves.
This type of number may offer some value for the underdog, with Saturday's host winning its last 10 home openers by an average of 26 points, which makes it attractive.
Week 2 Betting Odds: Alabama Crimson Tide -39
Wisconsin Badgers at Oregon State Beavers
The Wisconsin Badgers didn't impress many with their 26-21 victory over the Northern Iowa Panthers on Saturday, but they will hold an advantage of actually playing a Week 1 contest over their next opponent.
Heisman Trophy candidate Montee Ball ran for 120 yards and a touchdown, while Maryland transfer Danny O'Brien completed 19 of 23 passes for 219 yards in replacing Russell Wilson under center in Madison.
Oregon State was unable to work on its offensive attack versus Nicholls State due to Hurricane Isaac, which could be a major hindrance in this matchup. In last year's 35-0 loss to the Badgers as 20-point road underdogs, the Beavers gained just 23 yards on the ground.
Non-conference games haven't been a priority in Corvallis under the direction of Mike Riley recently, as the program has dropped seven of its last eight in that situation.
The visitor is dangerous in this spot, winning all four games in Hawaii or the West Coast under seventh-year head coach Bret Bielema.
Week 2 Betting Odds: Wisconsin Badgers -9
Fresno State Bulldogs at Oregon Ducks
First off, my deepest sympathies to those that wagered on the Oregon Ducks in their season-opening victory over the Arkansas State Red Wolves on Saturday night, as they failed to cover the 37.5-point spread despite going into the break with a 40-point advantage.
Fourth-year head coach Chip Kelly's offense has a tremendous amount of firepower, with red-shirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota and multi-purpose star De'Anthony Thomas leading the way.
Fresno State began the Tim DeRuyter era with an expected victory over the Weber State Wildcats, as its offense racked up 515 total yards. Signal-caller Derek Carr has the ability to threaten defenses, completing 20 of 25 passes for 298 yards and two touchdowns.
I'd have a big interest in backing the road underdogs here if Pat Hill was still on the sidelines, but the Ducks are an absolute machine that have won six straight meetings in this series.
Week 2 Betting Odds: Oregon Ducks -34
Washington Huskies at LSU Tigers
The Washington Huskies better have been saving it for this week, as their performance in a 21-12 victory over the San Diego Aztecs as 15-point favorites won't get the job done in this spot. Quarterback Keith Price put together a solid performance, completing the most passes (25) in a season opener for the school since 2009.
Sports bettors will look closely at the box score and notice that the Huskies out-gained the Aztecs by just a single yard, benefiting from a plus-two turnover margin.
LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger knew that he didn't have to do much against North Texas on Saturday, but did manage to throw for 192 yards in a 41-14 triumph as 44-point home favorites inside Tiger Stadium.
The Tigers have won all 22 of their non-conference home games under head coach Les Miles—success that will likely continue against a middle-of-the-pack Pac-12 Conference squad.
Week 2 Betting Odds: LSU Tigers -24
Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks
The Arkansas Razorbacks are using their first two games as preparation for their Week 3 contest against the Alabama Crimson Tide, coming away with a 49-24 win over Jacksonville State on Saturday. Quarterback Tyler Wilson completed 19 of 27 passes for 367 yards and three touchdowns.
It's important to note that this contest will be played in Little Rock, not Fayetteville, but it will likely result in the Razorbacks winning its 10th game in as many tries in this series.
I suggest watching this line carefully throughout the week, as the Razorbacks failed to cover a 23-point spread against the Troy Trojans before facing the eventual national champions.
Week 2 Betting Odds: Arkansas Razorbacks -29
Nebraska Cornhuskers at UCLA Bruins
The UCLA Bruins racked up 646 total yards in their 49-24 victory over the Rice Owls as 16-point road favorites on Thursday night, but they will face a much tougher challenge in their home opener in the Rose Bowl.
Nebraska won its 27th consecutive season opener Saturday, capturing a 49-20 blowout victory over the Southern Miss Golden Eagles as 20.5-point home favorites, with quarterback Taylor Martinez throwing for a career-high 354 yards.
First-year head coach Jim Mora Jr. knows the importance of this contest in Westwood, as it can help steal some of the Southern California headlines away from the top-ranked USC Trojans.
The Cornhuskers are going to be hard to fade in this spot considering they've gone 5-2-1 against the spread as road favorites the last two-plus years.
Week 2 Betting Odds: Nebraska Cornhuskers -6
Georgia Bulldogs at Missouri Tigers
The Georgia Bulldogs came away with a 45-23 victory over the Buffalo Bulls as 38-point home favorites on Saturday, but won the statistical battle by just 138 yards. Quarterback Aaron Murray completed 15 of 26 passes for 258 yards and three touchdowns.
Sports bettors will likely choose to back the Bulldogs in this spot due to their opponent playing their first-ever Southeastern Conference affair, especially since they've won nine of their last 12 true road openers.
Missouri ranks ninth nationally with 49 victories since 2007, but will be up against it here despite capturing a 62-10 blowout win over Southeast Louisiana. Fans of the program should be happy with James Franklin's 131-yard passing performance, as he's still recovering from shoulder surgery.
More on this game as the week progresses, as it figures to be one of the more exciting ones to handicap.
Week 2 Betting Odds: Georgia Bulldogs -3.5
New Mexico Lobos at Texas Longhorns
The New Mexico Lobos may have captured their largest margin of victory since 2008 in Bob Davie's head coach debut in Albuquerque, but none of that will matter win traveling to Texas Memorial Stadium this week.
Beating Southern University by 45 points will still provide a nice boost of confidence, as the program attempts to snap a 12-game losing streak against ranked opponents. It's probably not going to happen here, with Saturday's host winning both previous meetings by a 47-point margin.
The Texas Longhorns have to be pleased with David Ash's performance in a 37-17 season-opening victory over the Wyoming Cowboys as 31-point home favorites, as he connected on 20 of 27 pass attempts.
Don't expect an upset in this affair, with the Longhorns winning all 33 non-conference home games against non-BCS opponents since joining the Big 12 Conference.
Week 2 Betting Odds: Texas Longhorns -41