College football odds: Week 2 lines & trends


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Technically, this will be Week 2 of a very unusual college football season during a coronavirus pandemic and with the Big Ten and Pac-12 sitting out the fall. However, in reality it’s Week 1 because it’s the first time teams from one of the three Power 5 leagues – ACC, Big 12 and SEC (no schools from that league yet) – will take the field.

College-Football-Odds-Week-2-Lines-&-TrendsThe first such school overall to play will be Miami of the ACC on Thursday night when the Hurricanes host UAB of Conference U.S.A. Miami will allow a limited number of fans at Hard Rock Stadium. Hurricanes coach Manny Diaz enters 2020 on a hot seat after UM hugely disappointed last year. Diaz does welcome two talented transfers, though, in quarterback D’Eriq King – a Heisman candidate – and defensive end Quincy Roche, a projected 2021 first-round NFL draft pick.

However, Diaz lost arguably the program’s most talented player, defensive end Gregory Rousseau, to an opt out. He was the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year and a Freshman All-America in 2019 with 15.5 sacks. UAB at least got a warm-up game, beating FCS school Central Arkansas 45-35 last Thursday. Miami is a 14-point favorite and on an 18-game home winning streak in September.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 already has affected one game this week: TCU of the Big 12 hosting SMU of the AAC on Friday in what was to be the 100th edition of the Battle of the Iron Skillet between Dallas/Fort Worth-area programs. They hope to make that up later this year – get used to postponements like this because it’s going to happen.

On Saturday, No. 10 Notre Dame plays its first-ever football game as a full member of a conference when it hosts Duke. Because of all the chaos this season, the Irish joined the ACC for 2020 only, although the league is certainly hoping to make it permanent. Notre Dame has won 18 straight home games by an average of more than 24 points per game. It also won at Duke last year, 38-7. The Irish are -19.5 for this one.

Top-ranked Clemson, the favorite to win the national title, opens at Wake Forest on Saturday night as a 33-point favorite. The Tigers have won 11 in a row in this series, coming by an average of nearly 29 points per game.