Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our Sports Betting Strategy and Advice page is for you. You can get started with our 101 section — including 10 Sports Betting Tips for Beginners — or head to more advanced strategy — like Key Numbers When Betting Against the Spread — to learn more.
It could be some nervous times for us in Week 2 as we’re laying double digits in each one of our three picks. That includes risking money on a Florida State team that was nothing short of embarrassing last week. Here’s a closer look at our three favorite under-the-radar picks for Week 2.
UCF at Florida Atlantic
Saturday, September 7 – 7:05 PM EST
Odds: UCF -10 at Points Bet
The UCF Knights played a warm-up game (not an exhibition, but a game which was basically a glorified practice) against Florida A&M and crushed them 62-0. They didn’t figure to be tested and weren’t. What did the game say about UCF? Not very much. Yet, if a team plays an easy opener, it would raise alarm bells if the team noticeably struggled. UCF did not struggle, so the Knights shouldn’t be too worried entering this game.
Florida Atlantic has the benefit of having played a tough team, Ohio State, in its season opener. The Owls will not be intimidated by UCF’s speed after looking at Ohio State the previous week. That might keep the game competitive for a half… but will it keep the game close for 60 minutes? Probably not.
UCF has recruited a lot of speed the past few seasons, and these players know how to work with one another. Florida Atlantic seems to have fallen off over the last year or so under Lane Kiffin. They weren’t even close last week as they trailed 28-0 in the first quarter before Ohio State called off the dogs. I expect their defense to get similarly shredded again this week.
California at Washington
Saturday, September 7 – 10:35 PM EST
Odds: Washington -14 at PointsBet
The California Golden Bears did not score an offensive touchdown last season against the Washington Huskies as they only managed two field goals and ran back an interception return for a touchdown. Washington scored a touchdown on its first possession of the game and scored three points the rest of the evening, allowing Cal to pull off a stunning 12-10 upset in this battle between head coaches who know each other very well.
Washington head coach Chris Petersen was the head coach at Boise State when Justin Wilcox was his defensive coordinator. Wilcox then took defensive coordinator jobs at several schools before breaking into head coaching at Cal. Wilcox knew Petersen’s tendencies, and that played a role in Cal springing the upset last year.
One should expect Washington to contain Cal’s offense in this game on Saturday – especially after Cal struggled with UC Davis last week. The Huskies will be challenged by Cal’s defense but quarterback Jacob Eason looked like the real deal in Week 1, albeit against Eastern Washington.
The Huskies want revenge for last year, and they should be able to get it. We’ll see two good defenses on the field on Sunday but just one good offense. That means something like 20 points is all Eason and company need to get the win and cover.
Louisiana-Monroe at Florida State
Saturday, September 7 – 5:05 PM EST
Odds: Florida State -21 at PointsBet
This feels like a roll of the dice but what can you do. Willie Taggart and his embarrassing performances are starting to wear thin – including his soft excuse of “dehydration” – but this is a week where the Seminoles should get right.
The poor quality of Louisiana-Monroe gives Florida State a chance to roll up huge numbers in this game. Yet, the other thing which should be kept in mind here is that Florida State blew an 18-point lead to Boise State and was shut out in the second half. Florida State figures to be very, very angry, which is a good reason to think that the Seminoles will blow this game out and cover the spread by a hefty margin.
I remember thinking the same thing last year in Week 2 when Florida State carried over it’s Week 1 struggles and barely beat Samford. However, I’m going to maintain that this is a different team than last year, which means I’ll ride with them in this spot and lay the three touchdowns.