College football Week 2 picks against the spread: Tide rolls but doesn’t cover, upset alerts and picks for every top 25 game
Week 2 of the college football season features a pair of blockbuster matchups that serve as huge pieces to the College Football Playoff puzzle.
No. 12 Texas A&M visits No. 1 Clemson at Memorial Stadium (3:30 p.m., ABC) and No. 6 LSU visits No. 9 Texas (7 p.m., ABC). It’s a huge doubleheader, and it won’t be easy to pick against the spread.
Here is a look at our record after Week 1:
Straight up: 23-1, .958
Against the spread: 14-10, .583
Upsets: 0-1, .000
With that in mind, here is a look at the dates, times, TV and odds (courtesy of SportsbookReview.com) for every top-25 matchup in Week 2:
College football Week 2 picks against the spread
Marshall at No. 24 Boise State (-12)
Boise State is back in the top 25 after rallying to beat Florida State, but Marshall has an experienced quarterback in Isaiah Green. This will be a fun Friday night shootout worth staying up for.
Boise State wins 37-30 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
Army at No. 7 Michigan (-23.5)
Some want to put the Wolverines on upset alert here, especially knowing they have had a pair of uncomfortable games against Air Force this decade. Michigan cannot have another slow start, or this will get interesting. Freshman Zach Charbonnet will score twice in the second half to open it up.
Michigan wins 33-16 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
No. 21 Syracuse (-2.5) at Maryland
Maryland has our attention after scoring 79 in the opener, and the line has dropped four points from its open. Tommy DeVito struggled in the opener, but the defense compiled eight sacks. We like the Orange in a wild one, and the line dropping makes that chance easier to take.
Syracuse wins 33-30 and COVERS the spread.
Cincinnati at No. 5 Ohio State (-17)
The Buckeyes and Bearcats had a memorable nail-biter in 2002, but Ohio State had won the last three meetings by an average of 24.3 points per game since. The Buckeyes need to put four quarters together, and Justin Fields will continue to show improvement in Ryan Day’s offense.
Ohio State wins 40-20 and COVERS the spread.
Rutgers at No. 20 Iowa (-20.5)
Nate Stanley threw three TDs in the opener. The Hawkeyes won the last meeting 14-7 in 2016, and Rutgers has improved around running Isiah Pacheco, who had four touchdowns against UMass. The Hawkeyes, however, take control in the second half.
Iowa wins 35-14 and COVERS the spread.
Northern Illinois vs. No. 13 Utah (-23)
It’s an early kickoff for the Utes, who are up against a Northern Illinois offense that will try to control the clock around Ross Bowers. The Huskies have Nebraska and Vanderbilt the next two weeks after this one. Zack Moss will have to earn his yardage in this one.
Utah wins 31-10 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
No. 12 Texas A&M at No. 1 Clemson (-18.5)
The Aggies and Tigers played a thriller in College Station last season, a game in which Kellen Mond had 463 total yards of offense. He will have to be that good again for Texas A&M to have a chance. Clemson keeps rolling, but they get a test.
Clemson wins 42-24 and FAILS TO COVER the spread.
Central Michigan at No. 17 Wisconsin (-35)
Wisconsin rolled in its opener, and the Badgers return home against the Chippewas. Jonathan Taylor and Nakia Wilson lead an impressive ground attack, and the defense looks better than last season.
Wisconsin wins 49-13 and COVERS the spread.
No. 25 Nebraska (-4) at Colorado
Nebraska needs to win this one on the road against a Colorado team that has talent on the perimeter. Get ready for an entertaining shootout between Adrian Martinez and Steven Montez that could come down to the last drive again.
Nebraska wins 33-30 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
New Mexico State at No. 2 Alabama (-54)
4 p.m., SEC Network
The spread is monstrous, and Alabama is capable of covering this large spread against the Aggies. The question is whether they focus enough on the running game that New Mexico State, which lost 58-7 to Washington State last week, has a chance to cover.
Alabama wins 60-7 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
Murray State at No. 3 Georgia (No line)
The Bulldogs’ trio of D’Andre Swift, Brian Herrien and Zamir White all rushed for at least 50 yards last week. At least two should go for 100 yards here, and Jake Fromm will continue to look for a go-to receiver. Georgia cruises again.
Georgia wins 56-7.
North Colorado at No. 22 Washington State (No line)
Anthony Gordon threw for 420 yards and five TDs in his start, and the Cougars will keep that rolling against a Northern Colorado team that lost 35-18 to San Jose State last week.
Washington State wins 58-10.
No. 6 LSU (-4.5) at No. 9 Texas
The game of the week features two hot quarterbacks in Joe Burrow and Sam Ehlinger. Will LSU air it out on the road and get in a Big 12-style shootout? Can Texas handle LSU up front? This is an early candidate for game of the year, and we don’t think it will disappoint.
Texas wins 31-28 in an UPSET.
South Dakota at No. 4 Oklahoma (No line)
It’s a short week for the Sooners, who should be ecstatic with the early returns of transfer quarterback Jalen Hurts. The Sooners present too many challenges for the Coyotes, and it won’t be close.
Oklahoma wins 59-14.
No. 18 UCF (-9) at Florida Atlantic
Brandon Wimbush gets the headlines, but it’s UCF defense that dominated last week. FAU settled in after a nightmare quarter against Ohio State. The Owls will make it interesting, but the Knights keep rolling.
UCF wins 41-31 and COVERS the spread.
UT-Martin at No. 11 Florida (No line)
The Gators had an extra week to work out the kinks from the opener. UT-Martin has a talented running back in Peyton Logan, but Florida dominates with its defense early.
Florida wins 45-14.
Nevada at No. 16 Oregon (-23)
7:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network
This is a tough spot for Oregon coming off the loss to Auburn. Nevada will be riding high after last week’s upset victory against Purdue. The Ducks get rolling the second half, but not in time to cover.
Oregon wins 42-24 but FAILS TO COVER the spread.
Buffalo at No. 15 Penn State (-24)
Penn State routed Idaho last week, but Buffalo poses a stiffer challenge. That said, the Nittany Lions’ pass rush should overwhelm Matt Myers, and the offense will pour it on again at home.
Penn State wins 49-21 and COVERS the spread.
Tulane at No. 10 Auburn (-19)
Auburn should be wary of an emotional letdown against Tulane, which has a veteran backfield in Justin McMillan and Darius Bradwell. There’s a small risk for trap game here, and we’re taking the Green Wave to cover as a result.
Auburn wins 38-20 and FAILS TO COVER the spread.
Western Michigan at No. 19 MIchigan State (-17.5)
The Spartans held Tulsa to -73 rushing yards last week, an incredible stat that should serve as a warning for the Broncos. Still, Western Michigan has lost the last three meetings by 14 points or less. We’re tempted here knowing how efficient Jon Wassink can be with time.
Michigan State wins 28-13 and FAILS TO COVER the spread.
Cal at No. 14 Washington (-12.5)
Jacob Eason impressed in his debut for the Huskies, but the Huskies will have to clamp down on Cal running back Christopher Brown Jr., who had 197 rushing yards last week. The Golden Bears won 12-10 last season. They won’t be as fortunate on the road.
Washington wins 34-18 and COVERS the spread.
No. 23 Stanford (-3) at USC
J.T. Daniels’ injury puts a damper on this game, and the spread could jump over the next few days. Stanford has won four of the last six and will grind out a victory here.
Stanford wins 24-14 and COVERS the spread.