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Week 2 College Football Picks Against the Spread

Posted by in College Football Picks on September 11th, 2009 | 13 Comments

UPDATE: For any of you still reading this blog from last year, thanks for continuing to read and I look forward to providing you with some solid analysis and insight for several weeks ahead. I have recently moved to Las Vegas and feel my handicapping has become much more focused and accurate. I have also changed my rating system to a 1 unit or 2 unit scale. This system keeps me much more honest. Basically what I am saying is that it keeps me from giving you a 1 unit play that is more of a lean than a solid play. With this rating system I am forced to only play games that I am very confident about. I will keep a running total throughout the rest of the college year, including juice as well. Good Luck to all and I welcome all comments and feedback.

Stanford at Wake Forest (-3): There are several reasons to play WF on Saturday. First, west coast to east coast traveling teams, including Stanford on Saturday, have really struggled when being asked to play the 12ET game. Remember last year, Maryland upset Cal when Cal was asked to play the 12ET, and that is simply one example. Secondly, as a bettor you need to take a close look at teams that played really well during week 1 and teams that played poorly week 1. Stanford on paper looked like they played really well. Now Stanford is a solid team and getting better with solid coaching, but playing at Washington State is not asking a whole lot. Standford was clearly the better team and they played like it. They will not be able to run and pass the ball with the ease they had against WSU when they play WF on Saturday. On the other hand, WF lost a hard fought game against Baylor. There are many experts expecting good things from that Baylor team this year so I find that early loss to be relatively respectable. Riley Skinner is a top tier QB and definitely struggled during week 1 throwing a couple of INTs, look for him to come out much more focused as this is the second game of the year and he is simply capable of much more. Finally, I do not like the fact that for Stanford to cover they virtually have to win the game. Honestly, I think WF comes out firing early and often and would strongly consider making a first half play with WF (-2). This WF team is better than they played Week 1 and if you don’t buy that argument, consider who the team they played verse the team Stanford was up against. Bottom line, this is a big step up in competition for Stanford, WF will come out much more focused this week and limit their TOs, and I just cannot get away from Stanford being asked to play at this high of a level at 9am their time.

Play 1 unit WF (-2) first half

Play 1 unit WF (-3) game

Purdue at Oregon (-12) This line came out at like 15 and has been pounded by the public down to 12. I am NOT buying that Oregon is all that bad. Yes, they looked terrible on opening night and yes their top running back is out for the year, but that being said not all is lost in Oregon. I am of the general opinion that most running backs are replaceable. Blount was a solid running back with some solid potential, but he wasn’t going #1 in the NFL draft and was actually projected to go sometime in the second round. I just don’t think he is going to be irreplaceable. However, Masoli is a possible star in the making and I see this as a perfect spot for him to take this team under his wing and get them back on the right track. Don’t forget, while Oregon did look pretty bad they weren’t playing Toledo. They were up against a very solid Boise State team that has the potential to play in a BCS Bowl game in January. Purdue played at home against a terrible Toledo squad and while they won they still gave up 31 points!! Now they have to travel cross country and play a much more balanced defense that only gave up 18 points to Boise State. This line is a pure over-reaction by the betting public and you have to take advantage of this spot. Oregon wins in a route. I am making this only a 1 unit b/c while I feel my analysis is spot on, how Oregon should react and how they DO react is yet to be seen. Remember these are still college students so there is the possibility that Oregon doesn’t respond, but I just don’t see that happening.

PLAY 1 unit: Oregon (-12) I have seen this line at -11.5 around town.

Mississippi State at Auburn (-14) As I stated in my previous post you need to be aware of teams that played very good week 1, but actually are not that good. Auburn played solid week 1 and are a very solid team up and down their line up. No college football fan can forget the defensive show these two teams put together last year with Auburn winning 3-2. Both teams are somewhat rebuilding, but all signs point to Auburn being in a much more prepared position. MissSt did look decent against Jackson State, but that is not Louisiana Tech who was a bowl team a year ago, nor was that this Auburn team. Again, I refer back to the idea that teams that looked good in week 1 and make big class jumps to week 2 may not be ready for that big step up in class. Auburn remains one of the best defenses in college football and if their offense gets rolling this team could be solid all year long. Look for Auburn’s defense to set the tone early, creating turnovers and giving the offense great field position, which should lead to easy scores for their offense. Lay the points as Auburn makes a solid statement at home verse Miss State.

Play 1 unit on Auburn (-14)

Notre Dame (-3.5) at Michigan: Living in Vegas, there are several Radio programs that I listen to with handicappers giving out free analysis of games and offering their services. The majority of them last weekend were strongly on the side of Nevada, stating that the offense was solid and should be able to score against Notre Dame. Obviously that didn’t happen as Nevada was blanked 35-0. While I only put so much weight in to what these guys have to say, I do know they are not in the market of making themselves look bad as that tends to hurt sales. That tells me that ND is possibly a lot better on both sides of the ball than most people think. Secondly, I have a friend who is very good at setting the lines for games well before they are actually posted by the sports books and is generally within a 1/2 point to 1 point of what the actual line really turns out to be. When I sent him a text late Saturday after ND and UM easily won asking what the line on the game should be he responded ND -9.5. So when I was waiting on this line to come out at the Plaza in downtown Vegas and saw -3.5 I jumped all over it. You can now get this line at -3 and I am simply dumbfounded. There were so many critics out there about how bad Michigan was going to be again this year that I simply cannot understand how a solid performance against Western Michigan makes everyone think UM is back. While Western Michigan is no slouch they are still not that great of a football team. Michigan played focused and inspired football, exactly the way a team should play after their school comes under investigation for NCAA violations. However, UM has to play even better this week and I am not convinced they are ready for that type of step up in class. Michigan will have to win in too many areas of the football game to win this game. ND is much more balanced and their offense should be way too much for Michigan’s D to handle this early in the season. Clausen looked like a dark horse Heisman candidate and should lead ND in a route over Michigan.

Play 2 units on ND (-3.5)

Good Luck this weekend.

13 Responses to Week 2 College Football Picks Against the Spread:

  1. Vegas Martin

    Date: Sep 11, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    I like all 4 picks, but I’m really torn between ND and WF. I like WF and the west coast team playing on the east coast at 12:00 is a huge advantage. In the NFL, west coast teams like the Chargers were 0-4 when playing on the east coast at 1:00. In fact, wasn’t the collective record like 0-13 or something ridiculous? I can’t imagine west coast college kids being any better on the east. Well played.

    I think ND will win too and the spread is low since ND is traditionally seen as weak, especially against UM, who is usually a power house, but things are different this season. The Big House is a tough place to play and this is a rivalry so I’m staying away from that game. I’m going to stick with WF. The spread also dropped from -3.5 to -3. I’m much more comfortable with this spread at -3.

  2. chicagomac

    Date: Sep 12, 2009 at 1:09 am

    I too was astonished when I saw the michigan/nd line open 4.5 and drop down to 3. I bleed Blue, except when I gamble. I’m happy to see Michigan play a good half against WMU, but they looked bad in the second half. ND -3 is a steal, if there D is any good.

  3. Vegas Martin

    Date: Sep 12, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    I knew the ND game was going to be crazy. There’s something about that stadium that just makes games crazy when Michigan is the underdog. Or even when their a favorite verses an underdog like Appalachian State. Shit goes down in that stadium. ND had a ton of bad breaks in that game: giving up a kickoff for 7 points, missing a chip shot field goal, bad penalties which took points off the board. It was a GREAT game to watch though unless you had big money on ND.

    Took down WF with 3 unanswered TDs to end the game with a win by 7. They connected right at the end of the game to win by 7. What a game. Back at even.

    LET’S GO UP BIG WITH USC! No less than 4 plays into the game and Pryor throws a pick that’s returned to the 1! USC TD on 4th and goal. Wow! This game is gonna be good . . . (or a blowout).

    Taylor Mays injury does not look good.

  4. Brandon

    Date: Sep 14, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Week 2 Summary:

    1. Stanford vs WF (-2) 1st Half -1.10
    2. Stanford vs WF (-3) Game +1.00
    3. Purdue vs Oregon (-12) -1.10
    4. MissSt vs Auburn (-14) +1.00
    5. UM vs ND (-3.5) -2.20

    Total -2.40 units. . . If you lose your big game of the week that always puts in you in hole. The season is long and down just 2.4 units is nothing to worry about.

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