Week 1 is in the books, as is a majority of the unpredictable bets (unless your team played during week 0). After getting a week to see what teams look like, it becomes much easier to predict who’s going to do what.
Of course, there will always be some dodgy lines for bettors to take advantage of, as well as some that fly under the radar. We’ve got five Group of 5 games to take a bet on, and a couple to avoid.
Absolutely hammer Hawaii to cover the spread. In the past two weeks (the Rainbow Warriors played week 0), Hawaii has proven themselves to be appointment viewing regardless of how late they’re on TV. Rolling up over 1,100 yards in two weeks is something to take note of, as well as scoring 102 total points. Do they have some defensive problems? Yes, they’ve allowed 75 points on the season. But that offense can more than make up for any deficits.
Rice allowed over 300 yards through the air last week to Houston, and the Cougars aren’t nearly as pass-happy as Hawaii is. It’s extremely likely Hawaii has an absolute field day against this defense and scores points in a hurry. If you’re still awake when this game goes on at midnight on Saturday night, this is an offense to watch. Hawaii is being offered on SugarHouse to cover -17 at 9/10.
This is group of 5 games to bet on, not G5 teams to bet on. SMU gave up 46 points to North Texas last week, and that should be all you need to know, but we’ll dig in a little bit. The Mustangs allowed 529 yards of total offense against the Mean Green. The good news for SMU is that they only allowed 68 rushing yards on 43 carries.
TCU ain’t played nobody yet, but they still put up 499 yards of offense last week and scored 55 points against Southern. SMU only managed 256 yards of offense themselves, while TCU allowed less than 200 yards in their season opener. Just assuming a talent gap is probably safe too, especially after watching week 1.
This is going to be ugly, take TCU to cover the 22.5 point spread at SugarHouse for 10/11. Jump quickly because the line is moving fast.
If Kansas had won their first game, I’d avoid this game hard. But Kansas didn’t win their first game, and it was against Nicholls. CMU might have lost their first game, but that was against Kentucky. Sure, CMU allowed 427 yards, but Kansas only mustered 255. Against Nicholls. Kansas hasn’t won away since 2009.
It might be better if you don’t actually watch this game, because this probably won’t be the kind of bad football that’s fun to watch. But you can probably assume CMU is going to win this game by a touchdown at least. That -4 spread seems a little bit thin, especially given the fact that CMU forced 4 turnovers vs Kentucky and Kentucky still won by 15. If CMU manages a similar number of turnovers, Kansas won’t put up such stiff defense. Take CMU to cover the spread at 9/10 on SugarHouse.
Another one that’s not exactly required viewing, and another team that lost to a game they really shouldn’t have. Temple showed a handful of signs of life, but they still lost to Villanova and only mustered 251 yards of offense. New QB Frank Nutile was alright, but got picked twice, and returning RB Ryquell Armstead was….less than impressive.
Buffalo might not have fared much better in yards gained at 354, but QB Tyree Jackson tossed 6 TDs, and the Bulls forced 4 turnovers. You’d think Temple would have the quality to bounce back, but for a QB that had a hard time holding onto the ball last week, that’s going to be a lot easier said than done. Buffalo to cover the spread for 9/10or win outright for 17/10 at SugarHouse.
That’s a mighty large line in favor a team that lost to an interim head coach. Texas gained 400 yards, yea, but they also gave up 400. They also had a heck of a time trying to hold onto the ball. Tom Herman didn’t look totally lost out there, but Texas ain’t back, folks.
Tulsa had almost 500 against Central Arkansas. Admittedly, it’s Central Arkansas, but they showed about as much competence as you’d hope they would against a cupcake. If you can say one thing about both of these teams, it’s that they’ve been inconsistent, but it seems unlikely that Tulsa is 22 points worse than the Longhorns.
Probably don’t bet the outright (though Tulsa is 11/1 to win), but taking Tulsa to cover that 23.5 point spread at 9/10 is a good bet on SugarHouse.
Now this game should be a decent show, and it absolutely could go any direction. Houston’s offense showed out against Rice, while Arizona couldn’t get enough going against BYU. However, ‘Zona still has Khalil Tate, who has the potential to be the most exciting player in college football. Tate has just under 200 yards through the air.
If Houston’s defense had showed up against Rice, you’d be well served to take Houston. However, Houston surrendered 439 yards of offense and 27 points to the Owls. It was almost expected that Ed Oliver would terrify Rice all day, but it simply wasn’t the case. There’s every chance he could do that this week, or Tate could go wild. Best to avoid just in case.
If this were midway through last season, you could probably predict Navy with serious confidence. But now the Midshipmen are breaking in a new QB. Army did about as well as you expect them to do vs a possibly resurgent Duke. Air Force plays a high powered FAU attack, but got to see how Oklahoma shot holes in the defense.
Where the military academies are involved, it’s usually difficult to predict because they’re unlike most other schools. Even Georgia Tech doesn’t play quite like them, and that makes them generally difficult to call. Ken Niumatalolo has done a wonderful job at Navy, but breaking in a new triple-option QB is always difficult, even against the usually porous Memphis defense. Maybe later in the season once you know what each academy is going to look like, but right now you’re going to want to avoid.
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