Welcome to spooky season.
Obviously, the calendar flip to October brings the ghosts and ghouls out the woodwork as everyone decorates for Halloween, but they’re also around the college football world.
If your team is riding high after September, you’ve likely got some scary spots on the horizon. Can you survive those frights, find the exit and make it to November still intact? That’s what every contender is hoping for this month.
With more teams entering the meat of conference play, that’s not possible. At some point, our two foolish mortals will meet in the scary zone and only one can walk out.
This week we’ve got plenty of those battles that could leave one team’s title hopes six feet under.
Speaking of dead and buried, the picks I gave you last week couldn’t have gone any worse. For every step forward I took the previous go around, I gave one back plus another. From 7-3 in my picks to 2-8. Yuck. My overall record drops to 25-32 over the first six weeks (remember week zero!).
Shouts to Topnole for following me stride for stride right into the clutches of despair. That certainly wasn’t surviving the metaphorical haunted house I just painted though.
Honestly, there wasn’t much competition for the top spot as NoleInAggieland really stood head and shoulders above all of us. A strong showing with 7 correct picks. I don’t think anyone else really pushed him because a lot of you were right there with me. Congrats to NoleInAggieland. We’ll begin the very maticulous process of adding your name to our Digital Stanley Cup we call the Comment Section Hall of Fame.
Oh wow. It’s already done.
Comment Section Hall of Fame
- Week Zero: MexiNole and Topnole (5-2)
- Week One: Yapo.SD and Topnole (7-3)
- Week Two: Kylefsu02 (7-3)
- Week Three: Kylefsu02 and Ukedadnole (7-3)
- Week Four: trojan24man and Brian (7-3)
- Week Five: NoleInAggieland (7-3)
Could you be the next Comment Section Champion of the season? Leave your picks to the 10 games below in the comment section at the bottom of the page. You have to pick the 10 games I provided to be eligible for the Hall as those are the only ones I grab. Most correct is our winner.
On the DFS side of things, my co-host on the Sharpen the Point podcast available right here on the page and wherever else you get your podcasts, Chris Tyndall, was pretty on the money once again. I know my three lineups following his advice cashed in tournaments. He was on paying up for Caleb Williams who returned value despite the steep price tag and gave you an awesome cheap play in Clemson WR Tyler Brown for sub-$5k. He’s really on a DFS heater to start the year.
Want to get in on those picks? Listen in to the Sharpen the Point podcast, where we talk in-depth on game picks as well as the Daily Fantasy Sports contests on DraftKings each weekend. New to DFS? We can help you through the thought process of building a team.
Reminder that we are just two guys with keyboards and microphones, not gambling professionals, so follow at your own risk and play responsibly.
Let’s get to the ATS and DFS picks. All lines and DFS pricing from our friends at DraftKings.
Brian’s College Football Week 2 Picks
No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners (+6.5) vs. No. 3 Texas Longhorns in Dallas (Noon ET, ABC)
Texas has been one of the teams I have been wrong picking against the most often this season. Picked against them when they played at Alabama. Picked against them when they played against Kansas a week ago. To be fair to myself, Jalon Daniels being scratched like 5 minutes before kickoff is rough. So have I learned my lesson in no messing with Texas? Absolutely not. I don’t buy them. I’ve seen this story too many times to believe this is the year, they roll through everybody. I like what Venables is building in Norman as a defensive minded team with Dillon Gabriel making them still explosive. Gimme OU.
Brian’s Pick: Oklahoma +6.5
No. 23 LSU Tigers (-6.5) at No. 21 Missouri Tigers (Noon ET, ESPN)
I was going to use this space to rant about football-related gripes, but you can find that anywhere. All of you who read frequently know my connections to LSU as a university and program so I will use this space as one to bring attention and hopefully support to LSU captain and safety Greg Brooks. He played in the first two games of the season, including the FSU opener, before complaints of headaches led to the discovery of a brain tumor. Earlier this week, the school announced that he has been diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer and they are raising money for his battle. If you feel so inclined, consider helping Greg and his family through this fight.
The Brooks family, LSU Athletics, and Our Lady of the Lake Health announced today that Greg Brooks Jr. has been diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, medulloblastoma.— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) October 4, 2023
Please support the Greg Brooks Jr. Victory Fund as he continues to battle. https://t.co/TUElsbDAIf pic.twitter.com/FJYNIo5Lkj
Football can be football. But in times like this football tends to be a lot more. We’re all rooting for you, Greg. Geaux Tigers.
Brian’s Pick: LSU -6.5
Maryland Terrapins (+19.5) at No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes (Noon ET, FOX)
Another team I don’t buy this season is Ohio State. They’ve got Marvin Harrison Jr. and not much else going for them right now on offense. Maryland has been cooking lately, putting up at least 31 points in every game and enter the Horseshoe unbeaten. Taulia Tagovailoa is rolling with this offense. I think they’re plenty capable of keeping up with anything the Buckeyes can do and keep this within two scores.
Brian’s Pick: Maryland +19.5
No. 13 Washington State Cougars (+3.5) at UCLA Bruins (3:00pm ET, Pac12 Network)
I’ve spoken very highly of Washington State and quarterback Cam Ward this season and they’ve delivered for me each time. But now I hit a crossroads. Those first two matchups were at home, now the Cougs are on the road against a UCLA team that was less than impressive in their last big matchup against Utah’s third string QB. So what do I now? The line here was what I had in my head, but not what I wanted it to be. I was hoping for the opposite. If I feel like I expected UCLA to be favored and they are favored, there’s a reason for it.
Brian’s Pick: UCLA -3.5
Virginia Tech Hokies (+24.5) at No. 5 Florida State Seminoles (3:30pm ET, ABC)
Brian’s Pick: Florida State -24.5
No. 11 Alabama Crimson Tide (-2.5) at Texas A&M Aggies (3:30pm ET, CBS)
This gives me no pride in saying and I can’t believe I’m even thinking about it. But I think Texas A&M is the second best team in the SEC West. I think they probably win if they have Conner Weigman. The problem is, they don’t. They’ve got Max Johnson who has been pretty good in his six quarters at the helm so far. Except we saw the signs of what make him hard to believe in on Saturday with a pick six on the first play of the second half against Texas A&M. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Aggies win on Saturday, but it sure feels like Alabama has found something going back to Milroe and leaning on the run game and defense. They capitalized on turnovers a week ago and if A&M makes that mistake, I’m sure they’ll capitalize again.
Brian’s Pick: Alabama -2.5
Syracuse Orange (+8.5) at No. 14 North Carolina Tar Heels (3:30pm ET, ESPN)
I had a hunch about Syracuse last week and they failed me. But I’m willing to get fooled again. North Carolina likely wins, but I’ll take the points and trust in Syracuse being able to give them App State type problems.
Brian’s Pick: Syracuse +8.5
No. 20 Kentucky Wildcats (+14.5) at No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs (7:00pm ET, ESPN)
I learned my lesson giving up 14.5 with this Georgia offense. The slow starts are crazy and have to catch up to them eventually. Kentucly ran all over Florida last week and I don’t think they can do the same with Georgia, but that Georgia offense’s turnovers singlehandedly kept Auburn in the game last week, giving away 14 points. Kentcuky should be just as good despite playing on the road instead of being at home like Auburn was.
Brian’s Pick: Kentucky +14.5
No. 2 Michigan Wolverines (-19.5) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (7:30pm ET, NBC)
Michigan built itself the easiest early schedule in the country. These dudes are cakewalking through this so far. Minnesota, who I don’t believe to be any good, will be their toughest opponent so far. I don’t this is a particularly close game, but at night on the road with temps in the 40s I’ll bank a lower scoring game giving us a cover.
Brian’s Pick: Minnesota +19.5
No. 10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-6.5) at No. 25 Louisville Cardinals (7:30pm ET, ABC)
I hope you guys aren’t tired of seeing Notre Dame in these picks yet because the Irish’s schedule is going to have them here a ton going forward. Louisville is the surprise unbeaten so far in the ACC and could be a challenger for the ACC title game. This one won’t count against those standings since it’s an out of conference game, but it could go a long way to earning them some respect in the conference race. Notre Dame despite having Sam Hartman has had some struggles pulling away from their opponents. It feels like all their games have been close and Louisville has the explosiveness to turn any play into a TD. I’ll buy what I’m seeing from the Cards.
Brian’s Pick: Louisville +6.5
Chris’ College Football Daily Fantasy (DFS) Plays
Saturday DK Early Main Slate
- Brady Cook, Missouri ($7,400) — There are a bunch of great plays north of $8.5k this week so I will highlight two lower priced options that you can pair with an expensive option. Cook leads us off in a projected shootout as a home underdog facing a downright bad LSU defense that got shredded by Jaxson Dart of all people last week to the tune of 389/4 with 50/1 on the ground. I can’t see Cook doing that but he has much more rushing upside than he has shown so far this season even though he has three TD’s on the ground. To close out the year last year, he rushed for totals of 106, 71, 138. If we can get 290/2 with 50/1 that would equate to almost 30 fantasy points and more than pay off his price tag.
- Jason Beam, Kansas ($6700) — Am I nuts for going back to the well with a Kansas QB after I got burnt by Daniels sitting out last week? Probably so, but as of writing this, Daniels has so far this week not practiced on Monday and not done much at practice the other days according to his coach so I am banking on him missing this game with Bean being a capable backup. Bean did not look very good against Texas last week, but likely did not get many reps with the 1’s in practice and is seeing almost all of the reps this week. The game environment is great with the highest total on the slate at 64.5 and playing at home. We should see 250/2 and 50/1 with upside for more given his past performance combined with the numbers UCF has given up against Baylor and Kansas State recently.
- LeQuint Allen, Syracuse ($5,800) — Death, taxes, and starting running backs against North Carolina. Every starting RB against UNC this year has scored a touchdown with two of the four going over 125 yards. Allen is a workhorse who see’s extensive work in the passing game. We should expect to see 20+ touches from Allen in this game. Price adjusted he is my top RB on the slate.
- Braelon Allen, Wisconsin ($8,400) — This Allen will be difficult to fit into lineups this week but he projects as the highest raw point RB play on the slate. With his backfield mate Chez Mellusi out for the season we could see the workhorse role we dreamed of seeing when the season began. Other than his Washington St dud he has been very good. His new backup should be Jackson Acker $3400 and I will be taking some shots on a slate bereft of value options with the hope that he assumes the Mellusi role.
*Injury Note — Trevor Etienne of Florida is questionable with an upper body injury for their game against Vanderbilt. If he were to miss, then Montrell Johnson ($5800) would be a smash play having the backfield to himself. The biggest issue with those two is they split work equally. With one out of the fold, we could see a 75/25 split which gives Johnson massive upside.
- Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas, LSU ($6,500 and $6,100) — I fully expected these two to be priced $1k more than they are and, based on production, they should be. Every lineup built should include at least one likely and I will have a few with both stacked with Jayden Daniels. As long as the LSU defense is invisible, these two will continue to put up numbers as a 1A/1B combination. So far this season they have combined for 59% of the teams receptions and are in a game that projects to shoot out with the second highest total on the slate. Luther Burden of Missouri is a star having caught 40% of the teams passes and at $6900 he is a great pairing in a game stack against that porous LSU defense.
- Carlos Hernandez, Washington St ($3,900) — Sub $5k plays on this slate are very tough to come by, but Hernandez stands out to me as the best of a bad lot. We spoke last week about how we will need injuries to open up value and we get our chance here with top slot WR Lincoln Victor out for a few weeks. The freshman has yet to score on the season or even top 60 yards receiving in a game but with Victor out last week he played that role and saw 8 targets which he turned into 7 catches for a paltry 39 yards. That is ok production for the price this week but maybe we can get lucky and a defender will slip on a banana peel allowing Hernandez to break a big play to boost his yards per reception.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.