College Football Week 2 Line Moves
The betting markets were extremely active Sunday evening and into Monday afternoon with a number of Week 2 games seeing big point spread moves. Below we’ll discuss the reason for the one-sided money and how to approach each game from a betting perspective.
TCU at SMU (Friday)
CRIS Opener: TCU -17.5
CRIS Current: TCU -21.5
Comments: Sonny Dykes has coached two games at SMU and the Mustangs failed to show up for both. In last year’s bowl, SMU was laying -3.5 and got blitzed by Louisiana Tech 51-10. Catching +3.5 at North Texas in Week 1, the Mustangs trailed at one point 36-0 before scoring two garbage time touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Bettors obviously questioning how SMU is now going to handle a top 25 power conference foe – on short rest, no less. TCU won last year’s meeting 56-36 but failed to cover as -22 chalk. Horned Frogs climbed as high as -23.5 before a small amount of buy-back on SMU Tuesday afternoon.
Air Force at Florida Atlantic
CRIS Opener: Florida Atlantic -7.5
CRIS Current: Florida Atlantic -10
Comments: One of the most intriguing Week 2 matchups. It certainly didn’t show in the final score (63-14) but FAU put a lot of prep into last week’s trip to Oklahoma. Now they must lick their wounds and face Air Force’s option attack. The Owls opened last season vs. Navy and were manhandled 42-19. The concerning takeaway from FAU’s loss in Norman was not just the final score but how poor the Owls tackled. Air Force a big step down in class but teams with poor fundamentals tend to struggle against service academies. Perhaps a group of bettors looking to recoup their losses on FAU after late steam pushed Oklahoma down to as low as -18.5.
UCLA at Oklahoma
CRIS Opener: Oklahoma -25
CRIS Current: Oklahoma -30
Comments: Not a very Chip Kelly-esque showing in Week 1 as the Bruins produced only 306 yards (4.5 ypp) in a 26-17 loss to Cincinnati. To make matters worse, quarterback Wilton Speight went down with an injury (back) and is questionable for this week’s trip to Norman. Three of the six UCLA players that were suspended however are expected to return. Meanwhile, Oklahoma looked as dominant as any team in the country in its win over Florida Atlantic. Speight or no Speight, the Bruins appear nowhere near ready to play at Kelly’s desired pace. It wouldn’t shock me to see UCLA actually try to control the clock some in this particular matchup. If not, we could see the Sooners cover this number by halftime.
New Mexico State at Utah State
CRIS Opener: Utah State -21
CRIS Current: Utah State -24
Comments: New Mexico State was missing five defensive starters during last week’s 48-10 loss at Minnesota. All five are currently listed as questionable. Also note the Aggies’ first two games were against freshmen quarterbacks. Now they take on Utah State’s Jordan Love who threw for 319 yards in a near-upset of Michigan State. In reading the recap of the game, the entire MSU camp came away impressed with USU’s offensive scheme and tempo. The Aggies’ power rating is on the rise; -10.5 at home vs. a 3-win Hawaii squad late last season and now -24 in Week 2 against NMSU.
Baylor at UTSA
CRIS Opener: Baylor -9.5
CRIS Current: Baylor -15
Comments: Losing to a Herm Edwards-coached team 49-7 isn’t going to sit well with bettors. UTSA managed only two total rushing yards and allowed the Sun Devils to pick up 8.38 yards per play. Baylor meanwhile hung 600+ yards in its 55-27 win over Abilene Christian. Somewhat alarming though that the Bears allowed 220 yards (8.1 ypc) on the ground and 246 (6.2 ypp) through the air. Big revenge spot after Baylor was embarrassed by the Roadrunners 17-10 as -12.5 chalk last season.
Michigan State at Arizona State
CRIS Opener: Michigan State -4
CRIS Current: Michigan State -7
Comments: Curious to see Arizona State’s offensive approach as Michigan State struggled at times against Utah State’s up-tempo attack. The Sun Devils have a proven quarterback in Manny Wilkins as well as a deep pool of wide receiver talent. They also could use the heat of Tempe to their advantage. It doesn’t look however as if the Sun Devils are going to play all that fast under Edwards. And despite UTSA being ultra-weak, ASU did record nine sacks and 15 tackles for loss. Expect the total (currently 56.5) to get bet under at some point this week. Doubtful we see much buy-back on ASU though there will be bettors willing to take the key number of +7.