Week 2 of the college football season is here, and once again most top-end teams are on the schedule. The slight difference from last week is many of them get a tune-up game, so there are some monster spreads across the nation. There are still some marquee matchups between ranked teams. With most teams only have one game on their resume, there are more questions than answers, but there are still some value spots. Make sure to check out our projections, depth charts, and datasheets for even more info on the upcoming matchups. With that said, let’s dive into some of the best college football bets for Week 2.
Best College Football Bets & Predictions: Week 2 CFB Picks
Missouri at Kentucky: Kentucky -5
Missouri travels to Kentucky as a 5-point underdog. Both teams got their 2021 season started with wins against lower-quality opponents. Kentucky crushed Louisiana Monroe to open the season, and new quarterback Will Levis looked in full control. He had 367 yards passing and four touchdowns and kept it one-dimensional, as he did not do anything on the ground. Wan’Dale Robinson had a pair of touchdown receptions, and even though he got banged up during the game, he seems poised to be active for this one. Kentucky also has the advantage on the offensive line.
Missouri was able to outlast Central Michigan 34-24, and despite the win, that is not the ideal start against a MAC opponent. The Tigers had over 200 yards rushing, and that will be a key here. Missouri returns their quarterback from last year in Connor Bazelak, but they will struggle if they have to play from behind.
Kentucky has the advantage on both sides of the ball. Levis is in full control, and if Robinson is healthy, this is an underrated passing game. The offensive line is a strength despite some losses from last year and should be able to open rushing lanes. Defensively Kentucky returns just five starters from a year ago, but a few timely transfers are going to immediately pay dividends. After losing to Missouri last year in Columbia, Kentucky will win in this spot and move to 2-0.
North Carolina State at Mississippi State: North Carolina State -2.5 (-115)
North Carolina State hits the road to take on Mississippi State. Both teams opened the season with wins, but they could not have been more different. The Wolfpack destroyed South Florida 45-0, and they look like a team on the rise. Mississippi State opened the season at home as a three-touchdown favorite, only to be trailing throughout the game. After being down 34-14, they were able to rally late and win 35-34 over Louisiana Tech, but clearly there are concerns there.
North Carolina State returns 19 starters this year, including quarterback Devin Leary, who did not have to do much in their opener. They relied on the ground game, with 40 carries for 293 yards, and they had two 100-yard rushers. That will be the gameplan once again here, as the Mississippi State defense did not do a ton to inspire much confidence. The Mississippi State offense was turnover prone, and that is another area North Carolina State will look to exploit. With a balanced talented offensive unit, North Carolina State should put up a bunch of points.
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Mississippi State wants to throw the ball early and often. Will Rogers threw 47 times for 370 yards last week, but he also had a pick-six. This team has a ton of pass catchers, but it still needs to find more balance, as they ran for just 65 yards on 19 carries. North Carolina State has a pair of All-Conference linebackers, and with the secondary returning four starters, this is a defense poised to cause problems.
Going on the road is never easy, but North Carolina State can get the job done in hostile territory. The line is trending towards 3 at most books. Mississippi State will play a much cleaner game, but North Carolina State has a balanced, experienced team that will present challenges. If the front is not able to stop North Carolina State’s rushing game, Mississippi State will be playing from behind again.
Iowa at Iowa State: Iowa State -4.5
The 10th-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes travel to Ames to take on ninth-ranked Iowa State. In addition to this being a huge rivalry game, both teams have larger goals in mind. Getting a win here would be a huge boost to their resumes.
Iowa opened with a difficult conference matchup against Indiana, but they won 34-6. That was a blueprint for what they want to do in terms of running the football and playing sound defense. They racked up 158 yards on the ground and allowed just 77 on 31 carries and forced three interceptions. Iowa does not have the most prolific offense, and quarterback Spencer Petras is more suited as a game manager than leading a comeback attempt.
Iowa State has been talked about as a potential dark horse in the Big 12, with basically their entire team back from last year. They opened with a warmup game against FCS Northern Iowa, and they nearly got caught with the look ahead. It was a 16-10 victory but disappointing considering they were 31-point favorites, All-American running back Breece Hall was limited to just 69 yards on 23 carries, and the Iowa State offensive line did not have a great start to the season. This unit returns multiple All-Conference players and was expected to be a strength. They now take on an Iowa front that will have more firepower than what Iowa State faced last week.
Iowa State has a chance to prove they are for real, and given the Week 1 performances, many people probably expect Iowa to get the win on the road. This rivalry game is always close, and rarely are the teams both this good in the same year. Brock Purdy is a talented quarterback for Iowa State, while Iowa has to rely on the run game to generate points. Iowa State should look much better after that scare last week, and being at home is another huge advantage.