Here are my four best bets for Week 2 in college football. Click each linked for a short writeup of the game that I did for Fansided:
It’s a slow time in the sports calendar, which makes it a perfect time to start preparing for football season. I looked through the conference schedules for the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC and Pac-12 to look for favorable situations to support teams and bad situations to fade teams. Games are at least two months away, and I wouldn’t automatically pick these games but it’s something that could be helpful down the road. I will post the other four conferences next week. For now, here are games you should keep an eye on in the SEC:
September 26- Missouri at Kentucky: Missouri has three favorable non-conference games before their first SEC game at Kentucky. The Tigers will likely be a favorite against an up-and-coming Wildcats team that needs to win these games if they want to make a bowl. Missouri plays South Carolina the week after. Last year the Tigers shockingly lost to Indiana the week before playing the Gamecocks in a classic “look ahead” situation. Missouri may be looking past Kentucky with bigger games on deck so possibly take Kentucky if they are an underdog in this game.
October 10- Georgia at Tennessee: Georgia is coming off a home game against Alabama. A trip to Knoxville is less than ideal the week after such a big contest for the Bulldogs. The Volunteers host Arkansas the week before and a have a bye the week after. Tennessee might end up being a favorite in this game and I would likely take them if the spread is a south of a field goal.
October 17- Alabama at Texas A&M: Alabama has had favorable conference schedules the last few seasons. However, things change in 2015 as they draw Georgia and Tennessee from the SEC East. They play the two SEC East foes in part of a four-week stretch that also includes games against Arkansas and Texas A&M. The game against Texas A&M is on the road and I can see the Crimson Tide slipping up here. The Aggies will have revenge on their mind after being trounced 59-0 against Alabama last season. Texas A&M also has a favorable early season schedule, and they don’t leave the state of Texas until the eighth week of the season. I don’t know if Alabama will lose this game but I can see them failing to cover the spread.
Georgia (-3.5) over Arkansas: It’s always a good idea to pick against a Mike Anderson team on the road. The Razorbacks are ranked but 1-2 in true road games this season. Georgia didn’t lose a game in December and their wins included Colorado, Seton Hall and Kansas State. The Bulldogs were very good at home in conference last year. Georgia isn’t ranked but there is a reason they are the favorite here.
The storyline of the Belk Bowl between Georgia and Louisville is Cardinal Defensive Coordinator Todd Grantham, who held the same role at Georgia from 2010-13. Grantham joined Bobby Petrino’s staff at Louisville and he has improved the Cardinal defense.
The Grantham factor might be the only motivation that Georgia has in this game. The Bulldogs had a golden chance to win the SEC East this season but lost to South Carolina and Florida. They had aspirations of playing in the SEC Championship Game, and that goal wasn’t met.
Louisville finished 9-3 in Petrino’s first season. They aren’t as talented as Georgia but there is motivation here to beat a SEC team. Petrino is familiar with the SEC from his days in Arkansas so he will make sure his team is ready to play in Charlotte.
Pick: Louisville (+7) over Georgia
I have seven picks in Week 12 of college football. I previewed the important games earlier in this week before the lines were released. I ended up picking six of those games so you can read my analysis there. Here are my picks and pool plays for Week 12:
South Carolina (+7) over Florida: This is the one game I didn’t preview earlier in the week because it has no impact on the College Football Playoff. South Carolina has blown three fourth quarter leads this year but I think they make sure to play 60 minutes in Gainesville. Florida doesn’t have the offense to be a touchdown favorite here and I think the Gamecocks win straight up.
Georgia (-2) over Auburn
Stanford (-7.5) over Utah
Alabama (-8) over Mississippi State
Arkansas (-2) over LSU
Florida State (-3) over Miami
Maryland (+12) over Michigan State
Penn State (-11) over Temple
Ohio State (-14) over Minnesota
Iowa (-3.5) over Illinois
Nebraska (+6.5) over Wisconsin
Started the week in college 1-0 with a winner on Texas Tech. As I said in the post for Thursday’s games, I won’t be writing individual articles for each game I pick this week. I do feel confident about several games this week so here are my picks for Saturday with analysis for a few:
Tennessee (+17) over Georgia: Too many points and a early afternoon game. Butch Jones will have the Volunteers prepared after a bye week.
Arkansas (+10) over Texas A&M: I think Texas A&M is one of the most overrated teams in the country. Other than South Carolina they haven’t played any good teams. Arkansas is still undervalued and could win this one straight up on a neutral field.
Duke (+7) over Miami: Another game where I see the underdog winning straight up. Miami is the more talented team but Duke is better coached.
Florida State (-18.5) over North Carolina State: Florida State comes out firing with Winston back in the lineup. This might be the best time to buy low on the Seminoles.
Memphis (+21) over Ole Miss: Ole Miss has something special going on in Oxford but they will be looking ahead to a home game against Alabama in Week 6. Memphis isn’t a pushover. They played at UCLA closely so they won’t be intimidated traveling to Ole Miss.
Wyoming (+28.5) over Michigan State Continue reading
I looked closely at every college football game and only found two games that I really like this week. I was close of picking East Carolina and Boston College but the lines weren’t high enough. I started 5-5 in the first two weeks after a 2-1 record last Saturday. I’ve done well on my pool plays and hope to continue selecting winners there. Here are the two games I am picking on Saturday: