After some hits and misses on last week's CFB picks, it's time to wipe the slate clean and jump into our College Football Week 2 best bets. Saturday's action features tons of intriguing CFB matchups and we'll break down top CFB bets to lock in. The Oregon vs Texas Tech matchup on Saturday night should be a fun non-conference battle to wrap up the night. Plus, we look at college football picks and CFB Week 2 bets for Notre Dame vs NC State and Utah vs Baylor. Enjoy these CFB picks and college football predictions as you tune into the games. Plus, keep an eye out for the CFB DFS Playbook for top Week 2 college football daily fantasy picks. Let's now get to the college football best bets and CFB betting picks for Saturday, September 9th.


College Football Week 2 Best Bets & Picks

Utah vs Baylor Prediction

Even with starting quarterback Cam Rising out, Utah ground out a 24-11 win over Florida in Week 1. Rising has reportedly returned to full practice this week as he returns from a torn ACL suffered in last year’s Rose Bowl. However, there’s still a good chance the Utes’ QB misses this matchup against Baylor as well. Head coach Kyle Whittingham said it’ll be a game-time decision for Rising. You have to think Utah won’t want to rush Rising back too soon with bigger conference matchups against UCLA, Oregon State, and USC in the coming week. As we saw last week, the team can still win handedly even if he sits. We’ll get to Baylor in a minute, but this an easier matchup than Florida presented a week ago, and Utah is favored by a full touchdown on the road – even with the uncertain Rising status.

If Rising is out, backup QB Bryson Barnes will get the start again and the Utah offense should be more run-heavy. In Week 1, Barnes threw for only 159 yards on 18 pass attempts while the Utes used seven different ball-carriers in the run game. We could see a similar gameplan this time around with a run-focused offensive approach and Barnes playing a game-manager role. Baylor’s rush defense was an average unit last season and allowed 143 yards to Texas State last week. 

Speaking of Baylor, it just suffered a disappointing 42-31 loss to Texas State in Week 1. What’s even worse is that Bears starting quarterback Blake Shapen injured his MCL and is now out 2-3 weeks. This is a big loss as backup Sawyer Robertson is notably a step down in talent and experience. The sophomore QB went just 6-for-12 with an interception and a fumble in relief of Shapen last week. Robertson barely saw playing time at Mississippi State last year before transferring to Baylor. 

The Bears offense has to be downgraded with Robertson under center instead of Shapen. Meanwhile, Utah just held Florida to 11 points and only 13 total rushing yards last week. If Baylor wanted to lean on the run with the backup QB in there, that’ll be tough to do against a stalwart defense. The Utes had one of the best scoring defenses in 2022 (27th nationally) and they boast stud defenders on each level. It’s hard to see Baylor scoring much in this matchup, even at home. 

Both sides of this one suggest a lower-scoring game with a pair of offenses without their starting quarterbacks. The unders for the full game and the first half are the way to go here. Utah’s Week 1 win over Florida went under and we could see a similar flow with either or both teams struggling to score. This total has dropped a ton since open, but for good reason. 

Pick: Utah-Baylor UNDER 47.5 (-110 on FanDuel)

Notre Dame at NC State Prediction

Notre Dame has taken full advantage of its easier matchups in the first two games of the season. The Irish blew out both Navy and Tennessee State by a combined score of 98-6, covering as big favorites twice. However, things get much tougher on the road at North Carolina State this weekend. 

NC State failed to cover as road favorites against UConn in Week 1, but still won by double-digits. In reality, the 24-14 final score was closer than the game actually was. The Wolfpack led 17-7 at one point before UConn RB Victor Rosa broke off a 71-yard touchdown run. Outside of that one play, the Huskies offense struggled to move the ball. In the second half, NC State cruised to the win while likely playing more conservatively knowing it had a marquee matchup against Notre Dame on deck. 

Of course, a win over UConn isn’t all that impressive. But neither is Notre Dame’s easy wins over a Navy team that was playing its first game following a head coaching change or over an FCS program like Tennessee State. The blowouts look good on paper, but both games were mismatches in the Irish’s favor. 

Notre Dame will have a battle on its hands here against NC State. A key factor for this matchup is how familiar Wolfpack defensive coordinator Tony Gibson is with Irish QB Sam Hartman. When Hartman was at Wake Forest, he faced Gibson’s defenses three different times and was clearly frustrated. He threw the same amount of interceptions as touchdowns (6:6) and got sacked 13 times across those three previous matchups. If Hartman has just an average or subpar day, then the Irish offense won’t be as efficient – and not nearly as good as it was in the first two games. 

On the other side, NC State’s offense is dangerous enough to challenge Notre Dame’s defense. The Wolfpack brought in Virginia transfer QB Brennan Armstrong, who is now reunited with his former coach Robert Anae. The duo combined to post prolific offensive numbers at UVA two years ago and will be a weekly threat against ACC defenses. 

Another important note to consider here is that NC State has had two extra days of rest and preparation after playing on Thursday night of last week compared to Notre Dame having played on Saturday. There might be a slight letdown here for the Irish after winning easy in their first two games against softer opponents. 

Pick: NC State +7.5 (-110 on BetMGM)

Oregon at Texas Tech Prediction

In Week 1, we saw Oregon drop 81 points in a blowout win over Portland State. We also saw Texas Tech lose in double-overtime to Wyoming. When taking both of those results into consideration, you’d think the one team would be a bigger favorite in this Week 2 matchup. Yet, Oregon is “only” favored by 6.5 points on the road at Texas Tech. Hmm, very interesting. Yep, we’re taking those points and backing the underdogs.

Let’s first look closer at Texas Tech’s loss to Wyoming. First off, playing a road game in Laramie, Wyoming is always a tough ask for any team – especially when it’s the first game of the season. The Red Raiders actually led 17-0 early in the first half of this one before blowing the lead. They also missed three field goals in the game. Tech then nearly won in double-OT before Wyoming converted on a fourth down to tie it up and subsequently scored on a two-point conversion to win. It easily could’ve been a Texas Tech victory and the public narrative tells a different story. 

As for Oregon, obviously scoring 80+ points in any single game is an impressive feat. However, it did come against an FCS program in Portland State that suffered multiple blowout losses last year against lesser competition. The Ducks were supposed to win big as 48-point favorites and there was a massive talent mismatch. Coincidentally, Portland State will play at Wyoming this week and is a sizable underdog. There’s really not much we can take from Oregon’s Week 1 performance, but the public view of the Ducks and quarterback Bo Nix is now higher than it probably should be. 

This is a great spot to buy low on Texas Tech, who should make Oregon sweat and could even pull off the outright upset win. The Red Raiders have an Air Raid offensive scheme that can keep pace with the Ducks’ offense. Last year, Tech’s 34.2 PPG average wasn’t too far behind Oregon’s 38.8 PPG mark. This dangerous, pass-happy offense can attack a Ducks secondary that struggled last year and ranked 102nd in the nation in passing yards allowed per game. The defense was also barely tested last week. This is also a “revenge game” of sorts for Tech QB Tyler Shough, who transferred from Oregon a few years ago. 

Finally, backing Texas Tech as an underdog was a profitable strategy last season. The Red Raiders went 5-3 ATS as underdogs in 2022, including 2-0 as home dogs. Another notable trend to know is that Tech has gone 19-8-2 ATS (70.4%) at home against non-conference competition since 2005. 

Pick: Texas Tech +6.5 (-108 on FanDuel)