Stanford ready to shock the Trojans

Stanford ready to shock the Trojans

September 05, 2017 3:00 AM
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Looking back at our Week 1 picks, Northern Illinois failed to force a “push” by a half-point in a tight 23-20 loss to Boston College on Friday night. In the first of two Saturday picks, we had Michigan as a four-point favorite in the Wolverines’ 33-17 romp against Florida, but our play on Boise State ended as a push in the Broncos 24-13 victory against Troy as 11-point favorites.

Here are this week’s selections:

Take STANFORD (+6) over USC: The Cardinal started their season in impressive fashion with a 62-7 romp over Rice as 30-point road favorites on Aug. 26. Keller Chryst threw for 253 yards and two scores while Bryce Love racked up another 180 yards on the ground as part of Stanford’s 656 yards of total offense. While it is stepping way up in class this week, it is hard to ignore this kind of balance and firepower.

USC got past Western Michigan this past Saturday in a 49-31 victory in its season opener, but it could not cover the 28-point spread at home. There is no doubt the Trojans are another team that can put points on the board behind quarterback Sam Darnold and running back Ronald Jones II, but there has to be some concern with the fact they actually trailed by seven points halfway through the third quarter.

Take 389 UNLV (+9) over Idaho: When you are on the wrong end of one of the biggest upsets in the history of college football betting, there is only one way to go and that is up. UNLV closed as a 45-point home favorite against Division I-AA Howard and went on to lose that game, 43-40. The Rebels are not nearly as bad as their performance in that game and you should bank on a much better effort this Saturday night playing as underdogs in a game they could actually win straight up.

The Vandals got past Sacramento State, 28-6, in their season opener to cover the 21.5-point spread. Aaron Duckworth paced the winning effort with 191 all-purpose yards and quarterback Matt Linehan completed 14 of his 19 passing attempts for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Idaho is a decent team out of the Sun Belt, but it is running into the wrong team at the wrong time this Saturday night.

Take 395 UTAH (+2) over Brigham Young: Utah comes into this big in-state rivalry fresh off a 37-16 victory against North Dakota in its season opener. The Utes covered the 20 points as home as favorites and they are another road underdog that has a very good chance of winning this week’s game SU. Tyler Huntley went an efficient 23-for-32, throwing the ball for 227 yards and one TD, and Utah’s ground game piled up 272 rushing yards led by Zack Moss’s 128 yards on 22 carries.

The Cougars already have a pair of games under their belt starting with a 20-6 victory against Portland State as heavy 36.5-point home favorites on Aug. 26. This past Saturday, they went on the road and lost to LSU 27-0 as 14-point underdogs. There have to be some major concerns on offense in light of that shutout heading into this contest. BYU was held to 102 yards through the air and its running game ended the night with minus five yards rushing.

Last week: 1-1-1

Season: 1-1-1