Week 1 of the college football season saw some great football action and some large payout potential for bettors. Week 2 might just offer the same, with plenty of big games on the schedule and some great values on moneylines. Drew Goldfarb, Jim Beviglia, and Taylor Smith break down five of this week’s biggest or most intriguing games in this week’s edition of “Power 5 Picks,” which you can watch above. When you’re ready to place a bet on college football, click here to check out our list of the best NCAAF betting sites for 2019!
ACC: Texas A&M Aggies at Clemson Tigers
It’s easy to look back at last year’s game between the Tigers and Aggies in College Station and think that Texas A&M should be able to cover the spread easily in 2019. Last season, Clemson eked out a two-point win, 28-26, in a game that saw Aggies quarterback Kellen Mond throw for 430 yards and three touchdowns. However, it’s worth noting that Clemson was still going with Kelly Bryant at quarterback at that time, only switching to eventual Archie Griffin Award winner Trevor Lawrence a few weeks later.
The 2019 meeting moves to Death Valley, where the Tigers have lost just once since November of 2013. The Aggies are a talented team, but Clemson is on another level. That said, are they 17 points better than the Aggies?
SEC: West Virginia Mountaineers at Missouri Tigers
The Missouri Tigers lost by six points to Wyoming in Week 1. For Week 2, they’ll be two touchdown favorites against West Virginia. If that doesn’t encapsulate just how many big pieces the Mountaineers lost this past offseason, I don’t know what could. The Tigers went 2-5 against teams with a winning record in 2018, with impressive wins over Memphis (thanks to the dramatic 65-33 score) and No. 13 Florida, giving the impression that there might just be a strong team in there somewhere.
WVU didn’t look great in Week 1, but they still came away with a victory over James Madison. Austin Kendall—who replaced Will Grier as the Mountaineers’ quarterback—threw for 260 yards and a pair of touchdowns in West Virginia’s 20-13 win. The win gave Neal Brown his first as WVU’s head coach. Brown previously coached at Troy, where his Trojans teams went 2-4 against Power 5 teams, beating Nebraska in 2018 and downing LSU at Tiger Stadium in 2017.
Spread: Missouri -14
Moneyline: West Virginia +450, Missouri -600
Big 12: LSU Tigers at Texas Longhorns
Speaking of LSU, the Tigers play in this week’s marquee matchup when they travel to Austin to take on the Texas Longhorns. The sixth-ranked Tigers are trying to prove they are worthy contenders for Alabama’s throne in the SEC West, and this matchup could do just that. The 2018 Tigers were a mix of great and subpar, with statement wins over Miami, Auburn, and Georgia mixed in with an eight-point loss to Florida (when the Tigers were ranked No. 5 in the nation) and a blowout 29-0 loss to Alabama at home. I wouldn’t count the game-changing 74-72 seven overtime loss on either side of that discussion.
After all of that, the Tigers struck down the unbeaten UCF Knights in the Fiesta Bowl. Consistency is key for LSU in 2019, and it’ll need to start this weekend.
The same can be said of the Longhorns. Texas is trying to reestablish itself as a program worthy of playoff consideration. The Longhorns were slowed out of the gate last year with a loss to Maryland in Week 1, then worked their way up to the No. 6 ranking in the country only to lose back-to-back games to lowly Oklahoma State and No. 13 West Virginia. A season-closing loss to No. 5 Oklahoma didn’t keep the Longhorns out of the Sugar Bowl, however, where they capped off the year by beating the SEC’s second-best team, Georgia, 28-21.
Spread: LSU -5
Moneyline: LSU -210, Texas +175
Big Ten: Nebraska Cornhuskers at Colorado Buffaloes
This matchup features a pair of former Big 12 rivals, with neither calling the Big 12 home any longer. The Big Ten’s Nebraska Cornhuskers are always a preseason pick for a rebound year, but that hasn’t happened in a while. Scott Frost’s first season as head coach produced only four wins, though two of them came against Big Ten teams that ended up playing in bowl games (Michigan State, Minnesota). It’s tough to suggest that anything could be truly learned from watching the Huskers’ 35-21 win over South Alabama in Week 1, but this game should be a much better indicator.
The Buffaloes are also 1-0 this season, having put up 52 points in their Week 1 win in the Rocky Mountain Showdown against Colorado State. The Buffs won last season’s Week 2 matchup with Nebraska 33-28 in Lincoln as part of a season-opening five-game winning streak. However, after climbing to No. 19 in the rankings, the Buffaloes lost seven straight to end their season. Six games into that streak, the team fired head coach Mike MacIntyre. New head coach Mel Tucker is a first-time college head coach, though he was the interim head coach of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011. His defensive background is solid, with stints as the defensive coordinator for three NFL teams, a single season as the defensive backs coach for the Alabama Crimson Tide, and three seasons as the defensive coordinator for the Georgia Bulldogs.
The Stanford Cardinal got some worrisome news about 24 hours after we taped this week’s “Power 5 Picks” segment, when head coach David Shaw announced that quarterback K.J. Costello would not play on Saturday. In his place, redshirt sophomore David Mills will get the start. Mills completed 50% of his passes in a Week 1 win against Northwestern, coming in for Costello when the senior left the game just before halftime.
Southern Cal has also dealt with injury issues to their quarterback position, though on a much more long-term basis. Sophomore JT Daniels tore his ACL and his meniscus during last week’s win against Fresno State and will miss the rest of the 2019 season. In his stead, the Trojans will turn to true freshman Kedon Slovis. Slovis completed six of his eight pass attempts in Week 1, throwing for 57 yards with one interception.
It will be incredibly interesting to see which backup quarterback is able to lead his team to victory over the other in this Pac-12 Conference clash.
For our experts’ picks for all five of these games, check out the video at the top of this page, and make sure to check back next week for another edition of “Power 5 Picks” on the Odds On Favorites YouTube channel and right here at GamblingSites.org.
Drew has been covering sports professionally since 2007, covering sports of all kinds in the ACC, SEC, Big 12 and Conference USA. In addition to covering college sports, he also spent two seasons working with the NHL's Florida Panthers as part of their TV broadcast team, as well as reporting and anchoring for AT&T SportsNet and FOX Sports affiliates, CBS Sports Network and ESPNU. Drew has also ...
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