All dates/times are AEST. All lines, totals and prices correct at the time of posting.
With Week 1 now done and dusted, I’m looking to improve in Week 2 after a couple of tough losses last Sunday!
BIG card this week (looking forward to when conference play begins so there are less games to look at each week), but here are my thoughts for Week 2.
SATURDAY 8th SEPTEMBER
10am SMU v TCU: Unsurprisingly, SMU (0-1) have opened big underdogs for this game (+22.5 points ATS). Not only are TCU (1-0) a Top 20 ranked team, but SMU (for me and I’m sure for themselves) were abysmal until the 4th quarter in their opener against UNT. Expect SMU in their first home game will want to put up a fight but not sure they will be able to hang with TCU for long enough. That said, whilst TCU were not a high scoring team when on the road in 2017, I think they will have more than enough firepower to beat SMU here.
Leaning TCU -22.5 but my prediction is Over 61 (1u at $1.90) = Loss
SUNDAY 9th SEPTEMBER
2am Houston v Arizona: Houston (1-0) kick off the early Sunday games returning home for the first time this season after an impressive 45-27 road victory over Rice. This victory combined with Arizona’s (0-1) Week 1 loss to BYU brings Houston in -4.5 point favourites for this game. BYU did a relatively good job to contain Khalil Tate, however it was the 3 TD’s which the Arizona defence gave up in the 3rd quarter which lost them the game.
I’m actually leaning Over 65.5 in this game (as I feel this could turn into a bit of a shootout) but am expecting Khalil Tate to find his rhythm and lead Arizona to victory. My prediction is Arizona to win straight out (0.5u at $2.70) = Loss
2am USF v Georgia Tech: Georgia Tech (1-0) travel to South Florida (1-0) after a commanding 41-0 win in their season opener against Alcorn State. USF took their foot off the pedal late, but also come into this game 1-0 after beating Elon 34-14 in Week 1. These are two quite different offenses with USF almost splitting rush/pass attempts 50/50 compared with GT who rushed for a massive 439 yards at an average of 8.1 yards per attempt. I don’t feel they get it as easy this week in what could be a low scoring tussle.
I’m leaning Under 56.5 but my prediction here is actually USF to win straight out (0.5u at $2.30) = WINNER!
5.30am ECU v North Carolina: I feel Nathan Elliott and the UNC (0-1) offense get the perfect opportunity here to bounce back after their lacklustre performance in Week 1 against California. ECU (0-1) were disappointing in the 2nd half against North Carolina A&T and this is no easier. UNC opened -14.5 point favourites and this line has already shifted to -16.5. I’m expecting they click and get the job done this week.
Leaning Under 59 (as I really struggle to see ECU getting any more momentum than they did in Week 1) however my prediction in this game is UNC -16.5 (1u at $1.90) = Loss
5.30am Temple v Buffalo: I had big hopes for Temple (0-1) this season and they hardly fired a shot in their season opener against Villanova going down 19-17. Buffalo (1-0) on the other hand opened their season with a big 48-10 victory over Delaware State. I certainly feel that Temple will be much tougher opposition for Buffalo than DSU and probably get their first win of the season here. Temple opened -6.5 point favourites however this has come in to -4.5. Total points has been set at Under/Over 51.5.
I’m leaning Under 51.5 and Temple -4.5 however until I see Nutile click, I’m happy to sit this one out. No official prediction in this game for me.
5.30am Navy v Memphis: This match up sees two teams who I had pretty high hopes for this season go head to head in a game I had circled as one to keep an eye on from very early on. Navy (0-1) started slowly (trailed 35-7 with just over 4 minutes to go before HT) against a Hawaii team in Week 1 who have started the season very strong. From that point on Navy outscored Hawaii 34-24 but it wasn’t enough. Memphis (1-0) on the other hand were ruthless defeating Mercer 66-14 with Brady White throwing for 358 yards and 5 TDs. This could be a fun one. If Navy are any chance of winning this one, they are going to need to be much stronger on the defensive side of the ball and whilst you often hear “…one week is a long time in football…” I can’t see them getting over the line in this one.
The more I look, the more I like Memphis here. My predictions for this game are Memphis -4.5 (1u at $1.90) and Over 71.5 (1.5u at $1.90) = Loss x2
8am UCF v South Carolina State: This game has the ability to generate ‘mercy rule’ discussions written all over it. Unfortunately, lines/totals are still not available with Australian betting agencies yet, however based on US markets, it appears that UCF (1-0) will open around -45.5 point favourites with a game total being set at under/over around 60.5 points. UCF are riding a 14 game winning streak and it really isn’t going to get much easier than this. South Carolina State (0-1) were very ordinary in their Week 1 match up against Georgia Southern who ended up running away to win 37-6. SCSt made only 151 total yards and committed 2 turn overs in the process. I can’t see this being anything more than a training run for UCF.
Depending on the final lines/totals are, but I’m leaning UCF -45.5 and Over 60.5 (I think UCF will just about do this themselves) however on the off chance that UCF take their foot off the pedal late, there is no official prediction in this game for me.
10am Tulsa @ Texas: Tulsa (1-0) travel to Texas (0-1) for this Week 2 match up. In their opening game, Maryland skipped out to a surprise 24-7 lead half way through the 2nd Quarter over Texas, before they put on 22 unanswered points and took the lead (29-24) late in the 3rd Quarter. Texas were rolling and it appeared they would go on and finish the job. However, Maryland kept them scoreless in the 4th Quarter and managed a surprise 34-29 victory. Texas will be looking for a big win here and even thought Tulsa come in on the back of a 38-27 victory over Central Arkansas, I can’t see them being in the hunt here.
I’m expecting Texas will muscle up on both sides of the ball and am leaning Texas -22 and Under 61 however no official prediction in this game for me.
10am Cincinnati @ Miami (OH): I suggested last week that I thought Cincinnati (1-0) were a real danger for UCLA who headed into Week 1 with a lot of uncertainty around their QB and after skipping out to lead 10-0 in the 1st Quarter, it was all downhill for UCLA. They ended up splitting the QB roll between Thompson-Robinson and Speight and I’m confident that the uncertainty on offense cost them the mental edge. Miami (OH) (0-1) are slight 2.5 point favourites and think they probably get the job done. 2017 stats point to this one staying under the game total of 50 points. Cincinnati were a lower scoring team and slightly stingier defense on the road than they were at home in 2017 and Miami (OH) were a lower scoring team at home than they were on the road. I feel however, that both have the ability to leak a few points and based on Week 1, both have the potential to get the ball down the field.
Leaning Miami (OH) -2.5 but my prediction is Over 50 (1u at $1.90) = Loss
10am Tulane v Nicholls: Nicholls (1-0) and Tulane (0-1) come into this game after both going to OT in their respective Week 1 match ups. Nicholls upset KU whilst Tulane couldn’t hold on against Wake Forest. This is another game where Australian betting agencies haven’t posted lines or totals yet, however again, taking a lead from the US, it appears Tulane will open -17.5 point favourites and the total game score will be set at around under/over 50 points. Before Week 1, I had this pencilled in as a fairly confident win for Tulane, and the line suggests that betting agencies agree, but coming in with their heads up, I think Nicholls could be right in this.
I’m expecting this will be a fairly tight battle with both teams looking to break up the opposition offense. At this stage I’m leaning Nicholls +17.5 and the Under 50 however at this stage no official prediction in this game for me. This may change depending what the final line/total is set at.
12.15pm UConn @ Boise State: UConn (0-1) travel as huge underdogs (+33.5 points ATS) to Number 22 ranked Boise State (1-0) to round out Week 2 for the AAC teams. UConn never troubled UCF (who ended up winning 56-17) in their opener and I can’t see this game being any different. Similarly, BSU put Troy to the sword (56-20). I expect BSU will be looking to put on a bit of a show in front of their home crowd for the first time this season and expect they win this one very easily.
Leaning Over 64 however my prediction in this game is BSU -33.5 (2u at $1.90). **This is my best bet for Week 2** = WINNER!