We hit the ground running in week 1 and delivered an acceptable 3-3 record for +.23 units. Would we like to hit 100% of our picks every week? Abolustley. Is that going to happen with any sort of regularity? Absolutely not. If we’re simply right more often than we’re wrong, our fans and dearest readers should hopefully be yelling at us less than LSU fans are yelling at Brian Kelly. We head into week 2 with mostly a poo-poo platter for non-conference games but there are still some intriguing matchups on the docket. Bama heads to Austin for a marquee matchup with Texas. Tennessee crosses the Mason-Dixon line for another game with #17 ranked Pittsburgh. Lincoln Riley gets his first test as head coach of USC as the Trojans travel up the coast to visit Stanford. Friendly reminder that this our first CFB + NFL weekend of the season so cancel all your meaningless plans, grab a 30 rack of light beer and saddle up in your favorite lounging position. It’s football watching time, folks.
DPJ’s Best Bets (After Week 1: 2-1 Overall, +0.82 Units Total)
Alabama @ Texas – Saturday 9/10 (12:00 PM EST)
Pick: Total Points Over 64.5 (-110) (1 unit)
Is Texas…back? This question has seemingly been asked for a decade and a half, and while I certainly don’t think they are ‘back’ to being a national powerhouse I think this offense is ready to score some points against Alabama. Bijan Robinson is healthy in the backfield for the Longhorns and Quinn Ewers is as good of a QB prospect as they’ve had in years. I certainly don’t think they will win this game, or even cover the spread for that matter, but there is no doubt in my mind they put up more points than Utah State’s goose egg against Bama in week 1. Bama is Bama..I thought we could see a slow(ish) start from them to open the season coming off a tough CFB Championship loss, but that was clearly not the case. I’m a fool for thinking Nick Saban’s well-oiled machine would look anything other than dominant from start to finish. That was a great little tune-up game for the Crimson Tide as they head to UT ready to keep the train rolling. I expect Bama fans to travel in droves to Austin and see this being a high scoring affair. Score Prediction: Alabama 45 – Texas 21
South Carolina @ Arkansas/Tennessee @ Pittsburgh
Pick: 2 Team Parlay: Arkansas Moneyline, Tennessee Moneyline (-120) (1 unit)
I resisted a teaser play in CFB week 1, and while this isn’t necessarily a teaser it is damn near the same thing. I’m rolling with the Razorbacks and Volunteers to both come away victorious on Saturday.
We’ll start with Arkansas, who I am kicking myself over not picking in week 1. They out-classed Cincy from start to finish and the final score looks even closer than it really was. The hogs ran the ball impressively all game (as usual) to the tune of 224 yards. I expect that to be the theme again in week 2 as South Carolina comes to town after just giving up 200 yards on the ground to Georgia State. There are some minor concerns about the Razorback secondary but I don’t think that’s a big enough problem to lose them this game. Score Prediction: Arkansas 34 – South Carolina 21
The Arkansas game should wrap up around 12:30pm PT/3:30pm PST, which will roll in perfectly to my second leg of the parlay, Tennessee getting a dub over Pitt. These two teams met in 2019 and 2021 and Pitt came out victorious. Fast forward to 2022 and Pitt comes in without Kenny Pickett (current backup to Mitch Trubisky (lol)) and the Panthers have to find a way to keep pace with the high powered Volunteer offense. I simply don’t think Pitt will have enough juice…Hendon Hooker is one of my darkhorse Heisman picks and I think Tenn will be flying up the field all game long scoring in droves. Important to note that Pitt should have lost last week if not for an implosion by the Mountaineers, who gave up two TDs at the end (one a 24 yard TD and the other a pick six) to hand the game away. I like the Vols to come into ‘The House That Aaron Donald Built’ and leave with victory. Score Prediction: Tennessee 41 – Pittsburgh 31
USC @ Stanford – Saturday, 9/10 (7:30 PM EST)
Pick: Stanford +9.5 (-110) (1 unit)
I’m going to paint a picture for you as we keep this glorious Saturday timeline going. Bama and Texas was a high scoring affair in the earlier games, easily cashing the over. Arkansas slapped SC around, then Hendon Hooker threw a last minute touchdown sealing the game for Tennessee. And now we get a little evening Pac-12 night cap to close us out.
Arguably the biggest storylines of the offseason revolved around USC, both the hire of LIncoln Riley and the defection of the Trojans to the Big 10. I will save some words on the later part for a rainy day, but I’ll start by saying I think Lincoln Riley was a great hire for the Trojans. Scorching hot take, I know. This will be his first real test as coach of USC and while I would probably pick them to win I don’t think they cover this spread. Stanford is no joke this year with second year starter and NFL draft prospect Tanner McKee ready for a breakout season, and RB E.J. Smith (son of Emmitt, who was pretty good) carrying the ball out of the backfield. I still think the USC defense has a lot to prove. While the offensive weapons are certainly there, I have my doubts about how well this Trojan team can stop a good offense. I like the over in the one too (currently at 67) but I’m gonna roll with the Stanford spread. Let’s just hope this game is early enough in the season/school year that the Stanford (nerd) fanbase will leave the library to cheer on their football team. Score Prediction: USC 38 – Stanford 31
Q’s Best Bets (After Week 1: 1-2 Overall, -0.59 Units Total)
Alabama @ Texas – Saturday 9/10 (12:00 PM EST)
Pick: Total Points Over 64.5 (-110) (1 unit)
Do I think Texas wins this game? Probably not. Do I think this is the first time Texas has had an offense/a coach capable of giving a defense like all mighty Bama some headaches? Yeah, finally. Sark brings a tenacity and offensive mind to the table that the Longhorns have been searching for since Mack Brown’s departure over a decade ago (to be clear, I’m not calling Mack Brown a great offensive mind… simply stating that Texas has been completely lost without him). Quinn Ewers could be the Longhorns deliverance since Vince Young, Bijan Robinson should be a Heisman contender this season and Sark will most definitely cook up some schemes in the first half to get Texas on the board early. That said, Alabama is definitely the better team and I fully expect Bryce Young and company to take over early into the second half. This Texas defense still has a ton of holes so I’m not bullish enough on the Longhorns to cover the spread but I do like both of these offenses to put up significant points in Austin and hit the over relatively easily considering Sark’s previous coaching experience at Alabama/Saban’s love for punishing his former assistants in prime time matchups. Expect fireworks early and the Bama train to roll late. Score Prediction: Alabama 45 – Texas 24
Wake Forest @ Vanderbilt/Tennessee @ Pittsburgh/Kentucky @ Florida
Pick: 10 Point Teaser: Wake Forest -1.5, Tennessee/Pittsburgh Total Points Over 54.5, Kentucky/Florida Total Points Over 41.5 (-120) (1 unit)
Sam Hartman makes his return to the field this week after experiencing blood clot issues this offseason. Hartman absolutely tore it up last year, leading Wake to an 11-3 finish and the Demon Deacons first division title since 2006. Wake honestly has looked solid so far without Hartman so throwing him in a teaser here to barely even win vs an inferior Vandy team all around feels like a no brainer. Score Prediction: Wake Forest 31 – Vanderbilt 17
This Tennessee/PItt game should be an absolute shootout. Tennessee plays with blistering pace, Herndon Hooker has been quite the addition under center thus far and Pitt gave up 31 points to West Virginia last week… Not only does Pitt have home field advantage but Slovis looked solid last week (threw for over 300 yards + a TD) and Tennessee’s secondary is suspect at best. I’m expecting Tennessee to set the pace early and for Pitt to continue to answer the bell at home for what should be an easy over. Points, points, points. Score Prediction: Tennessee 38 – Pittsburgh 35
Kentucky heads into the Swamp this weekend to face a red hot Gator squad coming off of a massive upset over Utah last week. You could cut the hype surrounding Anthony Richardson with a knife right now… The dude could do no wrong against the Utes and you have to figure Florida carries that same energy coming into this matchup against a division rival who has proven stingy over the years (the two teams have split the series over the last 4 years). Florida should win this matchup on paper but UK always seems to play them tough so I’d rather bet on the total points here and bank on UF to pull away late at home. The last 5 times these teams have met the total has surpassed 42 points every single year with the exception of 2021… The Gators offense is a lot better this year and Kentucky’s QB Levis threw for over 300 yards and 3 TDs last week (against Miami-Ohio… but still… he looked solid). Score Prediction: Florida 27 – Kentucky 21
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