Can Baylor recover from an embarrassing Week 1 performance? Who will win the 70th battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy? Will Michael Penix Jr. put on another aerial show to lead Washington to another win? And just how are we playing the college football odds in these games?
Tulsa Golden Hurricane vs. Washington Huskies
Saturday, September 9, 2023 – 05:00 PM EDT at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium
Put an X next to my name for suggesting Boise State would help Washington send last week’s matchup past the 58½-point total showing on most NCAAF odds boards. Turns out Michael Penix Jr. and the Huskies didn’t need any help in the 59-19 lopsided win.
Tulsa Top QB Listed Day-to-Day
Penix & Company may not get any help this week against Tulsa, unless the Washington defense fails to show. The contest is carrying 64½ for scoreboard bettors, and the Husky backers are burdened with a 34½-point spread to cover.
Tulsa showed off some offense as well last Thursday by routing Arkansas-Pine Bluff of the SWAC in a 42-7 final. The Golden Hurricane spotted the Golden Lions an early score, then took complete control with backup QB Cardell Williams in the lineup.
Williams went 13-14 on his aerials after being inserted in the first quarter when starter Braylon Braxton injured an ankle, and Braxton is listed as day-to-day currently.
Penix and a couple of the nation’s top receivers, Rome Odunze and Jalen McMillan, were reasons why Washington was seen as the top challenger to USC in the PAC-12 on the college football futures. They didn’t do anything to change our minds in the win over Boise State as Penix connected with the duo 15 times.
With a trip to play Michigan State in Week 3, Kalen DeBoer will come off the accelerator in this one, but the Huskies will still cover with backups in most of the fourth quarter.
NCAAF Pick: Washington -34 (-108) at Heritage Sports
Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Iowa State Cyclones
Saturday, September 9, 2023 – 03:30 PM EDT at Jack Trice Stadium
Defense is expected to be the name of the game in Ames, where Iowa State hosts Iowa in the annual Cy-Hawk series. And when I say defense is expected, I’m talking about what could potentially be the lowest total between two Power 5 teams this season.
Last 4 Meetings Fail to Reach Totals
This year’s scoreboard target is even low for a rivalry that is renowned for low totals. Bookmaker has the bar set at 36½ and favors Iowa by 4.
Both teams made it past that 36½-point hurdle last week, though just barely in wins that still stayed under low totals. Iowa claimed a 24-14 win at home against Utah State, the offense shining early before stalling to fall well short of the 24-point spread the Hawkeyes carried into the contest.
Iowa State enjoyed a veritable explosion – by Cyclone standards, at least – of offense in a 30-9 win and cover against Northern Iowa. The Cyclones reached the 30-point plateau just three times last season, one of those against an FCS opponent.
The last four matchups in the rivalry stopped short of totals, all of which were higher than this year. I’m not usually one to go against a streak like that, but surely the Hawkeyes and Cyclones can breach this number.
NCAAF Pick: Over 36½ (+103) at Bookmaker
Utah Utes vs. Baylor Bears
Saturday, September 9, 2023 – 12:00 PM EDT at McLane Stadium
Utah and Baylor will be Big 12 rivals next year, and each would love to grab early bragging rights when the Utes travel to the Lone Star State to clash with the Bears in Week 2.
Programs Meeting for 1st Time
Baylor became the answer to a Texas State trivia question when the Bobcats beat the Bears last week for their first-ever win over a Power 5 crew. Favored by nearly 4 touchdowns at home in Waco, Baylor couldn’t stop Texas State QB TJ Finley and the Bears shot themselves in the foot with early penalties.
Utah got its season off to an early and winning start with a 24-11 triumph at home last Thursday against Florida. The Utes came up huge on defense, holding the Gators to 13 yards rushing to make up for some lackluster offense of their own.
Will Utes Have Rising Under Center?
Kyle Whittingham and Utah are hopeful of having Cam Rising at QB after the senior missed the opener still recovering from a knee injury. With or without Rising, the Utes cover the TD spread at most top-rated sportsbooks.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.