We are off to a 3-2 start after last week. Here are the picks we like for Week 2.
Western Kentucky (+28.5) at Alabama
This is a sandwich game for Alabama. It’s a letdown spot after USC. It’s the week before the road trip to Ole Miss. Nick Saban does not run up the score in non-conference games (5-11-1 ATS non-conference since 2013). Also Western Kentucky has an explosive, well coached passing offense. They could be a double-digit win team this year. It’s a game where Alabama will play tight. It’s a game with strong backdoor cover potential.
Tennessee (-11.5) vs. Virginia Tech
Folks were too high on Tennessee entering Week 1. In week 2, they will be too cold. The Vols have a very strong defense. Virginia Tech could not get a conventional run game going against Liberty. They will have to throw into Tennessee’s pass defense to move the ball. Flip over to the other side. Virginia Tech ranked 85th in yards/carry allowed vs. FBS winning teams last season. Tennessee rebounds with a comfortable win.
Utah State (+16.5) at USC
This is a sandwich spot for the Trojans too. It’s the week after getting curbstomped by Alabama. It’s the week before Stanford. Utah State is USC’s only non-P5/ND opponent. A resilient, well-coached team could overcome last week’s physical and mental blow. USC, this decade, has been anything but (see: internal discord). Veteran Utah State scores, takes advantage of a soft (and softened) USC defensive front and keeps it close.
Washington State (+11.5) at Boise State
Not reading too much into Wazzu’s loss last week. Getting into shootouts with Pac 12 teams is what Eastern Washington does. Boise State runs an up tempo offense and fields an aggressive defense that gives up a lot of big pass plays. That is precisely the sort of team that will get in a shootout with Mike Leach’s Cougars. Take the points.
UConn (+3.5) at Navy
Navy lost starting QB Tago Smith for the season against Fordham. This was for a team replacing its entire offensive line, and almost every running back. The Maine score was misleading. UConn has a very strong, reactive run defense. They have a size advantage between the tackles. This game comes down to a field goal.