A Mount Rushmore of big-time matchups and I’m barely scratching the surface.
We’ve got six (6!!!) head-to-head ranked matchups this week. Two games with ranked teams favored on the road against unranked opponents. Plus, two more really fun matchups for my household (and I get to choose the slate so we all get to have fun with them as well).
Any one of these games would’ve been the best game of the slate last week. Instead, they join forces together as an infinity stone gauntlet of a college football weekend.
If you’ve got plans this weekend outside of football, cancel them. Gender reveal party? College friend visiting from across the country? Sister’s wedding? Shame on them. Last week was right there for the taking. Gotta check the schedule before you try to ruin a football weekend.
Let’s not delay and get to the action.
Lots of fun games this week that I hope will set me right. I managed to split last week at 5-5 so I’m at 16-21 to start the year. Still lots of time to get that fixed.
Those home underdogs proved tricky for a lot of you as the comment section overall had a pretty tough week with a lot of people only putting up 3 wins this week. But two people were able to stand apart from the crowd and might it be a year filled with back-to-back winners?
This week gave us a split championship for the third time this season, including our second back-to-back champion this season. First and foremost, congratulations to Kylefsu02 for claiming the top spot a second week in a row. And hats off to a staple of this pick em contests over the last three seasons, Ukedadnole, for claiming his first of the 2023 campaign. Welcome back to the Digital Stanley Cup we call the Comment Section Hall of Fame (feel like ours may be more prestigious depending on who you talk to).
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)
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. Most correct gets you in the Hall.
On the DFS side of things, Chris Tyndall continues to give you winners as the lineups he shared on the podcast came through in tournaments as cashing lineups. He was spot on in most of his advice especially at the QB position where he nailed the Jayden Daniels recommendation, the possibility Jalen Milroe would get benched (he’s back now!) and the value with Utah’s starting QB last week Nate Johnson.
Want to get in on those picks? Check out our new accompanying podcast, Sharpen the Point, where the two of us talk more in-depth about these game picks as well as the Daily Fantasy Sports contests on DraftKings each weekend. New to DFS? We can help you understand the process and get educated before the big conference slate starts next week.
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. 4 Florida State Seminoles (-2.5) at Clemson Tigers (Noon ET, ABC)
Brian’s Pick: Florida State -2.5
No. 16 Oklahoma Sooners (-14.5) at Cincinnati Bearcats (Noon ET, FOX)
Don’t look now, but is Brent Venables figuring it out at Oklahoma? After years of having his top-tier defense (along with generational QBs) carrying Dabo, Venables now has Oklahoma playing some great football. The Sooners are top-five in scoring offense and scoring defense in the early going. Meanwhile, Cincinnati has been okay in its first year without Luke Fickell at the helm. A close win over what appears to be a mediocre Pitt team and a loss to Miami (OH) have done little to inspire any confidence that the Bearcats still have it.
Brian’s Pick: Oklahoma -14.5
Auburn Tigers (+7.5) at Texas A&M Aggies (Noon ET, ESPN)
Boy, this is an interesting one around my household as my wife, an Auburn grad, faces my sister and brother-in-law, both Texas A&M grads. (Yes, my entire family is in the SEC West. Wife’s brother at Ole Miss now too). Personally, I’m going to totally focused on watching the biggest FSU game of the season, but it’ll be this game that takes the main TV at the house while I’m relegated to watching on my laptop. On the football side of this game, I have no confidence that Auburn is anywhere near ready to compete on the SEC level yet. QB Payton Thorne doesn’t look like he’s really like that and they lack real weapons. A&M has struggled for years because of poor coaching, but they’ve got loads of talent. I don’t trust A&M to handle business most weeks, but I just don’t think Auburn is ready yet.
Brian’s Pick: Texas A&M -7.5
No. 19 Colorado Buffaloes (+21.5) at No. 10 Oregon Ducks (3:30pm ET, ABC)
Hello, Deion! Just in case he’s reading. Colorado continues to make all the plays necessary to win. Three weeks in, they’re 3-0 and the talk of college football. But now the real tests start. No secret that I’ve been far from a believer in this Colorado team because they simply don’t have the size upfront or the depth to compete week in and week out. Now, they’ll face easily the best team on their schedule so far without their best offensive skill player in Travis Hunter.
Oregon, led by Heisman hopeful Bo Nix, has been lighting up the scoreboard this year, though they were rather unimpressive in their roadtrip to Lubbock against Texas Tech. The Ducks aren’t on the road this week and should have plenty of size upfront to give Colorado too much for them to handle. I’m afraid of Deion and Shedeur providing a backdoor cover, but I’ll go with a winner and assume that’s going to be too much for them to slow down once it gets lopsided.
Note: The DraftKings line is 21, but it’ll be 21.5 for our purposes.
Brian’s Pick: Oregon -21.5
No. 22 UCLA Bruins (+4.5) at No. 11 Utah Utes (3:30pm ET, FOX)
We mentioned above that Chris did a great job calling the Nate Johnson DFS play as the Utes starter Cam Rising continues to work his way back from a torn ACL injury suffered last season. The question remains when will he make his season debut. The Utes have been up to the task without him, winning a thriller at Baylor a few weeks ago, but UCLA presents a potentially bigger threat. Freshman QB Dante Moore has been great to start the year for Chip Kelly’s team, but a trip to Salt Lake City is a big test for him. Lots of unknowns here especially since a Rising return would go a long way to ensuring the Utes can remain unbeaten this. I’ll trust the Utes defense to give the freshman problems and allow the running game to pull away with or without Rising.
Brian’s Pick: Utah -4.5
No. 15 Ole Miss Rebels (+7.5) at No. 13 Alabama Crimson Tide (3:30pm ET, CBS)
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an Alabama team look as bad as they did a week ago. I thought the Texas game was rough, but what Nick Saban’s team put on the field in Tampa last week against the USF Bulls was much worse. The alternatives to Milroe at QB proved to be a lot worse than we could’ve imagined. The Tide will turn back to him in this matchup and, honestly, I’m not sure what to expect from him. Logic says not much different, but I’ve seen Bama defy logic enough times in recent years that it’s still hard not to expect them to fix it.
Ole Miss on the other hand might be the best team in the west (It’s LSU and my Tigers will prove that next week). They can score with anybody and nobody knows what to expect from Alabama better than Lane Kiffin. He’s done a lot of talking in recent years heading into this game and he hasn’t let up at all. For the Swifties in the audience — I assume just myself and my co-host on the Seminole Softball Wrap Gwyn Rhodes, he’s spent the week tweeting references to Taylor Swift’s Castles Crumbling presumably in reference to the end of the Saban dynasty. Talk that talk and I think Lane feels confident that he can back it up.
Note: The DraftKings line is 7, but it’ll be 7.5 for our purposes.
Brian’s Pick: Ole Miss +7.5
No. 14 Oregon State Beavers (-3.5) at No. 21 Washington State Cougars (7:00pm ET, FOX)
It’s all Pac-12 all the time right now on FOX as the Big Ten plays its better games on CBS. The conference formerly known as the Conference of Champions is certainly going out with a bang this year as everybody is pretty damn good, including the two left behind in Oregon State and Washington State. The Beavers now led by former Clemson QB DJ Uiagalelei has been pretty good. Turns out Dabo and the crew might’ve been more of a problem than the former top QB recruit. Nothing outstanding but a top-30 QB rating is much better than he was a year ago. Meanwhile, Washington State has a QB in the top 20 in QB rating with Cam Ward and a ranked win under its belt over Wisconsin. The Cougars seem to have some confidence this year and I’ll gladly take the homedog. Shoutout Gwyn for a second time. Go Cougs.
Brian’s Pick: Washington State +3.5
Arkansas Razorbacks (+17.5) at No. 12 LSU Tigers (7:00pm ET, ESPN)
LSU sure seems to have that juice back. After missing the few chances they had to remain competitive with FSU in week one, the Tigers looked really mid against Grambling. But last week in Starkville, the Tigers took it to Mississippi State. As I mentioned above, Daniels found himself and was dynamite, throwing and rushing for multiple scores each and connecting on more than a dozen consecutive passes to open the game. Arkansas is hoping to straighten themselves back out after a loss to BYU that had some fans on Twitter wondering if they should just accept that they’re destined to be mediocre forever. Daniels is a streaky QB and I don’t expect a down Arkansas QB to stop him now that he’s on a roll in Death Valley.
Brian’s Pick: LSU -17.5
No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes (-3.5) at No. 9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7:30pm ET, NBC)
This is potentially the game of the week for me. Ohio State has not looked that great to open the year, but started to flash some of that mojo in last week’s win over Western Kentucky. Now they’ve got a massive battle in South Bend against a Notre Dame team that has scored at least 41 points in all four games this season, including their trip to Raleigh two weeks ago. I’ve been ready for this one to end up on the slate for us for weeks now and I’m preapred to go with Notre Dame. They’ve got the experience at QB and they’re playing at home. Sam Hartman seems to take Notre Dame to another level while Marcus Freeman has the defense ready to roll. I’m not wavering.
Brian’s Pick: Notre Dame +3.5
No. 24 Iowa Hawkeyes (+14.5) at No. 7 Penn State Nittany Lions (7:30pm ET, CBS)
I’ve said since the first week of the season that Penn State is a really good team with Drew Allar under center. They’ve got probably the best running back duo in the country which helps the young quarterback a lot obviously. Iowa on the otherhand has built a program off defense and punting. I believe Penn State to be a better team, but Iowa has gotten them in each of the last two times they’ve met. That leads me to believe this could be a close game, but this one is a white out. I’ll take the Lions in Happy Valley.
Brian’s Pick: Penn State -14.5
Chris’ College Football Daily Fantasy (DFS) Plays
Saturday DK Early Main Slate
- Bo Nix, Oregon ($9600) — When this slate dropped the first thing I said was that Nix will be in one QB slot without a doubt. It is a hefty price to pay, but in a game with a 71.5 total against a defense best described as a fantasy carnival, we have to have some shares. Full transparency, I play four lineups on the main slate, and Nix will be in at least three of those lineups. Do not overthink this one.
- Thomas Castellanos, Boston College ($5900) — I know anyone seeing this here knows who this is now after last week’s performance. It shocked me as well. We need some value and this is a spot we can find it as I feel that too many QB’s are priced up at 9k and above this week. The rushing numbers are his floor while the passing is a bonus. He gets a Louisville team that has allowed both Georgia Tech and Indiana to throw for 300 yards. Haynes King of GT went for 313/3 while adding 53 rushing yards and Castellanos is a much more dynamic rusher.
- Rasheen Ali, Marshall ($6000) — It is not as cheap of an investment as it was two weeks ago, but it is time to go back to the well with Ali. Virginia Tech has been shredded on the ground to start the year and this offense goes as Ali does. With a 23.5 team total the expectation would have to be that Ali is involved in at least two of those touchdowns. Kyle Monangai of Rutgers went for 143/3 last week and he is not nearly the talent level of Ali.
- LJ Martin, BYU ($4900) — There are a ton of good options in the $5500 to $6500 range this week so I wanted to highlight a cheap option that stands out. Martin is a true freshman that has led the team in carries each week culminating in last week’s 23 carry 2 reception performance against Arkansas. While he wasn’t very efficient, he fell into the endzone twice and I am betting that Arkansas has a better run defense than Kansas here.
- Troy Franklin, Oregon ($6900) — Completing the stack with Nix is Franklin. Stacking for those unaware is when you pair a QB with a pass catcher as they are correlated plays. The hope is that when, not if, Nix goes off that Franklin is the beneficiary. He leads the team in every receiving category and is a legitimate threat every time he touches the ball. After seeing what another talented receiver in Tory Horton did to these Buffs last week I expect a monster game from Franklin. Two more names to mention in this same game are Tez Johnson of Oregon ($5900) and Tar’Varish Dawson of Colorado ($4600). Tez, a transfer from Troy and Nix’s adoptive brother, is tied with Franklin in TD’s and operates as the WR2 in the offense. Dawson effectively replaced Hunter last week after he left the game and has the chance to reach value based on volume as they chase points. He is a good bring back option for cheap with Oregon stacks.
- Myles Price, Texas Tech ($4800) — The Red Raiders have continued to run the air raid for years and we continue to play WR’s from it. Price has been the preferred option as the possession slot receiver while Jerand Bradley emerged late last season as the bigger target on the outside. Typically, we would play Price for volume purposes but the shifty slot man has scored in each game to start the year and we are betting that he will return to the volume we have seen in the past from a reception total standpoint.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.