College football Week 2 best bets: Picking Texas-Alabama, Ole Miss-Tulane and more

Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers (3) throws against Rice during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Austin, Texas, Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The first week of the 2023 college football season was action-packed, and there are several more exciting matchups on the horizon this week. Our CFB betting picks got off to a strong start in Week 1 with a 4-2 record, and we’ll look to keep it going this week by picking six more matchups that offer value for bettors.

Below are my picks for Week 2 featuring the much-anticipated Texas at Alabama matchup along with Ole Miss at Tulane, Nebraska at Colorado and more.

(Lines from Caesars Sportsbook as of Wednesday, Sept. 6)

Game of the Week

No. 11 Texas at No. 3 Alabama

Line: Texas (+7, +228) at Alabama (-285), 54.5 O/U

Day/Time/TV: Saturday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Analysis: New Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe looked the part in Week 1 after questions this offseason on who would start under center for the Crimson Tide, and he’ll get his first test against a Power Five opponent this week.

Texas also got off to a solid start last week with promising sophomore Quinn Ewers, and he’ll get a chance at redemption after nearly leading the Longhorns to an upset victory over the Crimson Tide in last season’s Week 2 matchup.

While Texas should keep things close for most of the way, we feel confident in Nick Saban’s squad continuing the narrative of proving the doubters wrong and being able to cover the spread at home.

The pick: Alabama -7

Other best bets

No. 20 Ole Miss at No. 24 Tulane

Line: Ole Miss (-7, -305) at Tulane (+240), 67 O/U

Day/Time/TV: Saturday, Sept. 9 at 3:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Analysis: Ole Miss and Tulane both got off to promising starts in Week 1, and both offenses appear ready for an epic battle this week that should see several points put up.

The total of 67 was too high for us to feel good about the over, so we turned to the spread and will roll with the Green Wave after fading them last week considering how well senior quarterback Michael Pratt performed.

Pratt will have his work cut out for him against the Rebels and their dynamic offense led by quarterback Jaxson Dart and elite running back Quinshon Judkins, but we feel like the Green Wave will be able to keep things close enough to cover the spread.

The pick: Tulane +7

No. 23 Texas A&M at Miami (FL)

Line: Texas A&M (-4.5, -190) at Miami (+158), 51 O/U

Day/Time/TV: Saturday, Sept. 9 at 3:30 p.m. (ABC)

Analysis: Texas A&M and Miami are both coming off disappointing seasons, but they’ve both got momentum heading into Week 2 after taking care of business last week with commanding victories in which they covered the spread.

Aggies quarterback Conner Weigman thrived under center in their new-look offense, and the amount of talent they possess is enough to where they should be able to contend with the best in the SEC.

While Miami’s offense looked improved with the experienced Tyler Van Dyke at quarterback, we feel like A&M’s talent will win out in this matchup considering their defense also looked the part with 10 returning starters.

The pick: Texas A&M -4.5

Vanderbilt at Wake Forest

Line: Vanderbilt (+10, +328) a Wake Forest (-430), 56 O/U

Day/Time/TV: Saturday, Sept. 9 at 11 a.m. (ACC Network)

Analysis: It’s tougher to feel good about picking overs in college football this season with the new first down clock rule, but there are still some matchups that are going to see lots of points put up no matter what.

Last season Wake Forest and Vanderbilt combined for 70 points, and while a lot of that had to do with Wake Forest’s offense being led by Sam Hartman at quarterback, they’re still more than capable of racking up points against Vanderbilt’s shaky defense.

Wake Forest’s defense also looks somewhat shaky, so Vanderbilt should be able to continue their impressive scoring run and get the total over 56 even if they’re unable to cover the 10-point spread.

The pick: OVER 56 points

Nebraska at No. 23 Colorado

Line: Nebraska (+3, +140) at Colorado (-165), 59.5 O/U

Day/Time/TV: Saturday, Sept. 9 at noon (FOX)

Analysis: This is arguably the most-anticipated matchup of the week for bettors considering how much action has come in on Colorado after their storybook start to the season, but we’re going to stay away from the spread.

That’s because both of these teams have so many unknowns with first-year head coaches, especially Colorado, where we’d prefer to take time to let trends develop as opposed to getting caught up in the recency bias of wanting to bet the house on Deion Sanders and the Buffaloes.

While there’s no denying that Coach Prime is cooking up something special in Boulder, we feel like the more experienced Nebraska defense will slow down Shedeur Sanders and the Buffaloes’ offense enough to where we like the under.

The pick: UNDER 59.5 points

Iowa at Iowa State

Line: Iowa (-4, -190) at Iowa State (+158), 36.5 O/U

Day/Time/TV: Saturday, Sept. 9 at 3:30 p.m. (FOX)

Analysis: This matchup has under written all over it considering how stingy Iowa’s defense is, but 36.5 is too low of a total for us to feel comfortable, so we’ll pivot to the spread instead.

Iowa State was barely favored last week against quality Division I-AA opponent Northern Iowa, but they delivered a commanding victory and appear capable of upsetting the Hawkeyes for the second straight season.

While the Hawkeyes’ strong defense should help keep them out front, we feel like it will be a close enough contest to where there’s value in taking the Cyclones with the points.

The pick: Iowa State +4


Last week: 4-2

2023 season: 4-2


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