Week 2 College Football Best Bets Include Fading Texas Tech Without Starting QB

Week 1 around college football was largely chalk. Will things change in Week 2?

Here are three plays –two involving ranked schools– with odds from OddsTrader’s top-rated sportsbooks.

Read on for our breakdown, and best bets for these three games:

  • Houston vs. Texas Tech
  • Hawaii vs. Michigan
  • South Alabama vs. Central Michigan

Houston Cougars vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Saturday, September 10, 2022 – 04:00 PM EDT at Jones AT&T Stadium 

Houston’s Performance on Week 1

This will be the last time these state rivals meet as non-conference foes with No. 25 Houston joining Texas Tech in the Big 12 next season.

I believe the Cougars might be the nation’s best Group of 5 school this year. They were a bit lucky to win Week 1, though, rallying from down 21-7 early in the fourth quarter at UTSA and prevailing 37-35 in triple overtime. 

Per NCAA rules for a third overtime, Houston quarterback Clayton Tune’s winning run was a 2-point conversion. The Roadrunners were unable to match the score as their final pass floated out of bounds.

Tune was 22 of 32 for 206 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 51 yards and a TD. It was Houston’s 12th-biggest comeback in school history.

What Should We Expect From Houston This Week?

UH is the preseason favorite to win The AAC for the first time since 2016. Coach Dana Holgorsen’s club has won seven consecutive regular-season road games. Three Houston rotation players transferred from Texas Tech: Running back Ta’Zhawn Henry, wide receiver KeSean Carter and cornerback Alex Hogan. 

Frankly, it’s the quarterback situation why I do like Houston here. Texas Tech starting signal-caller Tyler Shough, a transfer from Oregon, will miss at least the next two games because of a left shoulder injury suffered in Saturday’s season opener against Murray State.

The senior missed the final three quarters of the opener vs. the Racers after landing on his left shoulder. Shough completed 6 of 10 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown and had a 17-yard run before the injury.  

Sophomore Donovan Smith should start here. He was excellent against Murray State in completing 14 of 16 for 221 yards and four scores but it’s a big step up in competition here. Tech did beat Houston 38-21 in last year’s season opener with Shough throwing for 231 yards and a touchdown. 

TTU is 1-5-1 ATS on the NCAAF odds in its past seven following a cover. 

NCAAF Pick: Houston +3.5 (-122) at MaximBet

Hawaii Rainbow Warriors vs. Michigan Wolverines

Saturday, September 10, 2022 – 08:00 PM EDT at Michigan Stadium 

Let me be totally clear here: No. 4 Michigan is going to absolutely spank a bad Hawaii team having to travel thousands of miles, but a 51.5-point spread? That’s ridiculous.

In fact, I can’t find a time that Michigan was bigger than a 45-point favorite. That was Sept. 15, 2012, when the Wolverines were -45.5 at home against UMass and won by 50. That’s all we need here: A 50-point win.

Quarterback Situation in Michigan Is Unsure

Coach Jim Harbaugh has an interesting quarterback battle at Michigan. Last year’s starter, Cade McNamara, got the call in the Week 1 51-7 win over Colorado State and was 9-for-18 for 136 yards and a touchdown.

He’s competing with JJ McCarthy, who was a much more touted recruit and probably has a higher ceiling. McCarthy was 4-for-4 for 30 yards in Week 1, and he’ll start this game and then Harbaugh will name his full-time guy. I’m guessing it will be McCarthy. 

Hawaii’s Struggles

Timmy Chang was one of the most prolific quarterbacks in NCAA history when he played at Hawaii, but his head coaching debut there has not gone well, with the Rainbow Warriors losing by 53 points in Week Zero vs. Vanderbilt and then by 32 last week at home vs. Western Kentucky.

Could Michigan win this game 82-0 if it wanted? Probably, but Harbaugh isn’t the run-it-up type. He’ll get all his key guys out of there fairly early and let his young players see the field – 15 true freshmen played against Colorado State. 

NCAAF Pick: Hawaii +51.5 (-110) at BetMGM

South Alabama Jaguars vs. Central Michigan Chippewas 

Saturday, September 10, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at Kelly/Shorts Stadium 

Central Michigan’s Offense Continues to Dominate

Central Michigan of the Mid-American Conference had one of the more unlikely covers in Week 1, as the Chips were +20.5 at No. 12 Oklahoma State and trailed 51-15 in the third quarter, but managed to cover in the 58-44 loss on a 54-yard touchdown pass with about three minutes left.

CMU is going to be one of the MAC’s best offensive teams behind returning QB Daniel Richardson and running back Lew Nichols.

Richardson was named the MAC West Division Offensive Player of the Week after completing 36 of his 49 pass attempts for 424 yards and four touchdowns vs. a Cowboys defense that was one of the nation’s best last year. Nichols, the 2021 national rushing leader, had 72 yards and two scores on 26 carries.

How Does South Alabama Look Against Central Michigan?

South Alabama, a Sun Belt team, was 5-7 last year, and I’m not sure we learned much in Week 1 when the Jaguars beat up on FCS program Nicholls 48-7. The Jaguars had 508 yards of total offense and held Nicholls to 165. In his first game as a Jaguar, quarterback Carter Bradley, a transfer from MAC school Toledo, threw for 260 yards and three scores and rushed for a TD.  

USA coach Kane Wommack said having a quarterback who played four years in the MAC can’t be anything but a plus when his team travels to face CMU. I don’t think it matters. 

“Being there and knowing what to expect from your quarterback — experience is a huge advantage,” Wommack said. “It’s an advantage (for South Alabama) going into Year 2 in the Sun Belt. Our coordinators know what expect from each team. So for Carter to have that advantage from the quarterback position is a positive for us.” 

Dating to 2017, the Jaguars are 4-25 as a visiting team and have failed to cover their past six. Central Michigan, on the other hand, is on a six-game ATS winning streak overall.  

NCAAF Pick: Central Michigan -4.5 (-115) at FanDuel

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