Week one has come and gone and what a fun weekend of football it was. Honestly, I think it’s the best opening weekend of football we’ve had in years. The same can not be said for the betting column as we started off with a 2-4 week. However, I am not upset with it as I still think a couple of the pics were on the right side. Utah had the ball in the red zone and blew it, and Georgia State was winning in the third quarter before two blocked punts. That’s betting though, sometimes the bounces go your way, and sometimes they do not. Let’s turn the page to week two. All odds are provided by Draftkings, the official odds provider of B5Q!
(Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.)
Colorado @ Air Force (-17)
One of my winners last week was TCU over Colorado. I hate to pick on the Buffs as I love the town of Boulder with all my heart, but I have to go back to the well here. Last week, TCU struggled in the first half as they took to the air far too much but in the second half the Horned Frogs realized they could just run the ball all over Colorado and they did just that.
Colorado was gashed for 275 yards with an average of 9.17 yards per carry allowed. Allowing nearly 10 yards PER CARRY is something I have not seen from a power five team in quite some time.
Turn the page to week two, and the Buffs now have to travel to Colorado Springs for a rivalry game with Air Force, and guess who leads the nation in rushing after week one? The Air Force Falcons. Last week, Air Force ran for 582 yards, averaging 9.82 yards per carry against FCS Northern Iowa. To me, this contest is pure strength going against pure weakness. Air Force should be able to do whatever they want on the ground, and their defense is good enough to stifle Colorado’s offense that looked just as poor. I generally don't like laying big numbers with option teams, but I think this mismatch is going to be exploited here.
Marshall @ Notre Dame Under 52
Last week there was plenty to take from the Irish’s season-opening loss to Ohio State. On the defensive side of the football, the Irish looked as strong as they have in recent years holding the Buckeyes under 400 yards and 30 points. That may still seem like a lot but Ohio State averaged 561 yards a season ago while putting up over 40 points per game on average.
On the offensive side of the football, things looked... not great. Notre Dame had ample opportunities to make it a football game but just could not get anything going against the Buckeyes. In total, Notre Dame put up just 253 yards total, 76 coming on the ground. Additionally, Notre Dame ran just 51 plays offensively. That pace was one of the slowest in the nation. Part of that is likely trying to keep Ohio State’s offense off the field, but certainly, something to note and watch for under new Head Coach Marcus Freeman.
This week, the Irish host Marshall and I expect the defense to be as strong as it was last week if not better. They answered a big test in week one, especially in the secondary, and I trust a Marcus Freeman defense to always be stout. On offense, I still think you are going to see some growing pains and I believe Notre Dame is going to try and get something positive going on the ground and give that a lot of focus after little production in the opener. With a defense as strong as the Irish, and an emphasis on the ground I think this game could be a nice under-spot.
Kentucky @ Florida Under 52.5
One thing I really like to focus on in week two is going against the overreaction in the marketplace. Florida is coming off a win over top ten Utah, and in turn, the Gators went from unranked to being ranked 12th in the country, and quarterback Anthony Richardson is now top five in terms of Heisman odds. Now the Gators host Kentucky, a team many think to be pretty strong in the SEC East. Originally, I thought of taking Kentucky and the points but Kentucky has some issues on the offensive side of the football, which drew me more to the under.
Last week, Kentucky knocked off Miami (OH) but things did not look pretty. Kentucky had almost no run game to speak of as they ran for just 50 yards on the ground, averaging 1.92 yards per carry. It was clear they were missing star tailback Chris Rodriguez who ran for 1,379 yards a season ago. Rodriguez was suspended for a DUI this off-season which kept him out of the opener, and it appears he likely will not be available for this game either. That really hurts the flow of this Kentucky offense and puts a lot more on quarterback Will Levis who had to grind for everything a week ago.
While the offense may have some struggles the defense is pretty stout, and I think they could really give Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson problems. Last year, Richardson was held to just 25 yards on five carries against the Wildcats so they should have the formula to slow him down. Additionally, Kentucky is a top team when it comes to defending explosive plays. Last season, the Wildcats ranked 9th in that category according to collegefootballdata.com. If Kentucky can limit what Florida can do down the field I think this under is very much in play. Interesting nugget, in the last six contests between these teams 52 points have been scored just once.
Louisville (+7) @ UCF (Friday night): My numbers make this +1 for Louisville. They looked better than what the box score shows last week so I think this is an inflated number here.
Georgia State (+9.5) @ North Carolina: I got the opening number on this, but it is now down to +7. I still like it at that spot. Georgia State dominated the metrics last week and North Carolina looked horrendous on defense.
Houston (+3.5) @ Texas Tech: I think Houston looked better than what last week showed, and Texas Tech is going to be without quarterback Tyler Shough in this contest. Gimme the Cougars here.
Baylor @ BYU (-3): Would prefer to get this under 3, but I don't know if that is going to come back. I like it at 3, would probably avoid it at 3.5 and use it in a money line parlay.