College football is chugging right along into its second week of the season.
After getting a look at some of the elite squads in action in the first week, the Vegas oddsmaker OddsShark has already put its computer to work.
It’s predicting games to be closer than you might expect, and one major upset in the second week of the season.
Michigan 43.2, vs. Cincinnati 8.2
No surprises here. The Wolverines got off to a slow start in the first half against the Gators, it was one-way traffic in the second half. Jim Harbaugh and Company pulled away and looked like a formidable player in the battle for the Big Ten this season. Cincinnati, well, eight points might be generous.
Louisville 36.6, vs. North Carolina 29
Returning Heisman trophy winner Lamar Jackson is supposed to be working from under center more this season. He directed a potent Cardinals offense mostly out of the shotgun last year, and relied on his legs to gouge defenses for chunks of yardage. The Tar Heels played Cal tough last week, but ultimately came up short. They’ll present Louisville with a challenge, but OddsShark doesn’t seem them pulling it out. Louisville is favored by slightly more than a touchdown.
Alabama 48.7, Fresno State 3.8
We don’t need to spend much time here. Even when Deondre Francois was on the field, the Tide was rolling. Their conditioning, level of talent, coaching, and execution is a cut above the pack. The Seminoles put up a valiant effort, but they came up well short. The Bulldogs will collect a nice check and be on their way.
Penn State 47.4, Pittsburgh 27.4
If there was anyone who doubted whether or not Penn State was for real, week one should have shut them up. The Akron Zips might not attract the cream of the crop talent in the country, but even FCS teams tend to manage a field goal playing the best in the country. The Zips didn’t sniff the end zone and the Nittany Lions rolled to a 52-0 shutout. Saquon Barkley ran for 172-yards seemingly without breaking a sweat. Meanwhile, Pitt barely pulled out a win over Youngstown State. So much for a soft opening. The Panthers will be outclassed in this one, and scoring anything close to four touchdowns seems like a stretch. Penn State’s defense will be vastly superior to Youngstown State’s.
Miami 31, Arkansas State 28.4
Miami stomped Bethune-Cookman into the ground. They face a significantly better opponent against Arkansas State in week two, and OddsShark computer is predicting this game will be close. Many experts are predicting this will be a trap game for the Hurricanes who travel into hostile territory for an early test. It won’t be this close, and the Canes should dispatch Red-Wolves with ease.
Oregon 30.7, Nebraska 29.7
Oregon ran over Southern Utah, putting up 77-points and looking like they were in midseason form while doing it. They’ll face a much tougher opponent in Nebraska in week two. The Cornhuskers struggled with Arkansas State, eventually pulling away and winning by seven points in the fourth quarter. It was a close matchup, and week two will be a challenge for both teams. OddsShark thinks the Ducks will squeak by the Cornhuskers, but for all intents and purposes, this one is a push. One point doesn’t convey much certainty or conviction.
Clemson 38.6, Auburn 35.4
Clemson was supposed to take a step back after all of their championship players left via the draft or graduation. They didn’t look like it in week one. OddsShark’s computer sees them beating a significantly better team in the Auburn Tigers in week 2. The Tigers handled Georgia Southern in week one, but are appear to be the lesser of two tigers in week two.
Georgia 28.2, Notre Dame 28
If you want to call it an edge, you can, but it isn’t much. The Bulldogs beat Appalachian State with no drama in the first week. Meanwhile Notre Dame played a poorly equipped Temple team but held them to only 16 points. Both crushed an inferior opponent, but will face significantly better opposition in week two. This appears too close for the OddsShark computer to call, but it gives Georgia a fractional edge.
USC 39.7, Stanford 31.8
If he’s going to win the Heisman, Sam Darnold better look a lot better in the second week of the season. In fact, a repeat performance would probably cost him the game. OddsShark is expecting a closely fought PAC 12 matchup between Southern California and Stanford. One week of bad quarterbacking doesn’t have the OddsShark computer jumping off the Darnold bandwagon though. USC gets nearly an eight point edge here.
Oklahoma 42.3, Ohio State 36.2
If you saw this coming, raise your hand. Now look around, those are the people who are lying. The Sooners are a talented football team, and they tossed the UTEP Miners around like they were made out of goose-down feathers in week one, so an upset isn’t beyond the realm of possibility. But Ohio State outclassed a talented Indiana team, putting up a crooked 49-points against a quality opponent. The OddsShark computer has the Buckeyes suffering an early loss. If it’s right, it’ll be an uphill climb to get back into the CFP race.