College Football Best Bets Today: Expert Picks for Alabama vs. Texas, USC vs. Stanford, More of Week 2


Did somebody say "Football!?"

Are you ready for a full slate of college football on this fine Saturday? We'll see if Week 2 can match the chaos that Week 1 brought us. It'll be a tough challenge, but the BetSided team has covered nearly every single game from every betting angle you can choose from. For each game preview, check out our expert picks page here.

For now, we'll leave you with a serving of five of our favorite bets for the Week 2 slate, with odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook:

Alabama vs. Texas Prediction and Pick

Texas has a ton of talent and could contend for a Big 12 title, but this game is happening too early in the season for the Longhorns to keep up. This will be Quinn Ewers' second collegiate start and he has to face a sophisticated defense that has the best pass rusher in the country in Will Anderson.

The Longhorns were middle of the pack last season on the offensive line in terms of allowing sacks (27) and also struggled to stop the pass last season. Opponents completed more than two-thirds of their passes against Texas in 2021 while also averaging over six yards per play.

The Crimson Tide should be able to win through the air or on the ground against a Texas defense that is still searching for an identity. While the Crimson Tide offensive line still has to answer some questions long term, this Longhorns defense will likely be a step too slow in Week 2.

I can see this game getting out of hand quickly as Steve Sarkisian's club tries to adjust to the speed of Alabama. The gap between these two teams is large enough to lean towards the Alabama side. We saw this in Week 1 when Georgia throttled Oregon 49-3 as a 17-point favorite.

Even on the road, the Crimson Tide should assert their dominance against an inexperienced ball club. To avoid any late game cover issues, I like taking Alabama on the first half spread.

PICK: Alabama 1H -11.5

For more best bets for the Week 2 college football slate don't miss our weekly show 'The Early Reed'

Iowa State vs. Iowa Prediction and Pick

This is an interesting set up to this game. Iowa was favored by two scores in the Game of the Year market, which quickly became about a touchdown, and is now down to -3.5. Why is that? Well, Iowa's offense looked as poor as advertised in the offseason against an FCS opponent as quarterback Spencer Petras passed for 109 yards and one interception on a 44% completion percentage.

Meanwhile, Iowa State beat up on an FCS team in Southeast Missouri State, 42-10. Dekkers looked the part in his first start for the Cyclones, completing 80% of his passes for 293 yards and four touchdowns while Jirehl Brock rushed for over 100 yards. Could this be the next Purdy and Breece Hall? Maybe, but I can't get there just yet.

Iowa's defense remains one of the best in the country with the likes of Riley Moss in the secondary and the team has an ace special teams unit that will put pressure for Dekkers to perform on the road. This game will likely be a slog, but the Hawkeyes are now being undervalued at the current number against a Cyclones team that still needs to show something before giving them this type of rating.

PICK: Iowa -3.5

USC vs. Stanford Prediction and Pick

Stanford has taken money in this game, moving from 10.5 in the lookahead market down inside the key number of 10 at +9.5 as of this writing.

I'm not particularly high on either team this season, but for different reasons. I still think Stanford is at the bottom of the PAC-12 while I think USC is a step below conference champion material. I'm not rushing to lay the points with the Trojans, but I have little interest in taking the Tree given they are lacking the defensive pieces to keep up with the weapons USC has to offer.

Williams was electric against Rice, similar to how he was for Oklahoma last season with Riley. He completed 19-of-22 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns will also rushing six times for 68 yards. I expect Jordan Addison to figure into the passing game on Saturday. He showed his touchdown scoring ability, hauling in both of Williams' passing touchdowns, but had only six targets.

This game is setting up for a track meet as the unproven USC defense needs to hold down a Stanford team that should take a step forward on the offensive end, I just don't trust them to keep up.

This is over or nothing for me, if this keeps trickling down I will be interested in the Trojans at the key number of -7.

PICK: OVER 67.5, USC at -7 or better

Baylor vs. BYU Prediction and Pick

BYU is a team I am high on heading into the season while Baylor is a team I'm looking to sell. The Bears went 4-1 in one score games last season and had a dream season in the second year of Aranda's tenure, ending with a thrilling Big 12 title and a Sugar Bowl victory.

However, the team must replace its top three pass catchers, pair of starting running backs and the quarterback (which is reportedly an upgrade).

Aranda is a fantastic defensive game planner, so I expect him to have that side of the ball ready for the trip to Provo, but it will be a tough matchup against a BYU offense that has a dynamic quarterback in Hall, and the likely return of his No. 1 target Gunner Romney, who missed the Week 1 matchup against South Florida as he recovered from a hamstring injury.

Speaking of that Week 1 game, BYU hit the ground running, traveling to South Florida and dismantling them 50-21. The offense was electric, out-gaining the Bulls 575-293 and averaging over eight yards per play. The offense returns seven of its top eight from last season from an already elite unit (3.9% sack rate last season) and should have the Baylor defense on their heels.

On the other side of the ball, the Cougars return every starter from last season. While Baylor was able to score 38 on them at home in Waco, I'm not sure they can get to the high 20's or low 30's that will be needed to hold off this BYU offense. I think the Cougars make a national statement on Saturday night and take down the Bears.

PICK: BYU ML (-165)