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Spread picks for every college football game in 2018’s Week 2

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Does South Carolina have a chance of upsetting Georgia? Can Penn State and Michigan State bounce back on the road after shaky Week 1 wins?

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Below are FBS picks and projections using the S&P+ projections, listed in full for all 130 FBS teams here. See the bottom of the post for more detail about these.

The spread (listed in parentheses) is shown next to S&P+’s pick for each game. The team in bold is projected to beat the spread. (At most books, there is no listed spread for FCS games.) When S&P+ predicts a tie or a push (a tie with Vegas, basically), I list the pick on the side S&P+ would pick if teams could score in decimals.

This document breaks games (and S&P+’s season performance to date) out into their decimal glory. This year, I am including and monitoring total (over/under) picks as well.

Friday

NCAA Football: Southern at Texas Christian
TCU’s Shawn Robinson
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
  • No. 16 TCU (-23.5) 46, SMU 19 (Sep. 7, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

TCU very much handled its business against Southern in the opener, while SMU laid an outright egg against North Texas. A bounce back isn’t likely just yet for the Mustangs.

Ranked vs. ranked

NCAA Football: San Diego State at Stanford
Stanford’s JJ Arcega-Whiteside
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
  • No. 3 Georgia (-10) 36, No. 24 South Carolina 23 (Sep. 8, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • No. 10 Stanford (-5.5) 32, No. 17 USC 24 (Sep. 8, 8:30 p.m. ET, Fox)

Does South Carolina have a legitimate shot at an upset, or are we just talking ourselves into the Gamecocks because everyone else has an even smaller chance at an upset? S&P+ appears to suspect the latter. S&P+ also thinks Stanford’s chances at revenge, after losing twice to USC a year ago, are high.

Other ranked teams in action

Penn State v Pittsburgh
Heinz Field should be raucous on Saturday night
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
  • No. 1 Alabama 52, Arkansas State (+35.5) 17 (Sep. 8, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
  • No. 2 Clemson 32, Texas A&M (+12.5) 20 (Sep. 8, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • No. 4 Ohio State 43, Rutgers (+35.5) 10 (Sep. 8, 3:30 p.m. ET, BTN)
  • No. 5 Wisconsin 51, New Mexico (+35) 22 (Sep. 8, 12 p.m. ET, BTN)
  • No. 6 Oklahoma 43 (-30.5), UCLA 7 (Sep. 8, 1 p.m. ET, Fox)
  • No. 7 Auburn 80, Alabama State 0 (Sep. 8, 7:30 p.m. ET, SECN)
  • No. 8 Notre Dame 39, Ball State (+35.5) 10 (Sep. 8, 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC)
  • No. 9 Washington 45, North Dakota 0 (Sep. 8, 5 p.m. ET, Pac-12)
  • No. 11 LSU 55, SE Louisiana 0 (Sep. 8, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
  • No. 12 Virginia Tech 45, Willam & Mary 0 (Sep. 8, 2 p.m. ET, ACCN)
  • No. 13 Penn State 42, Pittsburgh (+9.5) 33 (Sep. 8, 8 p.m. ET, ABC)
  • No. 14 West Virginia 34, Youngstown State 7 (Sep. 8, 6 p.m. ET, ATTPI)
  • Arizona State (+7) 33, No. 15 Michigan State 31 (Sep. 8, 10:45 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • No. 18 Mississippi State (-9) 35, Kansas State 10 (Sep. 8, 12 p.m.ET, ESPN)
  • No. 19 UCF 56, SC State 0 (Sep. 8, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
  • No. 20 Boise State (-31.5) 58, UConn 12 (Sep. 8, 10:15 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
  • No. 21 Michigan (-28) 44, Western Michigan 16 (Sep. 8, 12 p.m.ET, FS1)
  • No. 22 Miami 63, Savannah State 0 (Sep. 8, 6 p.m. ET, ACCN)
  • No. 23 Oregon 49, Portland State 0 (Sep. 8, 2 p.m.ET, Pac-12)
  • No. 25 Florida (-14) 34, Kentucky 16 (Sep. 8, 7:30 p.m. ET, SECN)

Man oh man, a lot of these projections are very close to the spread, including the prime time headliner, Penn State at Pitt. One that isn’t: Arizona State is projected to beat Michigan State outright. Can Herm Edwards’ squad make an early statement?

Power 5 vs. Power 5

Colorado v Nebraska
Colorado and Nebraska haven’t played since 2010
Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images
  • Colorado (+3.5) 33, Nebraska 28 (Sep. 8, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
  • Duke 34 (+3), Northwestern 32 (Sep. 8, 12 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
  • Iowa (-4.5) 26, Iowa State 15 (Sep. 8, 5 p.m. ET, Fox)
  • Virginia (+6.5) 29, Indiana 27 (Sep. 8, 7:30 p.m. ET, BTN)

S&P+ was redesigned to be a little more quickly reactive early in the season, and we’re seeing the effects of that with the Colorado projection. The Buffaloes looked tremendous against Colorado State last week, but are they ready for the Huskers, who have yet to play at all?

FBS vs. FBS

Mountain West Championship - Fresno State v Boise State
Fresno State’s Jeff Tedford
Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images
  • Appalachian State 36, Charlotte (+14) 24 (Sep. 8, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
  • Arkansas (-14.5) 47, Colorado State 26 (Sep. 8, 7:30 p.m. ET, CBSSN)
  • Baylor (-16) 51, UTSA 30 (Sep. 8, 7 p.m. ET, Facebook)
  • Buffalo (+5) 28, Temple 23 (Sep. 8, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
  • BYU 23, California (+3) 21 (Sep. 8, 10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
  • Central Michigan (-5.5) 21, Kansas 15 (Sep. 8, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
  • Cincinnati (+1) 29, Miami (Ohio) 27 (Sep. 8, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
  • Florida Atlantic 23, Air Force (+9.5) 23 (Sep. 8, 2 p.m. ET, Facebook)
  • Florida International (-1) 34, Old Dominion 26 (Sep. 8, 7:30 p.m. ET, beIN)
  • Fresno State (+2.5) 32, Minnesota 28 (Sep. 8, 7:30 p.m. ET, FS1)
  • Georgia Southern 36, UMass (+2.5) 34 (Sep. 8, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
  • Hawaii 46, Rice (+18) 39 (Sep. 8, 11:59 p.m. ET, Stadium)
  • Houston (-3.5) 36, Arizona 32 (Sep. 8, 12 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2)
  • Liberty (+9) 31, Army 30 (Sep. 8, 12 p.m. ET, CBSSN)
  • Maryland (-16) 45, Bowling Green 29 (Sep. 8, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN+) (actual projected score: Maryland 45.0, Bowling Green 28.8)
  • Memphis (-7) 55, Navy 28 (Sep. 8, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBSSN)
  • Missouri (-18.5) 42, Wyoming 24 (Sep. 8, 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU) (actual projected score: 42.2 to 23.6)
  • NC State 32, Georgia State (+24.5) 12 (Sep. 8, 12:30 p.m. ET, ACCN)
  • North Carolina (-17) 23, East Carolina 4 (Sep. 8, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
  • Oklahoma State 47, South Alabama (+33) 16 (Sep. 8, 8 p.m. ET, FSN)
  • Purdue 33, Eastern Michigan (+17) 31 (Sep. 8, 12 p.m. ET, BTN)
  • Southern Miss (-5.5) 35, UL-Monroe 17 (Sep. 8, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
  • Texas 36, Tulsa (+23) 20 (Sep. 8, 8 p.m. ET, LHN)
  • UAB (-10) 36, Coastal Carolina 19 (Sep. 8, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
  • UNLV 37, UTEP (+24) 13 (Sep. 8, 9 p.m. ET, MWC Video) (actual projected score: UNLV 37.1, UTEP 13.3)
  • USF (+3.5) 25, Georgia Tech 23 (Sep. 8, 12 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2)
  • Utah (-10.5) 28, Northern Illinois 4 (Sep. 8, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNN)
  • Utah State 45, New Mexico State (+24) 24 (Sep. 8, 8 p.m. ET, Facebook)
  • Vanderbilt (-8) 37, Nevada 28 (Sep. 8, 12 p.m.PM ET, SECN)
  • Washington State (-34.5) 54, San Jose State 12 (Sep. 8, 11 p.m. ET, Pac-12)

Fresno State’s got a chance to make a statement in the race for the Group of Five’s New Years Six bowl slot. Meanwhile, no, I don’t believe that Purdue-EMU projection either. EMU leaped to No. 59 last week, and I doubt that lasts.

FBS vs. FCS

NCAA Football: Massachusetts at Boston College
BC’s Javian Dayne (yes, Ron Dayne’s son)
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
  • Akron 37, Morgan State 0 (Sep. 8, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
  • Boston College 56, Holy Cross 0 (Sep. 8, 1 p.m. ET, ACCN)
  • Florida State 21, Samford 0 (Sep. 8, 7:20 p.m. ET, ACCN)
  • Illinois 19, Western Illinois 15 (Sep. 8, 7:30 p.m. ET, BTN)
  • Kent State 31, Howard 7 (Sep. 8, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
  • Louisiana Tech 31, Southern 2 (Sep. 8, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
  • Louisville 31, Indiana State 1 (Sep. 8, 7 p.m. ET, ACCN)
  • Marshall 36, Eastern Kentucky 1 (Sep. 8, 6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
  • Middle Tennessee 14, UT Martin 6 (Sep. 8, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
  • North Texas 45, Incarnate Word 0 (Sep. 8, 7:30 PM ET, ESPN+)
  • Ole Miss 40, Southern Illinois 0 (Sep. 8, 4 p.m. ET, SECN)
  • Oregon State 24, Southern Utah 16 (Sep. 8, 8 p.m. ET, Pac-12)
  • San Diego State 23, Sacramento State 3 (Sep. 8, 9 p.m. ET, )
  • Syracuse 43, Wagner 2 (Sep. 8, 3:30 p.m. ET, ACCN)
  • Tennessee 36, East Tennessee St. 6 (Sep. 8, 4 p.m. ET, SECN)
  • Texas State 25, Texas Southern 0 (Sep. 8, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
  • Texas Tech 37, Lamar 2 (Sep. 8, 4 p.m. ET, FSN)
  • Troy 33, Florida A&M 7 (Sep. 8, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
  • Tulane 21, Nicholls 3 (Sep. 8, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
  • Wake Forest 35, Towson 0 (Sep. 8, 12 p.m. ET, ACCN)
  • Western Kentucky 19, Maine 5 (Sep. 8, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Your “Hell yes” cupcake matchup of the week: BC and Holy Cross played nearly every year until 1986 but haven’t played since. It will be a blowout, but it will allow me to reminisce about the Doug Flutie BC teams. Hell yes.


Each year, I post weekly S&P+ picks as a way of affirming the ratings’ validity. I use my S&P+ system as a complement to most of my analysis, and the picks are a way of showing it generally knows what it’s talking about.

S&P+ tends to hit between 50 (meh) and 54 percent (great) against the spread from year to year. It isn’t always the single best performer, but it holds its own.

And beyond picks, it goes deeper than any other set of college football analytics on the market. You can go into granular detail regarding team strengths and weaknesses in a way that no other set of ratings allows. (See the annual team statistical profiles, which will be unveiled for 2018 in a couple of weeks, as proof.)