The 2021 college football season is off to an exciting start.
Six FCS teams have already claimed victories over FBS teams, while eight of the preseason Top 25 teams already have a loss. Alabama continued to be Alabama. Oregon almost lost to Fresno State. The Big 12’s top two teams a year ago, Oklahoma and Iowa State, looked in trouble at points against Tulane and Northern Iowa, respectively. However, the story of the weekend may have been McKenzie Milton‘s return to the world of college football, inspirational to say the least.
As for the best late Week 1 spreads, totals, and moneyline picks, there were a few bets that were never in doubt: Army +2, Marshall -2.5 and Michigan State moneyline. Florida State +7.5 and Nevada moneyline was a sweat until the final whistle. Oregon State went from covering to not covering to covering to not covering, all in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, the over in BYU–Arizona never got close, Indiana was not competitive at all, Texas State was a longshot that kept its loss to single digits and Louisville plus the over was never in play.
You win some, you lose some.
Iowa +5 is now +4.5, Ohio State -10 is now -14.5, and Texas -3.5 is now -6.5. Hopefully, you took those lines before the season. Some of those lines are still tempting to take (looking at you, Iowa), but they obviously don't provide as much value.
Here are more spread, total and moneyline picks for Week 2. All lines are from DraftKings Sportsbook.
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Western Kentucky +7 and moneyline +215 vs. Army
Western Kentucky’s air raid will face off against Army’s triple-option in what will be one of the more fascinating Group of Five matches of the Week 2 slate.
A 587-yard showing against UT Martin last week showcased the deadliness of the Hilltoppers' passing attack. Quarterback Bailey Zappe threw as many incompletions as touchdown passes (7), earning a 92.5 PFF grade in the process.
They will be able to score, but how many possessions they'll get to do so is another question entirely.
Western Kentucky's fast-paced air raid held the ball for just 26 minutes and 30 seconds in Week 1. Meanwhile, Army’s run game chewed up the clock against Georgia State, keeping possession for over 42 minutes.
WKU’s defense allowed over 2,300 rushing yards last year, putting them seventh-worst in the FBS. On the other hand, Army has not seen a passing offense of this caliber for quite some time, and the goal should be to grind the clock and keep the football out of Bailey Zappe’s hands.
This is just a lot of points for Army to cover, especially if Western Kentucky can throw the ball down the field quickly and effectively. Sprinkle some Hilltoppers moneyline, too!
South Carolina ML +100 vs. East Carolina
South Carolina graduate assistant and quarterback Zeb Noland threw four touchdowns, but he is not the long-term solution at the position. Instead, the Gamecocks leaned on the strength of their rushing attack, totaling 322 yards on 47 carries en route to a 77.3 team rushing rush grade.
On the defensive side, edge defender Jordan Burch started his season with a 61-yard pick-six and finished with a 97.0 PFF grade on 21 snaps. His counterpart on the defensive line, Kingsley Enagbare, earned a 93.6 PFF grade on 17 snaps.
Meanwhile, the Pirates struggled to contain the Appalachian State rushing attack in Week 1, as the duo of Nate Noel and Camerun Peoples combined for 226 yards on 29 total carries. East Carolina missed eight tackles on 34 run-defense snaps, allowing 0.190 expected points added per rush, one of the worst marks of the weekend.
The Gamecocks opened as two-point favorites before it flipped to East Carolina as two-point favorites. The betting line has since shifted back to South Carolina by a point and a hook with the anticipated return of Doty and Harris. This is a game Shane Beamer will win for a 2-0 start as he begins the development of the program.
Pittsburgh vs. Tennessee under 57
Kenny Pickett returns for his fifth season with the Panthers, but this offense has never been too inspiring, notably recording negative EPA per pass and run play last season. Of the 25 ACC quarterbacks with at least 50 dropbacks last season, Pickett finished 15th with a 67.0 passing grade. As for Tennessee, the Vols failed to cover a 34-point spread against Bowling Green and got troubling play from quarterback Joe Milton.