Week Two Edition
Last Season: 72-59-2 (.549)
Last Week: 2-4 (.333)
Total: 74-63-2 (.540)
Home team in italics
#23 TCU (-3) over Arkansas
The Horned Frogs returned more starters than any other power-five team in the nation this season. That’s not the only reason why I like them to beat Arkansas, though. The Razorbacks opened as 1.5 point favorites, but then huge bets came in on TCU on Tuesday, as the line immediately swung by four points in favor of the Horned Frogs. I’ll side with the sharp bettors.
Boise State (+10.5) over #20 Washington State
Washington State quarterback Luke Falk may be one of the best passers in the nation, but the Cougars have an average defense. Boise State should keep this game within ten points, even though they’re on the road.
#15 Georgia (+4) over #24 Notre Dame
The Bulldogs will be without starting quarterback Jacob Eason. Yet I’m not convinced that Notre Dame, who finished 4-8 last season, is talented enough to be favored over a solid SEC squad like Georgia. Star running back Nick Chubb will help the Bulldogs cover the spread.
#3 Clemson (-5) over #13 Auburn
Auburn’s strength is their running game, which features running back Kamryn Pettaway. He ran for over 100 yards in seven of his nine starts last season. Clemson’s strength, however, is their defensive line, which boasts preseason All-American Dexter Lawrence and former Mass Bearcat Christian Wilkins. I like Clemson’s stout d-line to contain the Auburn running game and lead the way to victory.
#6 USC (-6) over #14 Stanford
The Trojans dropped in the polls after “only” beating Western Michigan 49-31. Stanford, meanwhile, destroyed Rice 62-7. This helps explain why over 70% of bettors are backing the Cardinal. But I’ll side against the public and take USC. I trust a motivated Sam Darnold, who posted the lowest single-game quarterback rating of his career last week, to rebound and lead the Trojans to a ten-point win.
Game of the Week
#2 Ohio State (-7.5) over #5 Oklahoma
A few reasons why this is a tough spot for the Sooners. First, this game is in Columbus. Immediate advantage: Ohio State. Second, the Buckeyes have one of the best defenses in the country. Indiana ran for just 0.6 yards per carry in their 49-21 loss to Ohio State last week. Their heralded defensive line is already proving why they’re the nation’s best run-stopping unit, and that’s going to make things hard for the Oklahoma offense.
And lastly, Ohio State’s offense is damn good, too. Sure, J.T. Barrett is erratic at times. But look at the bigger picture: the Buckeyes were 11th in the nation in points per game last season; and they just hung 49 points and ran for nearly 300 yards on a fellow Big Ten opponent in their opener. The Buckeyes also cruised to a 45-24 victory in Norman last season. Their margin of victory won’t be quite as wide this Saturday, but the more well-rounded Ohio State squad will keep Baker Mayfield and the explosive Sooners offense in check and win relatively handily.