With the second week of college football action on hand for this weekend, it’s time to take a look at the top matchups on the Week 2 docket. Florida State hosts Georgia Tech in a matchup of longtime ACC rivals that are looking to record winning records after failing to do so a year ago. Top-ranked Clemson will look to both, take down ACC rival Wake Forest while covering the chalk as a nearly five-touchdown home favorite. Last, but not least, Duke will look to get the big road upset against a 10t-ranked Notre Dame squad that will be competing in the ACC in 2020 as part of their revised coronavirus schedule. Now, let’s find out where the best college football betting value lies in all three matchups so you can set down your bets against their NCAAF odds.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions – Top Week 2 Games In The Spotlight
Duke at No. 10 Notre Dame
- When: Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020 at 2:30 PM ET
- Where: Notre Dame Stadium, IN
- TV: NBC
- Money Lines: Notre Dame -20
- Total: 53.5
Duke is coming off a 5-7 finish in 2019 that left them on the outside looking in come bowl season for the second time in the last four years. The Blue Devils put up 25.3 points per game last season while allowing 29.2 points per contest defensively. Duke will have a new starting quarterback this season in former Clemson three-star recruit Chase Brice and have every other starter except on offense back from last season except center Jack Wohlabaugh. The Blue Devils also return seven starters on defense, including ends Victor Dimukeje and Chris Rumph II. The entire defensive front looks formidable for Duke heading into 2020.
“We have some redshirt freshmen and freshmen that have certainly caught my eye,” head coach David Cutcliffe said recently. “I’m really excited about our interior defensive linemen and the depth that I think we’re going to surprise people with.”
No. 10 Notre Dame went 10-2 a year ago while averaging a stellar 37.1 points per game (13th) and allowing just 18.7 points per contest defensively (14th). The independent Fighting Irish will be playing in a conference for the first time ever, thanks to their revised coronavirus schedule.
“It has been different, there’s no doubt,” Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said recently. “Probably our mental preparation is the biggest concern for me.”
Starting quarterback Ian Book returns for his final season after throwing for 3,034 yards with a stellar 34 TD passes and just six interceptions. The Fighting Irish have to find a handful of replacements on the defensive line and in the secondary, but two of their top three linebackers are back in Drew White and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.
- Blue Devils are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games in September.
- Blue Devils are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a road underdog.
- Blue Devils are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- Fighting Irish are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Fighting Irish are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in September.
- Fighting Irish are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 home games.
While I have no doubt that Notre Dame is going to take care of business in this matchup to get off to a good start, I’m not real fond of the high, nearly, three-touchdown spread in this affair. Duke now has a quality quarterback under center and they should have a competent defense at the very least in 2020.
Notre Dame has an elite quarterback in Ian Book, but I think the Irish will be a lot better later in the season as opposed to early on. In the end, I’m going with Notre Dame for the outright Moneyline win, but Duke to cover the chalk as a big road dog.
Pick: Notre Dame 31 Duke 20
Georgia Tech at Florida State
- When: Saturday, Sept. 12 , 2020 at 3:30 PM ET
- Where: Dak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, FL
- Spread: Florida State -11
- Total: 51.5
Georgia Tech is coming off a discouraging 3-9 campaign in Year 1 of the Geoff Collins era last season. The Yellow Jackets were limited to just 16.7 points per game while giving up a whopping 32.7 points per game defensively. Four starers return on the offensive line, but the quarterback battle has come down to the wire, with freshman Jeff Sims now set to replace former starter James Graham. Heading into 2020, Georgia Tech’s main goal is to simply win more games, whether they reach a bowl appearance or not.
“I feel like it’s not really too many specific goals other than let’s win,” wide receiver Malachi Carter told reporters recently. “No one liked the season we had last year. We want to start winning some games. We want to put Georgia Tech on the map. We do a lot of hard work over here, so the expectations that we have because of that are huge. As they should be.”
Florida State finished 6-7 a year ago and has gone an uninspiring 18-20 over the last three years. Now, the Seminoles are looking to get back to being a big-time program as they get set for Year 1 of the Mike Norvell era. Norvell, the former head coach at Memphis, is the third head coach in four seasons for Florida State. The Seminoles averaged 29.1 points per game, but gave up 28.5 points per contest defensively.
Redshirt junior quarterback James Blackman (16 TDs, 7 INTs) is back as the starter, but Florida State will be breaking in two new starting tackles. The Noles have a preseason All-American in defensive tackle Marvin Wilson, but there are questions at linebacker and in the defensive secondary.
- Yellow Jackets are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games as an underdog.
- Yellow Jackets are 3-12 ATS in their last 15 games overall.
- Yellow Jackets are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games in September.
- Seminoles are 3-7-2 ATS in their last 12 games in September.
- Seminoles are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Georgia Tech might be getting nearly two touchdowns as road dogs in this affair, but I don’t think it’s going to be enough for the Yellow Jackets to cover and apparently, approximately 61 percent of public bettors don’t think so either. While both of these programs are rebuilding, Mike Norvell simply has more elite talent at Florida State than Geoff Collins does at Georgia Tech. The Seminoles also have the big edge at quarterback and are playing at home – and that’s why Florida State will win and cover the ATS spread.
Pick: Florida State 31 Georgia Tech 17
No. 1 Clemson at Wake Forest
- When: Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020 at 7:30 PM ET
- Where: Truist Field, Winston-Salem, NC
- Spread: Clemson -33.5
- Total: 61
Clemson went a perfect 13-0 last season and enters the 2020 campaign as the preseason No. 1. despite falling to Joe Burrow and LSU 42-25 in last season’s national championship. While the Tigers suffered a handful of big departures following last season, they return the likely No. 1 overall pick in next year’s NFL draft in gifted quarterback Trevor Lawrence and arguably the nation’s best running back in Travis Etienne. In all, the Tigers have a league-high five All-ACC preseason first-team selections, including Lawrence and Etienne, the ACC Player of the Year in each of the last two seasons.
The Tigers must replace four starters on the offensive line and need to find replacements for star linebacker Isaiah Simmons, cornerback A.J. Terrell and wide receiver Tee Higgins, this is a program that gets elite talent each and every year and has done a phenomenal job of staying at the top of the game despite losing a handful of stars to the NFL every year.
Wake Forest is coming off a solid 8-5 season in 2019 as they put up 32.8 points per game, but allowed an overly generous 29.3 per contest defensively. The Demon Deacons will have to find replacements for former starting quarterback Jamie Newman, their leading rusher and receiver, three starters on the line, tight end, top linebacker and two starting cornerbacks.
- Tigers are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games as a road favorite.
- Tigers are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 road games.
- Tigers are 20-7 ATS in their last 27 games overall.
- Tigers are 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 conference games.
- Demon Deacons are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games in September.
- Demon Deacons are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games.
- Demon Deacons are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games as a home underdog.
- Demon Deacons are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Clemson has won 11 straight over the Demon Deacons, including last year’s 52-3 home smackdown win and their even more emphatic 63-3 road win in Winston-Salem two years ago. The Demon Deacons have not managed to score a touchdown against the Tigers since 2017. While 53 percent of public bettors are currently backing the Demon Deacons to cover the chalk in this clash, I’m going with Wake to somehow narrowly cover the big spread, if only, because they are playing at home and Clemson might need some time to find their new identity.
Pick: Clemson 38 Wake Forest 13