Craven's Bets for Week 2: Texas hosts Alabama, Houston travels to Texas Tech, Baylor visits BYU and More!

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Week 2 of the college football season allows gamblers a chance to fade the public as the masses overreact to Week 1 results. There are plenty of opportunities for bets around the Lone Star State with big-time matchups between Texas Tech and Houston, as well as Baylor and BYU. Texas hosts Alabama in an SEC preview, and UTSA tries to rebound from a Week 1 loss by traveling to West Point to take on Army. 

Craven's Bets serves as a game preview with gambling advice. We went 7-1 in Week 1. 


Houston at Texas Tech 

Viewing info: Saturday at 3 p.m. on FS1

Gambling odds: Texas Tech -3.5; O/U 63

The Cougars blew a 21-7 halftime lead against Texas Tech to start the 2021 season. That loss propelled Houston to an 11-game winning streak to end the regular season. A lot has changed since the last time these two teams met, at least on the Red Raiders side of the field. Joey McGuire replaced Matt Wells as Texas Tech head coach. Donovan Smith is the starting quarterback thanks to an injury to Tyler Shough. Hot shot offensive coordinator Zach Kittley is back in West Texas to resurrect the high-flying offense that became famous in Lubbock. 

This is a game between two future conference foes that carries weight on and off the field. Texas Tech needs a win to help it reach a bowl game in the first season under McGuire. Houston might be the favorite for its remaining 10 regular season games. If the Cougars can upset Texas Tech, Houston can run the table. 

The key matchup of the game is at the coordinator position as Kittley battles Houston defensive mind Doug Belk in a battle between two of the best young coordinators in the country. Houston survived triple overtime in Week 1. Texas Tech blew out Murray State to start the McGuire era. This one should be fun, and I’ll probably lean towards the over. I’d be lying if I said I was confident in either team to win. 

Craven’s bet: Houston -3.5, Over 63

Baylor at BYU 

Viewing info: Saturday at 9:15 p.m. on ESPN 

Gambling odds: BYU -3.5; O/U 54

Another preview of a future Big 12 rivalry takes place in Provo when the Bears travel to Utah to face BYU. Baylor knocked off BYU by 14 points in 2021. It is the Cougars, however, that enter the 2022 matchup as the favorite despite Baylor checking in higher in the top 25 rankings. This feels like a pick’em game outside of BYU holding a home-field advantage, which is usually worth three points in gambling circles. The same is true for Houston versus Texas Tech. Both teams enter 1-0 with Baylor racing past Albany and BYU beating South Florida. 

A solid quarterback battle unfolds as BYU’s Jaren Hall tries to match points with Baylor’s Blake Shapen. Hall was 25 of 32 for 261 yards and two touchdowns in the Week 1 win over South Florida. Shapen was 17 of 20 for 214 yards and two scores against Albany. Baylor figures to possess advantages in the trenches with so many talented returners along the offensive and defensive lines, but the young faces at the skill positions and on the backend of the defend must show up on Saturday for Baylor to leave with a win. 

Craven’s bet: Baylor +3.5

Texas vs. Alabama

Viewing info: Saturday at 11 a.m. on FOX 

Gambling odds: Texas +21; O/U 65.5 

The Longhorns brace for impact as Alabama and Nick Saban stroll into town as the top-ranked team in the nation. Bryce Foster on offense. Will Anderson on defense. A litter of five-star prospects at nearly every other position. It is safe to say that Texas and Steve Sarkisian, a former assistant of Saban, are in for a long night. But, how long? 

Texas is clearly more talented than it was during the 5-7 season last year. Quinn Ewers is an upgrade at quarterback. Xavier Worthy has help out wide with Jordan Whittington and emerging tight end J.T. Sanders. Bijan Robinson would start at any college in the country, including Alabama, and he’s running behind an improved offensive line led by talented true freshman Kelvin Banks. The main concern is Texas’ defense. That’s why we’ll take the over. Alabama can score as many points as it wants, but I do feel confident in Sark’s ability to scheme a few touchdowns against his old boss. 

Craven’s bet: Texas +21, Over 65.5

UTSA at Army 

Viewing info: Saturday at 11 a.m. on CBSSN 

Gambling odds: UTSA -2; O/U 54.5 

UTSA must dust itself off after a heartbreaking triple-overtime loss at home to Houston. The Roadrunners were up 21-7 to start the fourth quarter and had the Cougars in a few tough spots during the overtime period. Jeff Traylor was 13-3 in one-score games entering 2022, but his program couldn’t pull off their first close game of the 2022 season. Army is also 0-1 after a loss to Sun Belt favorite Coastal Carolina in Week 1. 

UTSA quarterback Frank Harris was outstanding in the loss against Houston, accounting for nearly 400 yards and four total touchdowns. His wide receiver trio of Zakhari Franklin, Joshua Cephus, and J.T. Clark combined for 23 catches, 276 yards, and three touchdown catches in the loss. The concern for UTSA is in the running game. The Roadrunners averaged just 3.7 yards a carry against Houston, and most of that was Harris. No running back averaged more than 2.6 yards a carry. UTSA is without its starting left and right tackle. 

Craven’s bet: UTSA -2


Texas A&M vs. Appalachian State 

Viewing info: Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN2 

Gambling odds: Texas A&M -18; O/U 54 

This sounds crazy but Texas A&M struggled in a 31-0 win over Sam Houston as both programs dealt with weather delays in the Week 1 matchup. Starting quarterback Haynes King threw two boneheaded passes and the offensive line didn’t look cohesive without starting center Bryce Foster, who is out for an undetermined time with Mono. App State lost a heartbreaker to in-state rival North Carolina in Week 1. 

Both results benefit the Aggies in this matchup. Texas A&M will play with something to prove, especially on the offensive side of the ball. I expect improved performances from King and the running game. I also expect App State to struggle to rebound after such an emotional loss. Give me Texas A&M in a blowout. 

Craven’s bet: Texas A&M -18

Texas State vs. FIU 

Viewing info: Saturday at 6 p.m. on ESPN+ 

Gambling odds: Texas State -13.5; O/U 61

Watch this one at your own risk. FIU is one of the worst FBS programs in the nation alongside teams such as New Mexico State, Charlotte, and Hawaii. Texas State, which was blown out by Nevada despite only being a one-point road underdog, is favored by nearly two touchdowns. That tells you all you need to know about FIU. I’d suggest avoiding the game line between teams this bad this early in the season, but the under feels like a juicy play.

Craven’s bet: Under 61

UTEP vs. New Mexico State 

Viewing info: Saturday at 8 p.m. on ESPN+

Gambling odds: UTEP -14; O/U 46

Both teams are 0-2 entering this future Conference USA showdown between rivals separated by less than an hour on I-10. UTEP is the much better football team, and the Miners showed glimpses of their potential in a loss to Oklahoma. The Week 0 home defeat to North Texas left a sour taste in the team’s, and in the fans’, mouth, but a big win over New Mexico State is exactly what the doctor ordered. 

Craven’s bet: UTEP -14


SMU vs. Lamar 

Viewing info: Saturday at 6 p.m. on ESPN+

Rice vs. McNeese 

Viewing info: Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN3

North Texas vs. Texas Southern 

Viewing info: Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN3

TCU vs. Tarleton 

Viewing info: Saturday at 7 p.m. on ESPN+ 


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