From this week on, not including week one’s picks, I’ll be sharing my season record in each blog.
Here are my picks for week 2 of the college football season, and I feel REALLY good about them this weekend. There is a weird slate of games, not a lot of good ones, with some lines that are just begging to be bet.
Penn State -9 (@ Pitt)
This was my first pick as I looked at the board this week. I knew I was betting it. Penn State almost blew their entire season in week one with a close win against Appalachian State. As most of you remember, App State beat #5 Michigan at The Big House in 2007, and nearly took down Penn State this season on the 11-year anniversary of that game.
Now that Penn State had a week to recover from this, get screamed at by the coaching staff, and remember how to play football at a high level again, they will be looking to come out hot against whoever they play next.
The opponent in this game didn’t really matter to me, I was going to take Penn State to cover if the spread was reasonable.
It should be noted that Pitt is always a pesky opponent when playing highly ranked teams, even pulling some upsets in the last two seasons against against, #2 Clemson, #2 Miami, and Penn State.
Who cares, Penn State is backed into a corner here. James Franklin is a hell of a coach and a great motivator. Penn State by three touchdowns, easily covering the -9.
UCLA vs. Oklahoma OVER 64 Points
No analysis needed. Oklahoma can score 50+ by themselves. They have elite playmakers all over the place. Oklahoma also has a Big-12 defense, and it has had some holes in recent years.
New UCLA Head Coach Chip Kelly named Wilton Speight the starting QB to begin the season, which is odd because he plays nothing like a traditional Chip Kelly QB. Speight was injured in the game against Cincinnati, and true freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson came in the game to replace him. He seems to fit into Chip’s system better, and provided a spark off of the bench. It’s amazing how different an offense can look when the QB’s feet aren’t cemented to the ground.
With Thompson-Robinson potentially starting the game, we can assume UCLA will at least score a few touchdowns, which is all we will need to hit the over 64 points in this game.
Nebraska -4 (vs. Colorado)
The return of Scott Frost to Nebraska is probably the most exciting thing to happen in that state since their last national title… led by Scott Frost. Sadly, their first game was cancelled due to weather, but this week they’re finally getting their chance to begin the new era of Cornhusker Football.
From what I know about Frost, he’ll be looking to come out fast, keep the pedal to the metal, and run the score up. Nebraska is rightfully favored against Colorado, but Vegas may not have considered the emotional parts to this game. Frost is trying to make a great first impression.
Adrian Martinez won the starting QB job, because he can do everything that Frost needs in a QB. He can throw, but he may be an even better runner, according to what I’ve read.
Colorado has a great QB as well with Steven Montez, but the Cornhuskers are just the better team, plain and simple.
ESPN FPI gives Nebraska over a 75% chance of winning, but they’re only four point favorites. I’ll take my chances on them covering in Scott Frost’s homecoming.
USC +6 (@ Stanford)
Last week, USC did give up 300 rushing yards to UNLV. However, that was a no-huddle spread offense with a lot of running from the QB. That is a lot different than the Stanford offensive scheme. Stanford will try and run it down USC’s throat with star running back Bryce Love, but USC will be able to stack the box, stop the run as well as they can, and rely on their athletes on the outside to stop any threat of a Stanford passing game. Love was held to 29 yards on 18 carries last week, and USC is much better than San Diego State. Bryce Love is not unstoppable in that type of offense.
Yes, I know that monster of a person JJ Arcega-Whiteside had a huge game last week. 6 catches for 226 yards is ridiculous. It won’t happen again, not against USC. I think Stanford is a little overrated this season, and they have the worst home field advantage, or lack there of, of any power five school.
USC will come in and shock them, true freshman QB and all.
UNLV -24 (vs. UTEP)
Speaking UNLV… they are playing arguably the worst college football team in the country this week. This UNLV team kept up with USC for a lot of the game, and ran the ball at will. Their QB and RB are fun to watch, Armani Rogers and Lexington Thomas. I’d flip over to this game on Saturday for a few minutes if you haven’t watched them.
I picked this game because UTEP just lost to Northern Arizona by 20, and didn’t win a game last season. With how well UNLV is playing, and the fact that they are at home, I would have set this line at UNLV -35, so I’m definitely going to hop on this at -24.
Arizona State +6 (vs. Michigan State)
To preface this, Michigan State is 2-12 in their last 14 road games against Pac-12 opponents against the spread. Michigan State is also a much better team when they are the underdog, as we’ve seen in recent years against Michigan, Ohio State, and a few others. The numbers suggest that Michigan State is in a tricky spot here.
It’s going to be a million degrees in Arizona, and It’s going to be really late for the guys from Michigan, as it’s a 7:45pm pacific time kickoff. Arizona State’s crowd will be loud and drunk. New Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards, while he seems like an odd fit for a college head coaching job, knows how to connect with his players and will have them pumped up after yelling some clichés at them.
To make this bet feel safer, ASU QB Manny Wilkins has been very impressive in his last few games, proving to be one of the best QBs in the conference. In college football, a good QB can carry you a long way, especially when he has a freak receiver to throw to like N’Keal Harry. Michigan State’s defense is beatable. Utah State was pushing 400 yards last week, with 22 first downs. ASU has much more talent than Utah State.
Michigan State barely beat Utah State in week one, so one would assume that they’d come back strong here in week two. However, the heat, time of night, and home field advantage mentioned above will negate that.
I like betting on the late national TV game, and I like having action on the underdog, so why not take ASU here?
If you have any questions, or disagree with me and want to tell me why, follow and DM me on twitter: @ThomasLovejoy
Edited at end of week: season record after week two is now 4-2