Five ranked teams fell in Week 2 of the 2021 college football season, including the third-ranked team in the country for the second consecutive week.
As for the spread picks for the top non-conference games, Iowa dominated Iowa State, with Matt Campbell slumping to an 0-5 record against Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes in the Cy-Hawk series. Ohio State and Texas had good preseason spreads but just happened to be on the wrong side of the final result.
The best late Week 2 spreads, totals and moneyline picks had Western Kentucky with a backdoor cover and South Carolina winning outright against East Carolina. The Michigan game was profitable if you paired the Wolverines cover and the under together, and the result of that game was never in doubt, as Harbaugh & Co. controlled the contest from start to finish. On the other hand, the under for Pittsburgh–Tennessee, over for Texas A&M–Colorado, and NC State covering against Mike Leach did not yield the result that bettors wanted.
After two rollercoaster weeks of upsets and surprises, my picks stand at 9-10 for -0.84 units. Here are more spread, total and moneyline picks for Week 3. All lines are from DraftKings Sportsbook.
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Georgia Tech vs. Clemson (Over 51)
Clemson has scored 49, 52 and 73 points in its last three games against Georgia Tech. So, while the Tigers offense has been lacking compared to years past, what better way to get back on track than against a Yellow Jackets team that sits at the bottom of the ACC.
Georgia Tech has allowed a monstrous 347 rushing yards in two games and has given up a conference-worst 2.3 rushing yards before contact per attempt this season. This presents an almost perfect opportunity for Clemson running backs Kobe Pace, Will Shipley and Lyn-J Dixon, who have only combined for 28 carries this season yet average 7.1 yards per carry as a group. Overall, the Clemson program sits 14th in the FBS in expected points added (EPA) per rush play.
|Average offensive snaps||72.5||74|
|% run plays||51%||36%|
|% pass plays||49%||64%|
|EPA per run||-0.03||0.27|
|EPA per pass||-0.02||-0.28|
Georgia Tech displayed some offensive competence last week against Kennesaw State, with quarterback Jordan Yates throwing four touchdown passes and running backs Jahmyr Gibbs, Jordan Mason and Dontae Smith earning rushing grades of at least 74.0.
PFF Greenline has the total at 53.1, but the Clemson Tigers could get near this total by themselves. This is the ideal “get-right” game for Tigers signal-caller D.J. Uiagalelei to attack a Georgia Tech secondary that has just one player with a grade above 64.0 this season.
Ball State (moneyline +225) vs. Wyoming
One year removed from arguably their greatest season ever, Ball State has started the 2021 campaign with a sloppy 10-point win over Western Illinois and a blowout loss against Penn State.
The Cardinals are seven-point dogs and have fallen on a key number, but this line is more of an overreaction from Wyoming’s performance over Northern Illinois a week ago.
MONEYLINE IMPLIED VALUE
The good news for Wyoming is that they scored 50 points in that hard-fought Week 2 victory, the first time they have hit the half-century mark since 2019. The bad news is that the Cowboys had to score 50 because they allowed 43, and they haven't allowed that many points since they got toasted by Oregon in 2017.
Last week, NIU racked up 477 total yards at nearly 6.5 yards per carry against a normally strong Wyoming defense. And while that could be an outlier for the Cowboys' defense, it is assuredly an outlier for their offense, too.
PFF Greenline has the moneyline for Ball State at +204, giving it just a little over 20 cents of value.
Virginia (+9) vs. North Carolina
Can lightning strike twice for the Virginia Cavaliers?
Last year’s 44-41 upset over 15th-ranked North Carolina was a hard-fought result, but Virginia has now won four straight in this series, with Tar Heels head coach Mack Brown boasting a 3-9 record against Virginia over his career.