NCAA Football Picks and American Athletic Conference Week 2 Betting Report
by Dave Schwab - 9/3/2014
The AAC opened its second season of play last week, and while Temple probably pulled off the biggest upset by stunning Vanderbilt 37-7 as an 8.5-point road underdog after winning just two games all last year, I came up short on my 'pick of the week' when UCF lost to Penn State 26-24 as a two-point favorite in Dublin, Ireland.
The following is a brief betting report for all the games this week in the AAC as well as my top play for Week 2. All the lines quoted have been provided by BetOnline.
Saturday, Sept. 6
Stoney Brook Seawolves vs. Connecticut Huskies (OFF)
Total Line: OFF
Stoney Brook plays out of the CAA in Division IAA, and the Seawolves come into this matchup fresh off a 13-7 loss to Bryant last Thursday night in a game that had no posted betting line. The lone highlight in the loss was running back Stacey Bedell's 116 yards on 27 carries.
The Huskies went just 3-9 straight up last season, but all three wins came at the end of the year. That success did not carry over into a new season with last Friday's 35-10 loss to BYU as a 15-point home underdog. They are still a profitable 4-2 against the spread in their last six games, and the total has stayed "under" in three of their last four contests.
Oklahoma Sooners (-24.5) vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Total Line: 57.5
Oklahoma is currently ranked No. 4 in the AP's Top 25 poll and coming off an opening-day 48-16 victory over Louisiana Tech as a 33-point home favorite. The total in that game went "over" the 56.5-point line. The Sooners are now 4-2 ATS in their last six games, and the total has gone over in six of their last eight games.
Tulsa moved to the top of the AAC standings with its 38-31 victory over Tulane as a 4.5-point home favorite in the first conference game for both of these teams after leaving Conference USA. The Golden Hurricane lost to Oklahoma last season 51-20, and they failed to cover as 22.5-point road underdogs. The total in that game went over the closing 50.5-point line.
Navy Midshipmen (-3) vs. Temple Owls
Total Line: 55.5
Navy had its hands full last week against No. 8 Ohio State in a 34-17 loss as a 13.5-point home underdog. This game remained close well into the second half before the Buckeyes pulled away. This will be the Midshipmen's last season playing as a D-IA Independent after agreeing to join the AAC in 2015.
The Owls will look to ride last week's momentum into its home opener as a slight underdog. Despite winning just two games SU last season, Temple was a highly profitable team to wager on with a 7-1 record ATS in their last eight games. The total stayed under the 50.5-point line against Vanderbilt, and it has now stayed under in three of Temple's last five games.
Maryland Terrapins (-12.5) vs. South Florida Bulls
Total Line: 50
Maryland jumped ship to the Big Ten this season and got off to a solid start with a 52-7 romp over D-IAA James Madison as a 24.5-point home favorite in its season opener. The Terrapins closed out their final season in the ACC with just two SU wins in their final seven games while going 3-4 ATS. The total went over in four of those seven games.
South Florida squeezed by D-IAA Western Carolina 36-31 in its opener as a 27-point home favorite. The total went well over the 49-point line. This was the Bulls first SU win since mid-October of last season, and they are now 2-5 ATS in their last seven games. The total had stayed under in nine of their previous 11 games.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-10) vs. Tulane Green Wave
Total Line: 55
The Yellow Jackets have hovered right around .500 for the past four seasons after winning the ACC Coastal Division in 2009. They beat D-IAA Wofford 38-19 in this season's opener but came nowhere close to covering as 29-point favorites at home. Georgia Tech has now failed to cover in nine of its last 11 games.
Tulane will look to bounce back from last Thursday's loss after going 7-2 ATS in its last nine games in 2013.The total stayed under in four of its final six games last year. Sherman Badie turned in a huge day running the ball in the loss to Tulsa with 215 yards on just 15 carries for an average of 14.3 yards an attempt.
Grambling State Tigers vs. Houston Cougars (OFF)
Total Line: OFF
The Tigers opened their new season against Lamar and almost got doubled-up in a 42-27 loss. The Cardinals rolled up 525 yards of total offense against Grambling State, including 389 yards through the air. This was a one-point game at the half before Lamar broke things open with four touchdowns in the third quarter.
The Cougars opened the 2014 season by getting pummeled by Texas-San Antonio 27-7 as 8.5-point favorite at home. They are now 1-5 SU in their last six games with a 3-3 record ATS. Houston has always been known as a very prolific passing team no matter who is at quarterback, but starter John O'Korn managed to throw for only 204 yards against the Roadrunners.
Memphis Tigers vs. UCLA Bruins (-24)
Memphis did not even break a sweat in last Saturday's 63-0 shutout over D-IAA Austin Peay as a 39-point home favorite. That was more than enough points to take the 42.5-point total line over on its own. The Tigers rolled up 303 yards on the ground in that game, with quarterback Paxton Lynch adding another 242 yards through the air.
UCLA opened the new season ranked No.7 in the AP Top 25 preseason poll, but it lost ground to No.11 after struggling to get past Virginia 28-20 in its season opener as an 18-point road favorite. The Bruins return to the West Coast where they have gone 5-1 SU in their last six home games with a 4-2 record ATS.
AAC Pick of the Week
SMU Mustangs vs. North Texas Mean Green (-2.5)
Total Line: 50.5
The Mustangs come into this Week 2 matchup against their former C-USA foes licking their wounds after suffering a 45-0 beatdown at the hands of No.10 Baylor as 32-point road underdogs. Nothing went right for SMU in that game with just 91 passing yards and -24 yards on the ground. The total stayed under the 75-point line, and it has now stayed under in five of its last six games.
North Texas started its new season with a 38-7 loss to Texas as a 20.5-point road underdog in which it passed for a total of 15 yards while adding another 79 yards on the ground. The total stayed under the 47.5-point line against the Longhorns, and it has now stayed under in eight of the Mean Green's last 10 games. It could take a couple of games for both of these teams' offenses to get on track, so look for this matchup to turn into a low-scoring battle. We will go with a 3-Unit pick here on the under using Doc's Sports Unit Betting System.
3-Unit Play Take the UNDER 50.5 on SMU at North Texas (Saturday, Sept. 7, 12 p.m. ESPN3)
YTD: 0-1 (-$330)
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