October 18, 2021

College football picks, schedule: Predictions against the spread, odds for top 25 games today in Week 2 – CBS Sports


The opening week of the 2021 college football season was eventful … to say the least. Week 2 is set to set the tone for the remainder of the season, especially for the Pac-12, which has all of its ranked teams competing in big-time games across the country.

No. 12 Oregon opens the festivities in the headline game of the day when it kicks off at noon ET at No. 3 Ohio State. No. 21 Utah will revisit the Holy War at BYU in the evening with No. 14 USC hosting Stanford in the nightcap. In between, Colorado hosts No. 5 Texas A&M, while No. 9 Iowa State welcomes No. 10 Iowa for the latest edition of the Cy-Hawk game. No. 15 Texas will also renew its Southwest Conference rivalry when it visits Arkansas.

While winning is all that matters for the standings, we care about whether these teams will cover their spreads. Be sure to stick with CBS Sports throughout the day for college football coverage from the opening kickoff on Saturday to the final whistle. Let’s take a look at our expert picks for the second full Saturday of the season.

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All times Eastern

No. 12 Oregon at No. 3 Ohio State

Latest Odds:

Ohio State Buckeyes

Noon | Fox, fuboTV (Try for free) — The hook is scary, but I expect a big performance from the Buckeyes. They struggled for a time last week, but it was the first game of the season and it was on the road. Returning home with a game under their belt, the offense won’t take as long to find a groove. And Oregon just isn’t explosive enough offensively to keep up for the entire 60 minutes. Prediction: Ohio State (-14.5) — Tom Fornelli

No. 5 Texas A&M at Colorado

Latest Odds:

Texas A&M Aggies

3:30 p.m. | Fox, fuboTV (Try for free) — Oddsmakers are giving Texas A&M too much credit here. While I think that the Aggies will win, it won’t be a high-scoring affair. I have faith enough faith in Colorado’s defense to at least keep it close heading into the fourth quarter. At that point, expect Texas A&M to play ground-and-pound football just to get out of there. The likelihood of TAMU coach Jimbo Fisher opening things up on the road with a quarterback making his second start is equal to the chances of Bishop Sycamore winning a high school football state championship. Prediction: Colorado (+16) — Barrett Sallee

No. 10 Iowa at No. 9 Iowa State

Latest Odds:

Iowa State Cyclones

4:30 p.m. | ABC, fuboTV (Try for free) — Iowa State has struggled in every Cy-Hawk game since Matt Campbell arrived in Ames, Iowa … but the results have been close. The last two matchups in Ames have been decided by three points or fewer, including the one-point heartbreaker in 2019 caused by a muffed punt. Eventually, the streak has to end — and I believe it will this year. However, Iowa State’s last three wins over Iowa were all by three points. If Las Vegas wants to give us a few extra points of cushion, I’ll happily take it. Prediction: Iowa (+4.5) — Shehan Jeyarajah

Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 2, and which favorites will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned over $3,500 in profit over the past five-plus seasons — and find out.

No. 15 Texas at Arkansas

Latest Odds:

Texas Longhorns

7 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — Arkansas would like nothing more than to pick up a win vs. a ranked opponent that also happens to be a historic rival. With both teams returning a combined nine starters on the offensive line, this game will be decided on the outside of the hash marks. I saw enough from Bijan Robinson to know that Texas will hit explosive plays, even against a solid Arkansas back end. Can KJ Jefferson and the Arkansas passing game counter with explosive plays? I’m skeptical. Prediction: Texas (-6.5) — Shehan Jeyarajah

No. 21 Utah at BYU

Latest Odds:

Utah Utes

10:15 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — I’m not in love with the pick, but it’s hard to go against the Utes considering how dominant they’ve been in the series of late. Plus, this is not the same Cougars team that went 11-1 last season. Some of those results were inflated thanks to a more manageable schedule than BYU typically plays (forced by the pandemic) and some of it is due to everything BYU lost. Right now, I have a higher level of confidence in the Utes, so that’s where I’d put my money. Prediction: Utah (-7.5) — Tom Fornelli

Stanford at No. 14 USC

Latest Odds:

USC Trojans

10:30 p.m. | Fox, fuboTV (Try for free) — USC covered a 14.5-point spread against a solid San Jose State team last week without looking elite. The Trojans used a stifling run defense and a big fourth quarter to create separation. With Stanford allowing only 344 total yards in the loss to Kansas State, expect this to be lower-scoring game. While USC should win, the Cardinal are well-coached team and appear to have a competent defense. That should be enough to keep USC from pulling away. Prediction: Stanford (+17.5) — David Cobb