It was a first week of college football which provided several spread surprises, with a handful of ranked teams either losing or forced to sweat out a narrow victory. That may not be the case this time around, as there are not many games in Week 2 of the college season between top-25 teams—but the two that are have major BCS implications.
The marquee matchup of the week is Oregon hosting Michigan State, both 1-0 and both residing in the top 10. In another key game out west, one team will go 0-1 in Pac 12 play when Stanford plays host to its old rival USC.
A few ranked teams have big tests this weekend with Notre Dame hosting Michigan, Oklahoma hitting the road to play Tulsa, Ohio State hosting Virginia Tech, and South Carolina looking to avoid going 0-2 facing East Carolina.
Without further ado, let's get to the picks, with the lines again courtesy of CoopersPick.com:
Pittsburgh (-4.5) vs. Boston College
In an ESPN Friday night contest, there is an early-season ACC battle between a couple of 1-0 teams with Boston College playing host to Pitt. Both teams had easy wins last week and the Panthers were especially impressive on both sides of the ball, rushing for 410 yards and not giving up any points on D.
Pick Against the Spread: Pitt is the better all-around team and will win while easily covering the spread.
No. 7 Michigan State vs. No. 3 Oregon (-13)
Both teams played cream puffs in their openers and both won in blowouts. Michigan State does have a good defense, but they will not be able to keep up with a Ducks offense that had 380 passing yards and 293 rushing yards in their first game. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota will add to his Heisman buzz in this game after his great start last week when his stats read 14/20 for 267 yards with 3 TD and 0 INT.
Pick Against the Spread: Take Oregon in this one at home while ignoring that it has only covered in one of its last five home games. In their openers, Oregon covered and MSU did not.
No. 4 Oklahoma (-24.5) vs. Tulsa
Oklahoma is on the road, but a big betting favorite facing a squad that did win its opener against Tulane, but took OT to do so. The Sooner pass defense will tame a Tulsa team that had 438 passing yards in its first game. On top of that, there are just too many weapons on offense that should rain golden showers on top of the Golden Hurricanes' sketchy defense.
Pick Against the Spread: Feel comfortable going with OU in this one, as it has legit championship aspirations and have covered the spread in four of its past five.
Virginia Tech (+12) vs. No. 8 Ohio State
The Buckeyes are legit at home, but it's a different story when taking the spread into account, covering in just one of their last five in their house. Meanwhile, the Hokies have a lot of young talent that looked solid in their blowout opener win. Last week, Freshman Shai McKenzie rushed for over 100 yards on only nine carries and should have another solid game in Columbus.
Pick Against the Spread: Take Tech in this one to at least cover the spread, and maybe even pull off the upset. The betting trends for them do not point to it, but the budding young talent will give the Buckeyes a game.
East Carolina vs. South Carolina (-13.5)
South Carolina (as well as many oddsmakers) was embarrassed at home in its season opener, giving up 52 points in the loss to Texas A&M. However, you have to think of these games as an investment—not a gamble—when the season is so early. East Carolina also put up 52 points in its season opener facing North Carolina Central, but they will be facing a Gamecocks team that will take out their frustrations on them. This game may get ugly with South Carolina easily winning in a blowout.
Pick Against the Spread: No way USC will start the season 0-2, crushing ECU at home.
Which Underdog is Most Likely to Cover the Spread?
No. 14 USC vs. No. 13 Stanford (-3)
The Pac 12 rivalry starts early this season, with Stanford the betting favorite taking on USC in a matchup of two top-25 teams. Both teams were impressive on both sides of the ball in their opening-game blowouts; maybe more so the Trojans, who played a better opponent in Fresno State. But now they face a legit Stanford defense.
Pick Against the Spread: While USC won and covered last season beating the Cardinal, they will not be so fortunate this season. With the luxury of home field advantage, Stanford will prevail.
Michigan (+4.5) vs. No. 16 Notre Dame
Both teams easily won their openers, but the big question is, can Notre Dame and its D deal with a Michigan squad that had 350 rushing yards in their first game? Michigan should be able to continue its rushing success against the Irish, which gave up 141 yards on the ground to Rice in Week 1.
Pick Against the Spread: The Wolverines are unranked, but perhaps not for long. They head to South Bend with confidence and will cover this one.
Last Week's Picks : 2-5-1