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College football Week 2 picks, odds, predictions: Alabama, Ohio State

I’m taking over this week’s edition of Pigskin Profit from Howie Kussoy, and here’s a warning: Before you cling to the picks below, keep in mind there is a reason the Giants jokingly refer to me as the “Sports Angel of Death” and why St. John’s fans are convinced the Red Storm will start winning big as soon as I depart the beat. The Braziller Jinx isn’t just a catchy phrase, it’s a way of life. 

With that in mind, my apologies in advance, Alabama fans. Then again, the Crimson Tide are so good they will overwhelm any jinx you can dig up. 

Ride the Tide (-20) to easily cover in their showdown Saturday in Austin, Texas. The Longhorns are not back, and certainly not ready to face the nation’s premier team. 

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Quinn Ewers will be having nightmares about Will Anderson Jr., Dallas Turner and company for weeks. Bryce Young will add to his early Heisman Trophy buzz and enjoy most of the second half from the sideline. 

Nick Saban’s biggest concern after this thumping will be the growing amount of “rat poison” — the overwhelmingly positive coverage Alabama receives for its blowout victories — coming his team’s way. 

OHIO STATE (-44.5) over Arkansas State

The Buckeyes’ starters will be resting by halftime. Ohio State’s second-stringers might be able to cover this spread by themselves against one of the worst teams in the Sun Belt. 

C.J. Stroud and TreVeyon Henderson.
C.J. Stroud and TreVeyon Henderson in action against Notre Dame.
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ARKANSAS (-8) over South Carolina

In the last calendar year, Arkansas has beaten Texas, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, LSU, Penn State and now Cincinnati while nearly upsetting Alabama. Sam Pittman, who has made the Razorbacks’ once-irrelevant program matter again, isn’t being paid enough. 

Marshall (+20.5) over Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish’s defense and high-end talent will keep it in games all season. But the offense doesn’t seem equipped to make Notre Dame a legitimate playoff contender — or, in this case, to warrant a three-touchdown spread. 

TEXAS A&M (-19) over Appalachian State

Appalachian State may have scored 61 points last Saturday against North Carolina, but keep in mind the Mountaineers gave up 63 to the unimpressive Tar Heels. Texas A&M’s Haynes King will throw for more than 300 yards for the second straight week after becoming the first Aggies quarterback to reach that mark in 20 games. 

Evan Stewart.
Evan Stewart runs after the catch.
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Tennessee (-6.5) over PITTSBURGH

The Volunteers went from the 109th-ranked scoring offense in 2020 to No. 7 last season, an absurd improvement under coach Josh Heupel, who was in his first year. The Tennessee attack produced 59 points and 569 yards of offense last Saturday and will overwhelm Pittsburgh, which was fortunate to escape with a victory last week over West Virginia, mostly because of some questionable decisions by Mountaineers head coach Neal Brown. 

WISCONSIN (-17.5) over Washington State

Washington State flirted with a home loss to FCS foe Idaho in the opener, in which its defense produced two turnovers. That’s more than enough reason to ride Wisconsin and burgeoning star running back Braelon Allen. 

Houston (+3) over TEXAS TECH

Clayton Tune, a multitalented quarterback who is able to beat you with his arm and his legs, gives Houston the best player on the field, since Texas Tech will be without starting QB Tyler Shough. The Cougars are coming off a gritty, triple-overtime win at UTSA, an underrated program out of Conference USA. That victory will prepare them well for this meeting. 

Iowa State (+3.5) over IOWA

The Hawkeyes shouldn’t be giving points against anyone after their ghastly offensive performance against South Dakota State in which Iowa managed 166 yards of offense, punted 10 times and committed two turnovers. 

FLORIDA (-6) over Kentucky

As the president of the Anthony Richardson fan club (I was touting Florida’s electric dual-threat quarterback last year and ripping former coach Dan Mullen for not going all-in with him), it is my duty to ride the redshirt sophomore. Kentucky, saved by Mullen last year, won’t stop Richardson as his early hype builds. 

Anthony Richardson.
Anthony Richardson celebrates a Florida touchdown.
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Arizona State (+11.5) over OKLAHOMA STATE

The Cowboys’ stingy defense last year may have been an anomaly. They were gashed for 546 yards and 44 points by Central Michigan last week in blowing a cover late. That could become a trend in Stillwater. 


Don’t believe the USC hype quite yet, but the Cardinal are 11-19 the last three seasons and committed four turnovers in a season-opening win over Colgate. The talent disparity is wide and the Trojans now have a coach who will get the most out of his players’ abilities. 

Betting on Sports?

MICHIGAN (-51) over Hawaii

The Rainbow Warriors, beaten soundly already this year by Vanderbilt and Western Kentucky, won’t win often this fall. The Hawaii Bowl even feels like a long shot. But though this game is in Ann Arbor, at least nobody edges the Warriors when it comes to the location of their home games. 

BYU (+3.5) over Baylor

The Cougars have the kind of schedule that, if they can win out, could play them into the playoff picture. Quarterback Jaren Hall, an intriguing NFL prospect at the age of 24, will create headlines late Saturday night as BYU puts itself on the national map and exacts revenge for its loss at Baylor a year ago. 

Best bets: Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama

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