Tyler’s Take Five didn’t get off to its best start last week, going 1-2 in the three bets I put out. However, it didn’t get off to its worst start either. Last year I started the season with a nice 0-5 and still cashed a nice profit by the end of the year, so bear with me.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Still though, come on Middle Tennessee State. Show some life?
We’re onto Week 2. This week the slate of games is an improvement from week one as the ACC kicks off their season, but all in all it still feels a little empty. However, it’s better than nothing and a weekend of college football followed by a full NFL slate on Sunday will at least feel a little more normal. Alright, without further ado, lets get into the betting picks for Week 2!
Louisiana (+12.5) @ Iowa State
This week looks like a week to play a lot of dogs, and this is a quality one to start. The Ragin’ Cajuns come into 2020 off a 11-3 season where they almost knocked off Appalachian State in the Sun Belt Title Game. In that season they ranked No. 8 in total offense in the NCAA, and No. 6 in rushing offense. Turn the page to 2020 and Louisiana brings back most of those big pieces including a two headed monster at running back with Elijah Mitchell and Trey Ragas. The duo has more yards and touchdowns than any other running back duo returning to play this season.
Additionally the Cajuns bring back Levi Lewis at QB, who returns as the second leading passer in the Sun Belt and one of the most efficient QB’s in college football last season.
On the other side Iowa State has an interesting team on their hands. On offense they return Brock Purdy at quarterback and nine starters to a defense that ranked as a top 50 defense in the country. On paper they look like a team that could really be solid, but there are still some question marks.
The offensive line is somewhat inexperienced, and the defense was poor in some areas ranking No. 72 in pass defense. That to me sounds like things could start slow out of the gate, and with Louisiana bringing back so much experience I think they can hang around in this game. I think both teams will be very solid in their respective conferences, but I think the Cajuns will come in with confidence and make it a game.
Arkansas State (+10.5) @ Kansas State
One thing I will be really interested to see this week is how some teams fare taking on opponents that have already played a game. There’s a difference between practice and games, and there are a few games that could have an impact on so I am going back to the well with the Red Wolves here.
Arkansas State hung around just long enough against what I think is a very good Memphis team last Saturday. This week they head to Manhattan to take on a team that has not played a game this season, and that returns very little to their roster.
In fact, Kansas State lost 28 seniors, 15 of which we’re starters in 2019. Key pieces are back at the important positions though, as Skylar Thompson and Justin Hughes return at QB and MLB, but other areas have concerns. I always look at offensive line production returning as one of my key factors, and Kansas State is a team that lost all five of their starters from a season ago. With a new front taking on a team that has already gotten good game action, I think the Wolves can hang around in this contest.
Coastal Carolina (+7) @ Kansas
Just 84 miles east of Manhattan the Kansas Jayhawks will open their season against Coastal Carolina, a team they lost to in Week 2 last season. Les Miles will be looking to turn things around, but the cabinet appears a bit empty this season. Gone is Carter Stanley, the Jayhawks quarterback, and the next in line guys have only 18 career passing attempts. They do return one of the top backs in the country in Pooka Williams, but will be breaking in four new lineman in front of him. Things aren’t any better on defense as the Jayhawks return just three starters.
On the flip side, Coastal Carolina brings back a host of players including four of their front five starters to open holes for running back CJ Marable who averaged 5.3 yards per carry in 2019. Kansas ranked No. 124 in run defense a season ago, which means they better hope things are tightened up as they take on a Chanticleer offense that appears ready to run the football. If Coastal can do that as they expect to, they should have no issue moving the football against Kansas, so for me, seven is far to many points to be giving a team that beat a better Kansas team just a season ago.
Above are the picks I like right now, but I have a few others I still have my eyes on as we approach Saturday:
UL-Monroe @ Army: Army -20.5 looks tempting despite them struggling as a favorite in recent years. Army looked like a well oiled machine in week one, and they’ll be taking on a Warhawk squad that ranked No. 128 of 130 in rushing defense a season ago.
Charlotte @ App State: These two teams scored a combined 97 points in their contest a season ago. App State returns their leading passer, rusher, and receiver along with four lineman, but only four defensive starters. Charlotte can score and run the ball well, so over might be a play for me and App State -16 might as well.
UTSA @ Texas State: Texas State hung with SMU and looked to have figured some things out last week and got some good game action. UTSA is breaking in a lot of new. New head coach, new coordinators, and new quarterback. On defense they are switching schemes, so even vets will be learning. Possibly laying the points here.
Syracuse @ North Carolina: UNC brings back a ton, and I was hoping this line would be under 21 to play it. Syracuse has a lot of question marks and UNC returns 17 starters. 10 of those are on offense against an Orange defense that only brings back four players. Might not be a bad spot.