College Football 2012: Early Week 2 Odds, 5 Interesting Lines
When looking ahead to Week 2 in college football, there are not many marquee matchups to look forward to. That being said, there are some interesting games this week when it comes to odds and betting.
Some of the games on this list probably include teams that betters are not used to betting on. Early season betting in college football is often difficult due to the fact that teams are still finding their identity. Also, uneven matchups usually produce large spreads that can be difficult to cover.
This list points out five games in Week 2 that have interesting lines for different reasons. Some picks seem obvious, others may be more obscure.
The beauty of college football is that anyone can win on any given day. If something fluky happens this week, I could have an in-box full of angry betters.
Happy reading and good luck on your bets.
Pittsburgh (0-1) at Cincinnati (0-0)
When: Thursday, September 6 at 8 p.m. ET
Current Line: Cincinnati favored by 4 points
If you're going to bet: Take Cincinnati giving the points
The Bearcats did not play in Week 1, so this is their opening game of the year. A home game on national television against a conference foe is a good way to start.
The Bearcats finished 10-3 last season.
Cincinnati will have a new starting quarterback and running back this year. However, leading receivers Anthony McClung and Kenbrell Thompkins return to help lead the offense.
Pittsburgh returns key starters on offense in running back Ray Graham and quarterback Tino Sunseri. However, that did not help them in Week 1 as the Panthers were stunned 31-17 at home by FCS member Youngstown State.
While the Panthers are experienced, they were only 6-7 in 2011.
Although Cincinnati has not played yet in 2012, don't shy away. The home crowd will help, and Pittsburgh just isn't very good. This one should be at least a touchdown difference.
Akron (0-1) at Florida International (0-1)
When: Saturday, September 8 at 6 p.m. ET
Current Line: Florida International favored by 23.5 points
If you're going to bet: Take Florida International giving the points
This is a battle of two 0-1 teams from non-BCS conferences. It's rare to find such a big spread for two win-less minor conference teams.
However, this one could be a run-away.
Florida International returns an experienced team, but lost 46-26 at Duke in Week 1. Despite the loss, FIU put up solid offensive numbers. They out-gained the Blue Devils 513-420 in total yards.
Akron did not look very good at home against Central Florida in Week 1. The Zips gave up nearly 400 yards of offense and let the Golden Knights hang 56 points on them. Getting beat 56-14 at home was not the start Akron was hoping for in 2012.
The Zips finished 1-11 last year and don't look to be much better for 2012.
Large spreads often scare betters. Florida International should be able to put up points at ease against the Akron defense. Kedrick Rhodes, who had 130 rushing yards against Duke, could be in line for a big day.
Make this bet with confidence.
Vanderbilt (0-1) at Northwestern (1-0)
When: Saturday, September 8 at 8 p.m. ET
Current Line: Vanderbilt favored by 3.5 points
If you're going to bet: Take Vanderbilt giving the points
This is a very intriguing matchup. Vanderbilt is coming off an impressive effort in the Week 1 loss to South Carolina. Northwestern almost blew a 35-13 second half lead at Syracuse, but ended up winning 42-41 on a late touchdown.
Vanderbilt played tough against South Carolina and gave the Gamecocks quite a scare. In a defensive battle, the Commodores out-gained the Gamecocks 276-272. The Vanderbilt combination of quarterback Jordan Rodgers and wide receiver Jordan Matthews combined for 147 yards and a touchdown.
Northwestern held a 22-point lead in the second half at Syracuse, but had to score at the end of the game to win 42-41. Venric Mark helped lead the Wildcats by providing 203 all purpose yards. The Wildcats seemed to fall asleep on defense and had trouble stopping the Syracuse passing attack.
Vandy shouldn't have much trouble winning this game by at least a touchdown.
Washington (1-0) at LSU (1-0)
When: Saturday, September 8 at 7 p.m. ET
Current Line: LSU favored by 23.5 points
If you're going to bet: Take Washington getting the points
LSU is one of the top teams in the country, and everyone knows how good an SEC defense can be. With that being said, the Washington Huskies bring an offense into Baton Rouge that can put up a lot of points in a hurry.
The Huskies are led by quarterback Keith Price. He threw for 213 yards and a touchdown in the Week 1 win over San Diego State. Price will need help in the running game if the Huskies hope to compete against the Tigers.
LSU opened their season with a 41-14 win over North Texas. The secondary didn't see much of a test in that game. It will be interesting to see how the Tigers do against a solid quarterback without Tyrann Mathieu in the secondary.
While the Huskies are a decent team, this one probably won't be close. However, more than three touchdowns is a stretch. The Huskies should be able to put up enough points to cover the spread.
Take Washington getting 23.5 points, and hope they lose by 20.
Penn State (0-1) at Virginia (1-0)
When: Saturday, September 8 at 12 p.m. ET
Current Line: Virginia favored by 10 points
If you're going to bet: Take Penn State getting the points
This one will be interesting to see how the Nittany Lions bounce back from their heartbreaking 24-14 home loss to Ohio. The Lions will be making their first road trip of the 2012 season. Virginia had an easy win at home last week, winning 43-19 over FBS team Richmond.
There's no doubt that Bill O'Brien will work on the adjustments that need to be made in practice this week. The Nittany Lions had some bright spots in Week 1. The passing game was much improved from last year. The running game never got on track.
Starter Bill Belton left with an injury in the second half and could miss time in Week 2.
Virginia cruised to victory last week led by quarterback Michael Rocco, who threw for 311 yards and a touchdown against the Spiders. Rocco could find smooth sailing again this week when he faces a Penn State defense that gave up 324 yards to Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton.
If Pen State wants to compete in this game, the defense must make adjustments. They wore down in the second half last week and had trouble making stops on third down. They once again face a quality quarterback that could make getting off the field difficult.
The Lions could easily lose this one and start the year 0-2. It just won't be by more than a touchdown. The defense will be better prepared this week.
Take Penn State and the points.
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