NCAA Football Predictions: Week 2 Opening Line Report and Picks
That was fun.
After the long-anticipated wait of a full Saturday of college football, we had 12 straight hours of madness, and we enjoyed every single second of it. We had upsets, near upsets, huge scores, dismal offensive performances (hello Penn State and Wisconsin), great defensive performances (hello Georgia) and we had perhaps the game of the year last night when Notre Dame survived Florida State 41-38 in overtime after blowing an 18-point fourth-quarter lead. We have one game left on the Week 1 card tonight, but that doesn’t mean the lines for the Week 2 haven’t been posted. There are some head-scratching lines, but I’ve keyed in our four spreads that I really like.
Doc’s Sports offers college football picks for every game on our college football predictions page.
As far as last week’s results go, we went 3-1 against the spread as we picked Michigan State +3, Kansas State -2.5 and Texas Tech -1.5. The only play we missed on was Oklahoma -26.5. On to this week.
Oregon Ducks at Ohio State Buckeyes -14, 64.5 – Both the Ducks and Buckeyes escaped Week 1 with wins, but they were very hard-fought wins to say the least. The Ducks needed to erase a three-point fourth-quarter deficit to a very good Fresno State team, only to win by seven points at the end. As for Ohio State, they were down four points at the half to Minnesota but ultimately prevailed 45-31. For both teams, a win is a win, but there is cause for concern in how they got there. Both team’s defenses were suspect. And while the offenses bailed them out, it’ll be interesting to see how both units respond in this contest. The line opened up as Ohio State -11 but has quickly been bet up to the two-touchdown mark. C.J. Stroud for Ohio State and Anthony Brown for Oregon should have the time needed to make plays and drive the ball downfield. With these two offenses, there is only one way to play this game, and that’s OVER the total.
Pick: Over 64.5 -110
Iowa Hawkeyes at Iowa State Cyclones -3.5, 44.5 – It was a rather straightforward opening week for the Hawkeyes. They kicked off their campaign with a dominating 34-6 home win against No. 17 Indiana, and now they head to Ames to take on the Iowa State Cyclones. No. 7 Iowa State got their campaign off to a winning start, but they looked poor in doing so. They were 28.5-point favorites against Northern Iowa but managed only a 16-10 win. So, when we see the opening line of -5 drop to -3.5, you know exactly why based on the team’s first matchups. The only question that begs to be asked now is how the Hawkeyes’ defense can stymie a team that I have high hopes for and expect to contend for the Big 12 title. If they can, they can very well win this game outright. If not, I don’t think the offense has enough to keep up with a Cyclones team that should be much better this week.
Pick: Iowa State -3.5
Texas Longhorns at Arkansas Razorbacks +6, 57 – The Longhorns got their 2021 campaign off to a winning start, beating No. 23 Louisiana-Lafayette at home by a score of 38-18. In that game, the Longhorns showed their ability to both rush and throw the ball effectively, and it’s no surprise that this line has risen three points from the opening of -3. Texas looked the part in the opener, whereas Arkansas needed a 21-point fourth quarter to get by a very bad Rice team. The Razorbacks also benefitted from three interceptions, which is something I don’t expect to happen this week vs Texas. Coming into this season, the perception of Texas was high, while the Razorbacks were expected to struggle and finish near the bottom of the SEC. I see that coming to the forefront in this contest as Texas will simply have too much offense for the Hogs to handle.
Pick: Texas -6
Stanford @ USC -17.5, 51. – And lastly, I think we may have found the team to fade early on in the season. Stanford looked atrocious in their opening game against Kansas State. The offensive output set football back about three decades, and the defense also couldn’t get off the field when it needed to. Now Stanford returns to California but has to travel to USC to take on the Trojans. This line opened at -14. And given the way these teams played in their opener, the line increase is rightfully justified. USC easily dispatched of San Jose State, putting up 30 and giving up just seven points. The USC offense definitely has another gear to get to, and we expect Kedon Slovis and Drake London to have monster games through the air. London caught 13 balls for 144 yards in the opener. And against a weak Stanford pass defense, we expect similar numbers. USC gets the win and cover here.
Pick: USC -17.5
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