There have been some substantial changes in the AP Top 5 over the first two weeks of the young college football season. Florida State moved up to No. 4 with a blowout win over LSU in Week 1 and is currently ranked No. 3 nationally after routing Southern Miss 66-13 last Saturday, easily covering the CFB betting line in the process. This week we saw Texas jump up to No. 4 after going on the road and beating Alabama by 10 points in Tuscaloosa, putting the Longhorns in position to compete for a national championship for the first time in over a decade.
Unfortunately for me, I was on the losing side of all three of my bets in Week 2. None of the losses were particularly close either, as even college football teasers involving those sides would have lost. Nebraska was blown out by Colorado in Boulder, Texas A&M looked bad on defense against Miami, and Alabama laid an egg at home against Texas. Here’s hoping this week’s results are much different.
YTD Record: 3-6 ATS
South Carolina +27.5
Georgia has dominated South Carolina over the course of this rivalry. The Bulldogs hold a 54-19-2 record over the Gamecocks, and they have hammered South Carolina in seven of the last eight seasons. In that stretch, the slimmest margin of victory for Georia was 14 points, while South Carolina’s lone victory over Georgia was by a field goal in double overtime.
The CFB betting line leaves little room for error as Georgia should be right around a four-touchdown favorite here. However, there is value when it comes to the total. South Carolina hasn’t scored more than 20 points on the Bulldogs since 2014 when Steve Spurrier was the head coach in Columbia, and this isn’t a Georgia team that is going to put up a lot of points.
Play: Under 54
Northern Illinois +11
Matt Rhule has his work cut out for him at Nebraska. The Cornhuskers once again failed to make a bowl game under Scott Frost last season, leading to the departure of their favored son. Things were supposed to immediately improve under Rhule, but the offense is still anemic. Jeff Sims was supposed to be better after leaving Georgia Tech for Nebraska, yet he has thrown for just 220 yards with a touchdown and four interceptions in two starts.
Meanwhile, Northern Illinois is 1-1 with a Power Five win and a loss to an FCS team. The Huskies defeated possibly the worst Power Five team (Boston College) in Week 1 before becoming the first FBS team to lose to an FCS team this season when they fell to Southern Illinois this past Saturday.
The Salukis only managed two real drives against the Huskies and finished with a scant 219 total yards of offense and 11 first downs. Northern Illinois continually shot itself in the foot though as Rocky Lombardi threw three interceptions, Jake Seibert missed two field goals, and the Huskies turned the ball over on downs.
Nebraska has yet to show it can put points on the board, so I am more than happy to take the double digits with a Northern Illinois squad that appears to be very good on defense.
Play: Northern Illinois +11
There’s an outside chance that Vanderbilt can make a bowl game in its third season under Clark Lea. The Commodores have shown gradual improvement in each season under Lea despite finishing at the bottom of the SEC East each season. They fell on the road against Wake Forest last Saturday, but they were competitive in that game with 423 total yards of offense. Sophomore quarterback A.J. Swann continues to develop and has thrown eight touchdowns and three interceptions this season, so the Commodores rank 58th in Offensive SP+.
As for UNLV, the Rebels are 2-0 ATS this season. They cruised to a season-opening victory against FCS Bryant before getting waxed by Michigan on the road. New head coach Barry Odom is known for his defensive chops, but this passing attack might be dreadful.
Play: Vanderbilt -4