College Football Picks: Picking Winners Week 2

College Football Picks: Picking Winners Week 2

This article is part of our College Football Picks series.

CHRIS' PICKS

Last week provided a typical mixed bag of results. I guess that's what I can expect for the season's opening week while also making picks throughout a youth soccer tournament. If there's any silver lining, I went 0-2 on totals, and neither were particularly close. But 2-1 against the spread is OK, and that loss came by the dreaded half a point with Boston College struggling to beat NIU. I'll stay away from totals this week in hopes of starting a hot streak.

Oklahoma State –28 at South Alabama (Friday)

South Alabama allowed 429 yards and four touchdowns through the air last week to Ole Miss' Shea Patterson. As such, there's no way it will slow Mason Rudolph and James Washington. The Cowboys ripped off 38 first-half points last week against Tulsa en route to 59 for the game and offer way more balance offensively than the Rebels did last week, averaging 9.0 yards per carry over 37 totes. Mike Gundy might step off the gas in the second half, but that could still result in some big chunks being gained on the ground on the way to a blow out win.

West Virginia –24 vs. East Carolina

The Pirates opened last week at home as underdogs to FCS defending champion James Madison, and proceeded to lose by 20 points. If we're not overthinking this, doesn't it just seem like West Virginia is a better team than JMU, playing at home? The short week, and emotional

CHRIS' PICKS

Last week provided a typical mixed bag of results. I guess that's what I can expect for the season's opening week while also making picks throughout a youth soccer tournament. If there's any silver lining, I went 0-2 on totals, and neither were particularly close. But 2-1 against the spread is OK, and that loss came by the dreaded half a point with Boston College struggling to beat NIU. I'll stay away from totals this week in hopes of starting a hot streak.

Oklahoma State –28 at South Alabama (Friday)

South Alabama allowed 429 yards and four touchdowns through the air last week to Ole Miss' Shea Patterson. As such, there's no way it will slow Mason Rudolph and James Washington. The Cowboys ripped off 38 first-half points last week against Tulsa en route to 59 for the game and offer way more balance offensively than the Rebels did last week, averaging 9.0 yards per carry over 37 totes. Mike Gundy might step off the gas in the second half, but that could still result in some big chunks being gained on the ground on the way to a blow out win.

West Virginia –24 vs. East Carolina

The Pirates opened last week at home as underdogs to FCS defending champion James Madison, and proceeded to lose by 20 points. If we're not overthinking this, doesn't it just seem like West Virginia is a better team than JMU, playing at home? The short week, and emotional loss to Virginia Tech might have the Mountaineers a bit hung over at the start, but this offense put up 371 passing yards and averaged 6.3 yards per carry against a far superior Virginia Tech defense. It shouldn't have any problem moving the ball on ECU, while the defense figures to offer a few wrinkles to keep the Pirates off the scoreboard.

Louisville –9.5 at North Carolina

I'm banking on UNC head coach Larry Fedora continuing to rotate quarterbacks enough for Louisville to make this lopsided. Chazz Surratt led the Heels to 27 points last week against Cal, while Brandon Harris was picked off twice and generated only three points. Probably more telling is that UNC's defense allowed Ross Bowers to throw for 363 yards and four touchdowns in his first career start. Louisville was not sharp in its opener against Purdue, but I suspect Bobby Petrino will have that fixed in short order. And the defense figures to fair better against a Heels offense that is discovering its identity than it did against Purdue's pass-happy attack.

Old Dominion –3.5 at Massachusetts

UMass opened the season by losing at home to Hawaii, a rare win off the island for the Warriors, followed by falling at Coastal Carolina in the school's debut at the FBS level. The Minutemen have shown the ability to score, and as such, I don't think the Monarchs will blow them out. But I'd give a slight lean to ODU over both of UMass's previous opponents, and it's simply a game ODU has to have with North Carolina and Virginia Tech next on the schedule. Coastal Carolina churned out 321 yards and four touchdowns on the ground last week, which should bode well for ODU's backfield duo of Ray Lawry and Jeremy Cox.

Minnesota +2.5 at Oregon State

If we give the home team three points for being at home, we're looking at a pick 'em on a neutral field. That doesn't feel right for a Beavers' team that got drilled by Colorado State and narrowly beat Portland State at Reser Stadium last week. Oregon State has shown the ability to score, which gives me a little pause as the Gophers' quarterback situation, and ability to throw consistently, remains in question. But the running back duo of Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks should exploit a Beavers' defense that has already allowed six rushing touchdowns and 482 yards (4.97 per carry).

Also considered: Connecticut +17, Army –16.5, Navy –13, Pittsburgh +21

Last Week: 2-3; Season: 2-3

GREG'S PICKS



Not a bad start to the 2017 season, with an even split thanks to Alabama being Alabama. Week 2 obviously provides more opportunity as we've had a chance to see most of these teams. That said, teams can change a lot from Week 1 to Week 2, and it's wise not to jump to conclusions after one week.


Over 60, Hawaii at UCLA



It took a while for the Bruins' offense to get going against Texas A&M last week, but once it got rolling, man was it a machine. Granted, a lot of that production came against a prevent look, but I dare say even in a prevent look, the Aggies provide more of a barrier than the Rainbows' defense. The Bruins will get theirs, the key is Hawaii. Through two games, the Rainbows are averaging just less than 40 points per game. Sure, the competition hasn't been strong, but we are talking about a Bruins defense that was shredded for most of the game last week.


Over 69.5, Nebraska at Oregon



I went back and forth on this game all week, trying to pick a side from what looks like a goofy line, but it finally occurred to me that the best route was to just take the over. The line is Oregon -14, and at first glance it looks like too much, but then again the Ducks did look like a finely tuned machine last week, albeit against an FCS team. Nebraska, on the other hand, struggled to put away Arkansas State, but that was due mainly to its defense. The theme is that both teams are hitting on all cylinders on offense early this season and we aren't sure about either of the defenses. 



Rutgers -5.5 vs. Eastern Michigan

Eastern Michigan is seemingly on the verge of ending its football program for many reasons, yet the Eagles went out and won their first game of the season last week. Pretty impressive feat for a team under such scrutiny to go out and win a game … and then you realize they beat what might be the worst FBS team in the country in the Charlotte 49ers. Meanwhile, Rutgers is coming off a loss, but the Scarlett Nights actually showed well against what should be a strong Washington Huskies team. If Rutgers brings the same intensity this week, it will have no problem covering this number.

Under 48, Iowa at Iowa State



As we witnessed last week, the Iowa Hawkeyes appear to be exactly what we thought they were – great on defense and not so much on offense. The Hawkeyes completely shut down a solid Wyoming offense, yet they only managed three TDs on offense against a vulnerable defense. ISU looked solid in its opening game against Northern Iowa, but the Hawkeyes present a much stiffer challenge. This game should be a low-scoring slugfest and as such, the under is definitely in play.

Minnesota +2.5 at Oregon State

The season could have started worse for Oregon State — the Beavers could have lost last week to Portland State, but they managed to hold off the juggernaut that is the Portland State Vikings. The problem this season, as it was last season, is run defense, which through two games has allowed 241 yards per game. The Gophers didn't look like world beaters in their first game under new head coach P.J. Fleck, but as long as they play just a bit better than they did last week, they should win this game.


Last Week: 3-3; Season: 3-3

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
Greg Vara
Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year in 2005 and 2013. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.
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