Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) fakes a handoff to running back Israel Abanikanda (2) against Massachusetts during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
- Week 2 of College Football features a packed slate of games on Saturday, September 11th
- Ohio State and Oregon clash in Columbus, while Pittsburgh visits Tennessee
- Read below for the best ATS picks for Week 2 of the college football season
The 2021 College Football season is heading into its second week, and there are some big non-conference games on tap for Saturday, September 11th.
No. 3 Ohio State and No. 13 Oregon faceoff at the Shoe, while Pittsburgh pays a visit to Tennessee. Over in Lincoln, Scott Frost and Nebraska are listed as near two-touchdown favorites over Buffalo.
Here are three ATS picks to consider for Week 2 of College Football.
Oregon vs Ohio State Odds
|No. 13 Oregon Ducks||+14.5 (-115)||+475||O 63.5 (-115)|
|No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes||-14.5 (-105)||-675||U 63.5 (-105)|
All odds as of Sept 9th at DraftKings
Buckeyes Cover Against Ducks
Ohio State will look to build off their season-opening victory over Minnesota when they host Pac-12 opponent Oregon at Ohio Stadium in Week 2. The Buckeyes should deliver an inspiring performance in what will be there first home game in front of fans since November 2019.
Ryan Day’s team covered the -13.5-point spread in Week 1 and appeared to improve as the game went on. Freshman quarterback CJ Stroud understandably had some jitters in the early goings of his starting debut, but he settled in nicely in the second half. Stroud passed for four TDs and wasn’t sacked once behind the Buckeyes’ excellent offensive line.
CJ Stroud vs. Minnesota:
🔺 8/14, 58 yards
🔺 0 TDs
🔺 1 INT
🔺 5/8, 236 yards
🔺 4 TDs
🔺 0 INTs pic.twitter.com/3orB7RJiNs
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 3, 2021
Ohio State showcased their potential in Week 1 with two 70-plus-yard scoring plays from freshen Miyan Williams and TreVeyon Henderson. Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave also showed why they are one of the best receiver duos in the nation with three combined TDs. They should go off on an Oregon secondary that got gashed for almost 300 yards by Fresno State in Week 1.
Oregon should be faded in this spot after only beating the Bulldogs by seven points as 20-plus-point favorites last weekend. The Ducks look uninspired and lost star DE Kayvon Thibodeaux to an ankle sprain in the victory. He’s questionable vs Ohio State. The Buckeyes are trending in the right direction and should welcome their fans back with a convincing victory in Week 2.
- Pick: Ohio State -14.5 (-105)
Pittsburgh vs Tennessee Odds
|Pittsburgh Panthers||-3 (-110)||+475||O 63.5 (-115)|
|Tennessee Vols||+3 (-110)||-675||U 63.5 (-105)|
Panthers Defense Stymies Vols Offense
Tennessee is on upset alert in Week 2 after underwhelming as large favorites in Week 1 against Bowling Green. The Vols managed the victory in Josh Heupel’s coaching debut, but they failed to cover the -35 spread. There’s plenty of reason to think they’ll fall to 0-2 ATS when they host ACC opponent Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Michigan transfer quarterback Joe Milton is the new guy in Tennessee after failing to find success under Jim Harbaugh. Milton really struggled in the passing game against a weak Falcons defense, completing only 11-of-23 passes for 140 yards. He could be in big trouble against a fierce Panthers defense that’s racked up 100-plus sacks over the past two seasons.
While Milton is cause for concern if you’re a Tennessee fan, the guy under center for Pittsburgh oozes confidence. Senior QB Kenny Pickett is back for the Panthers after throwing for over 2,400 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2020. The experienced pivot looked terrific in Week 1, completing 73% of his passes for 272 yards.
While Pickett is the more trustworthy QB, the Panthers’ defense should be the reason they cover the spread. Tennessee’s struggles in the passing game last weekend forced them to rely heavily on their run game. That won’t go as well against a Pitt team that ranked third in FBS in rushing defense last year.
Tennessee’s defense was mediocre at best in 2020, and it took a big hit this offseason with leading tackler Henry To’o To’o transferring to Alabama. Look for the Panthers defense to steal the show and for Pickett to carve up a Vols defense that got decimated by the transfer portal this offseason.
- Pick: Pittsburgh -3 (-110)
Buffalo vs Nebraska Odds
|Buffalo Bulls||+13.5 (-105)||+410||O 54.5 (-110)|
|Nebraska Cornhuskers||-13.5 (-115)||-575||U 54.5 (-110)|
Bulls Keep It Close Against Cornhuskers
Nebraska is another team on upset alert in Week 2 after a shaky start to their 2021 season. Scott Frost’s team opened the year with a Week 0 upset loss to Illinois before bouncing back with a big 52-7 win over Fordham last weekend. The Cornhuskers are getting too many points in Week 2 due to overreaction of their blowout of an FCS program. Fordham didn’t even have a season in 2020.
Nebraska still has a long ways to go under coach Scott Frost. The Cornhuskers let the Rams hang around for awhile last weekend and were gashed for 221 yards in the first half. The Cornhuskers turned the ball over twice against Fordham and will face a tough test going up against a Buffalo defense that led the MAC in yards allowed one year ago.
Hey Siri, play “On To The Next One”
— UB Football (@UBFootball) September 5, 2021
Buffalo started their season with a bang in Week 1, blowing out Wagner by a 69-7. The big takeaways were that the run game still dominated despite Jaret Patterson’s absence and the pass rush shined, sacking Wagner quarterback Jaalon Frasier five times. Illinois was able to sack Adrian Martinez five times in Week 0, so look for Buffalo to put plenty of pressure on the dual-threat pivot in Week 2.
Both of these teams rely heavily on their run game, which plays to the Bulls’ favor. Buffalo has two veterans in RB Kevin Marks and QB Kyle Vantrease who should exploit a Nebraska run defense with some glaring holes. UB was one of the best teams covering the spread in college football last season (5-2), and they offer value to keep it close at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
- Pick: Buffalo +13.5 (-110)
Brady is a passionate hockey fan and sports writer with over five years of experience specializing in digital media, plus a degree in Broadcast Journalism. His work has been published by outlets such as ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and Fox Sports.