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Brendan's Best Bets: Week 2 picks

Week 1 was not very kind to us. We hit on a few bets but certainly not as many as we would've liked.

Week 2 is a new week though. There are plenty of must watch games this week including Texas vs Alabama, Utah vs Baylor, Nebraska vs Colorado, Texas A&M vs Miami, Oregon vs Texas Tech and more.

For this edition of Brendan’s Best Bets, we are taking a look at the Week 2 slate. Odds are provided by FanDuel Sportsbook.

Wake Forest -10 (-110)

Mitch Griffis started his first game for Wake Forest in a 37-17 win against Elon. Griffis and this Wake Forest team will get better as the season progresses. Vanderbilt struggled to close out Hawaii but then beat Alabama A&M comfortably. However, the Commodores didn’t pull away until the second half.

The Demon Deacons are at home here and I think they win by two touchdowns behind a solid passing attack that Vanderbilt’s defense will struggle against.

Notre Dame -7.5 (-105)

Notre Dame has looked really good this season. The Fighting Irish struggled at the quarterback position last season but getting Sam Hartman from Wake Forest has turned out great for the Irish. NC State beat UConn last week. Brennan Armstrong’s legs were the key in the Wolfpack’s win.

NC State didn’t show any offensive threat against UConn outside of Armstrong with his feet. Notre Dame has better athletes on defense and should be able to limit Armstrong’s running ability. I think the Irish will win by double digits on their first road test of the year.

Purdue moneyline (+105)

The wrong team is favored in this game. The Boilermakers lost last week at home against a really good Fresno State team. Despite the loss, Purdue played clean football. They only had four penalties and didn’t turn the ball over once. Virginia Tech won at home against an Old Dominion team that got absolutely raided by bigger programs via the transfer portal. Despite the 20-point loss, the Monarchs had one more first down and nearly 100 more rushing yards than the Hokies.

I’m not completely sold on Grant Wells at quarterback for Virginia Tech yet. He has been interception prone in his college career. The Purdue defense should have more success this week and will force some turnovers. I still expect this to be a high scoring game, but the Boilermakers are the better overall team and have the quarterback advantage.

Iowa State +3.5 (-102)

The battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy is the best rivalry game on the Week 2 slate. Iowa is coming off of a 24-14 win against Utah State and Iowa State beat Northern Iowa 30-9 last week. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this will be a low-scoring game. The point total is set at 36.5 which is too high.

I think Iowa will win this game outright but with how low-scoring this game will be, a 3.5-point spread seems too big. I’ll take the home underdog here against the spread. I would not take the Cyclones on the moneyline though.

UMass +6.5 (+100)

One of the most underwhelming teams in Week 1 was Miami (OH). The Redhawks offense put up a mere three points against Miami (FL) last Friday. They only had nine first downs and 51 rushing yards against the Hurricanes. UMass’ offense can give Miami (OH) trouble. Quarterback Taisun Phommachanh is a dual threat guy and is talented as a runner.

This is going to be a close game. I think it will be low scoring. I don’t trust the Redhawks offense to make this a blowout. With that being said, UMass can win this game outright. This is their home opener and this team has improved since last season. UMass will make this a game and cover the spread.

Tulane +6.5 (+100)

Tulane’s game against SEC opponent Ole Miss on Saturday might be its biggest home game in school history. The Green Wave looked impressive in a 37-17 Week 1 win against a good South Alabama team. Ole Miss beat a decent FCS team in Mercer, 73-7. This game is going to be high-scoring and come down to the line of scrimmage.

Tulane’s offensive line can match up against Ole Miss’ defensive line. Tulane should be successful on the ground which will keep this game within one possession. The environment should motivate the Green Wave to keep the game close.

UAB +7.5 (-120)

Both Georgia Southern and UAB took care of their FCS opponents in Week 1. UAB quarterback Jacob Zeno played extremely well for the Blazers (38/41, 291 yards, 3 TDs). Georgia Southern struggled with penalties in its 34-0 shutout of The Citadel. UAB played cleaner football in Week 1. I expect that to continue into Week 2.

Georgia Southern will win this game, but the Blazers will keep it close especially if the passing attack is firing on all cylinders.

Cincinnati +7 (-106)

Both Cincinnati and Pitt handled their FCS opponents in Week 1. The Bearcats rolled a decent Eastern Kentucky team. Cincinnati was only 21-point favorites in that game and they won 66-13. The Bearcats offense will be fun to watch throughout the season after posting 667 yards of total offense. Pitt beat Wofford 45-7. That’s not a huge blowout but the Panthers held Wofford to -1 rushing yard. This Pitt defense looks like it’s still really good.

This game features a great matchup between the Pitt defense and the Cincinnati offense. The Bearcats aren’t entering a hostile environment either, despite being away from home. The Panthers under Pat Narduzzi always seem to trip up against teams that they should beat (Georgia Tech last season). This could be one of those games and I like Cincinnati to cover the spread.

Jacksonville State +14.5 (-118)

Jacksonville State is catching Coastal Carolina at the right time. The Gamecocks are riding a wave of momentum after their 2-0 start to the season. Coastal didn’t look awful in its 27-13 loss to UCLA but the Chanticleers are breaking in a new head coach.

Grayson McCall threw two picks against UCLA last week and Coastal had three overall turnovers. If they don’t clean that up, Jacksonville State can win this game outright.

Georgia State -2.5 (-122)

On paper, UConn is probably the more talented team. However, watching the Huskies last week against NC State made me worried. NC State quarterback Brennan Armstrong ran for 96 yards and two scores. Georgia State has a mobile quarterback as well in Darren Grainger and a solid rushing attack.

I think the Panthers rushing attack and the dual threat ability of Grainger will be the difference. UConn is not a team that will get into a track meet with anyone and Georgia State just has a matchup advantage in this game.

Washington State +5.5 (-110)

Washington State over Wisconsin is one of my favorite upset plays in Week 2. It’s never easy to go on the road and win in college football. It’s especially not easy when you have to travel two time zones west and go win a game. Washington State looked really good last week at Colorado State. Quarterback Cam Ward and the passing attack looked scary good. Wisconsin, on the other hand, struggled to pull away from Buffalo. It might take longer than expected for the Badgers to instill the Phil Longo offense.

The Cougars won this game last year and will come out of the gates motivated at home. I expect the passing attack to give the Badgers defense some trouble. Take the points and I would sprinkle some on the moneyline if you are feeling a little more risky.

To recap, here are the bets we are making:

  • Wake Forest -10 (-110)

  • Notre Dame -7.5 (-105)

  • Purdue moneyline (+105)

  • Iowa State +3.5 (-102)

  • UMass +6.5 (+100)

  • Tulane +6.5 (+100)

  • UAB +7.5 (-120)

  • Cincinnati +7 (-106)

  • Jacksonville State +14.5 (-118)

  • Georgia State -2.5 (-122)

  • Washington State +5.5 (-110)

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