The 2012 college football season got off to a thrilling start last week with some shocking upsets and close calls for some of the big boys in the major conferences, but I decided to focus my attention on the tremendous value that was found in a few mid-major games that were way under the radar in Week 1. Unfortunately, I came up short with one win against two losses. However, it’s back to the drawing board for this week’s games.
Each and every week of the college football season, I will search for these mid-major ‘diamonds in the rough’ and give you my best football picks for these games. Here are my three top picks for Week 2 with lines provided by 5Dimes. All times EST.
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Saturday, Sept. 8
Tulane Green Wave vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (-25)
Tulane hung tough against Rutgers last week in a 24-12 loss as a 19-point home underdog. After almost having that game postponed by a hurricane, The Green Wave now face a Tulsa team that has to be in a foul mood after getting smacked by Iowa State, 38-23, as a two-point road favorite in its season opener. The Golden Hurricane opened up a 16-7 lead in the first quarter, but their normally potent passing offense stalled and was held to just 198 yards through the air.
Tulane is just 2-12 against the spread in its last 14 games following an ATS win, while Tulsa is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games following an ATS loss. The Green Wave has yet to beat Tulsa in the last six meetings and is also 0-6 ATS during that span. The last time they played the Golden Hurricane on the road was in 2010 and they lost 52-24 as 17.5-point underdogs. Give credit for Tulane’s solid showing against the Scarlet Knights, but it will only get worse this week as they will struggle to keep Tulsa’s offense in check.
Pick: #370 Take Tulsa (-25) over Tulane (Saturday, Sept. 8, 12 p.m.)
Toledo Rockets vs. Wyoming Cowboys (-3)
The Rockets came close to pulling off an upset of the Pac-12 Arizona Wildcats last Saturday in a 24-17 loss in overtime as 10-point road underdogs. Toledo had 358 yards of total offense in this game, but its defense gave up 624 yards to Arizona. Wyoming covered as a 31-point road underdog in its season opener in a 37-17 loss to Texas. The Cowboys actually led 9-7 in the first quarter but the Longhorns scored 24 unanswered points to put the game away.
Toledo is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games in September, while Wyoming is 9-19-1 ATS in its last 29 home games. The Rockets are also 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games after giving up more than 200 yards on the ground in their previous game. These two last met in 2010 with the Cowboys coming out on top, 20-15, as four-point road underdogs. Look for Toledo to return the favor on the road this time around with an outright win.
Pick: #323 Take Toledo (+3) over Wyoming (Saturday, Sept. 8 4 p.m.)
Memphis Tigers vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves (-22.5)
Memphis was picked to finish near the bottom of Conference-USA this season, and it sure looked the part in a 20-17 loss to Division-IAA Tennessee-Martin last Saturday as a 9.5-point home favorite. Arkansas State is coming off a spirited 57-34 loss to Oregon as a 37.5-point road underdog in its season opener. The Red Wolves fell behind by 29 points in the first quarter and trailed 50-10 at the half, but they finally showed some signs of life from that point on. Arkansas State put up 530 yards of total offense against Oregon, which does not bode well this week for the Tigers.
The Tigers are 5-12-2 ATS in their last 18 road games and 5-16 ATS in their last 21 games outside the conference. These two have met four times in the last six seasons, with Arkansas State holding a 3-1 edge straight up. Last year the Red Wolves rolled to a 47-3 victory as an 18-point home favorite. This year’s beating may not be as bad, but there is no way that Memphis keeps things close enough to cover the 22.5 points on the road.
Pick: # 386 Take Arkansas State (-22.5) over Memphis (Saturday, Sept. 8 7 p.m.)
YTD Record: 1-2
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