College Football Predictions & Best Bets for Week 2

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North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye, center, gets ready to throw the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against South Carolina Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023, in Charlotte, N.C.
(AP Photo/Erik Verduzco)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Sep 06, 2023, 4:50 PM
  • College Football Week 2 is approaching, providing a new slate of good bets.
  • College Football underdogs make up many of the best bets this week.
  • Best bets for Appalachian State, Colorado/Nebraska, UCF, and more.

Week 1 of college football in 2023 gave us the great Deion Sanders hype machine, along with a dozen other outcomes to which bettors can collectively overreact.

This weekend brings a new suite of college football odds for all your online sports betting needs. 

That’s why today – and every other Wednesday throughout the college football regular season – I’ve put together a handful of my favorite NCAAF bets for you to consider this weekend. 

College Football Best Bets: Week 2 Predictions

After I’ve handicapped the whole board each week, I will publish my best plays from the wider canon of college football odds.

I’ll provide a short explanation of why I like each bet, so you don’t have to go on faith alone.

The name of the game in Week 2 is overreaction. Try not to get too high or low off what you saw last week. You never want to overreact to one data point, especially when it comes to football betting

If you prefer an audio version of this weekly article, you can always subscribe to The Lion’s Edge, my weekly handicapping podcast for BetMGM. 

Last week’s college football best bets for Week 1 split the difference, going 3-3. 

Appalachian State at North Carolina Spread Prediction

With Joey Aguilar now established as Appalachian State’s top option at quarterback, I believe the Mountaineers can stay inside of a big number. Therefore, I am predicting App State covers the 18-point spread against North Carolina.

App State had a classic Week 1 college football performance, posting some shaky drives against an FCS opponent before kicking the offense into gear and putting the game away.

The key difference here was the quarterback play. App State opened the game with Ryan Burger, whose drives looked like this: missed field goal, punt, touchdown, punt, punt. When the name on the other team’s jersey is Gardner-Webb, that’s pretty rough.

Before halftime, App State made the switch to Aguilar, and the offense was much smoother: touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, field goal, touchdown, punt, touchdown.

North Carolina is riding high after a big win over South Carolina, so the market is happy to chase the UNC line. This line was UNC -15 just a few days ago, but it’s now up to UNC -18.

I’ll take App State’s offense to keep it within a big number. And as an added bonus, let’s remember: when you’re catching 18, the backdoor is always open.

Best Bet: App State +18

Wisconsin at Washington State Spread Prediction 

Because of Washington State’s consistent value in the ATS market, as well as its effective quarterback Cameron Ward, I am predicting that Washington State covers its current 6.5-point spread against Wisconsin.

Over the summer, I did some digging on the most underrated college football teams, and Washington State was No. 2 on the list because of its rare, long-term positive ROI in the point spread market. My interpretation was that the Cougs are overlooked and undervalued because they play in the most remote northwestern corner of the Pac-12, which is already overshadowed by other conferences to begin with. The public believes the football program is more irrelevant than it actually is in reality.

Last year, Washington State was a 17-point dog at No. 19 Wisconsin. They won outright, 17-14. This season, No. 19 Wisconsin comes to Pullman, and the Cougs are only catching 6.5. The opening spread was Wisconsin -7.

Obviously, this Wisconsin team is different this year with Luke Fickell at the helm, and bettors just watched the Badgers roll up 503 total yards of offense in a 38-17 win over Buffalo.

A road game on the west coast might present a tougher challenge. I would make this line closer to Wisconsin -3.5, so I think there’s certainly an opportunity to grab a strong position with Wazzou.

Best Bet: Washington State +6.5

Texas State at UTSA Spread Prediction

Because of Texas State’s powerful offense, I predict Texas State will win as a 13-point underdog. I also believe Texas State will win outright, so I am adding on Texas State +340 on the moneyline.

Did everyone just ignore the Baylor game last week? First-year head coach G.J. Kinne has an insane offense in San Marcos, and no one seems to be paying attention.

Far too many bettors are writing off last week’s win in Waco as a bad Week 1 performance from the Bears. No one is interested in giving any credit to Texas State.

This is not an aberration. Kinne’s offense averaged 52 points per game at Incarnate Word last season. Texas State is going to do this all year. Handing out an additional 13 points to an offense this powerful is a crime against handicapping. 

This might end up being my favorite spread bet of the entire college football season.

Best Bet: Texas State +13; Texas State +340

UCF at Boise State Spread Prediction 

Boise State remains overrated and priced too competitively against good P5 teams. Because of that, I predict that UCF will win and cover its manageable 3.5-point spread on the road.

Boise was handed a bait line for its Week 1 game at Washington, all but inviting square bettors to grab the 14 points plus the hook at Washington. Michael Penix Jr. and the Huskies offense was far too strong, ultimately blistering Boise into submission.

John Rhys Plumlee and the Knights may not be a top-10 team, but they are probably in the mix for a top-35 spot, which still makes them notably better than a blase Broncos team. 

This is not 2007; Boise State is not a top-level G5 contender. UCF is more than just three or four points better than them.

Best Bet: UCF -3.5

Nebraska at Colorado Spread Prediction 

The Deion Sanders Colorado hype has (predictably) been distilled into an overrated point spread. I am (gleefully) predicting that Nebraska will cover its +3.5 spread this weekend, and I’m also betting the moneyline at Nebraska +140. 

Colorado is better than many analysts – including myself – projected. I talked on Lion’s Edge this week about how the unprecedented level of offseason roster churn turned the Buffs into more of a black box. I should have been a little less cavalier when projecting the Colorado football win total.

That said, we’re still talking about a team with a handful of playmakers, no real depth, and bad scrimmage play on both sides of the ball. TCU averaged 7.1 yards per rush on Saturday, yet for some reason, TCU elected to throw the ball 40-some times. 

Colorado, by the way, averaged 1.6 yards per rush.

Deion Sanders deserves immense credit for his creative vision for Colorado, but one game does not a champion make. Matt Rhule knows how to dominate the line of scrimmage at the college level, and he is going to exploit this advantage to no end on Saturday. Nebraska might rush for 300 yards. 

Best Bet: Nebraska +3.5; Nebraska ML +140

Best College Football Parlay This Week

One NCAAF parlay to consider for Week 2 is:

  • Notre Dame -300
  • Houston -375
  • Auburn -250

This three-leg road team parlay is priced at +136.

Make sure to check out my 2Kparlay later this week. 

Want More College Football Analysis?

If you like this sort of content, I’d recommend checking out my podcast, The Lion’s Edge, which I host on behalf of our content team here at BetMGM.

Every week, I highlight odds and bets that I think are interesting or ripe for advantage bettors, like me. I also bring on expert guests from both inside and outside of the sportsbook, so you can learn a little bit more about key topics in online sports betting.

Check it out and subscribe on the podcast player of your choice. You can also listen to some of the most recent episodes in the podcast player below.

College Football Betting at BetMGM

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If you don’t have an account, register today with BetMGM’s welcome offer. Once you have an account, check for daily sports betting promos.

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.