No. 3 Ohio State among top Week 2 bets

It’s Week 2 of college football. The first couple of weeks have been a bit of a doozy, so I’m really looking forward to the season moving forward. Last week was kind of tiring, but it’s early days. There have been so many personnel and player changes that things will take a few weeks to settle and see what they are.

Here’s what I like about week 2:

My best bet: South Alabama +5 at Central Michigan

I’m not impressed with the Chippewas who put up 44 points last week in a loss to Oklahoma State. You can see my full breakdown as to why here:

Arkansas State at No. 3 Ohio State -44.5

I know, it’s a crazy-high number, but in my preseason previews I talked about supporting Ohio State in Week 2 against the Red Wolves. Arkansas State on the road last season lost to Washington 52-3, gave up 41 points to Tulsa and another 59 to Georgia Southern. Besides just being Ohio State, the Buckeyes have a few things going for them.

They have a top-24 pass rush as opposed to a bottom-five offensive line. Ohio State was 25th in quarterback sacks last year and sacked Notre Dame QB Tyler Buchner three times last week. The Red Wolves were 127th in quarterback protection last season. QB James Blackman was sacked zero times last week as the Red Wolves put up 58 points … against Grambling. Blackman played in just six games last year but was sacked 19 times, 13 of which were away.

I have no doubt that the Buckeyes offense can do some damage against a defense that ranked 129th last year, and that defense can keep Blackman on the run and unable to put up points.

Why not take Ohio’s team total over 56.5? I don’t like this hook. The Buckeyes could take their foot off the gas maybe in the fourth quarter, or they might as well put up 59 points. Either way, I like the spread more than the whole group above. I never would have thought of it if Ohio State was on the road, but at home, the Buckeyes last season put up 59 at Akron, 66 at Maryland, 59 at Purdue and 56 at Michigan State. I trust this team at home.

UTSA in the Army +3

Yes, Army was my best bet last week and they didn’t cover Coastal Carolina, losing by 10. The Black Knights were competitive, though, with 5.2 yards per rush and nearly 350 yards of total offense. The Roadrunners had a tumultuous loss — 30-7 at one point to Houston and eventually lost 37-35 in overtime — and now travel to face a top-five rushing attack.

What hurt Army last week was Coastal Carolina’s running game. UTSA showed a bit of a one-dimensional offense last week with quarterback Frank Harris leading the team in rushing. No longer having RB Sincere McCormick could definitely hurt the Roadrunners this season. Additionally, if there’s one thing these military groups know how to defend, it’s mobile generals. I also like Army at ML +125, but I’ll keep things conservative.

Kansas +13.5 at West Virginia

Do I really want to root for the Jayhawks? Ugh, the answer is yes. The Mountaineers allowed over 300 yards of offense last week to Kedon Clovis. Maybe the two aren’t the same, but I think this is a Jayhawks team on the rise with QB Jalon Daniels.

With Daniels under center last season, Kansas lost to West Virginia by six, TCU by three and beat Texas in overtime. He threw for six total touchdowns in those games and completed 70.7% of his passes. I’m high on West Virginia this season, so I’m not expecting an upset, but I do expect the Jayhawks to be a threat to Big 12 opponents. Something is brewing at Kansas.

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