Saturday, September 12, 2009

College Week 2 Preview Highlights - USC/Ohio State, Notre Dame/Michigan, UCLA/Tennessee, Idaho/Washington

I unfortunately do not have the time to provide previews for all the games each week, but will try to post previews of some of the more interesting games as I did for the Thursday night games this week.

The computer had a good Thursday against the spread having both Clemson +5.5 and Tennessee +6.5.  It didn't pick the winner correctly in the Clemson/GT game but it can't be perfect I guess :)  See all the picks for the current week for college here and for the NFL here.

This week the most interesting game nationally is probably USC visiting Ohio State.  The computer's pick in this game is USC by 7.4 and with the line in the 6.5 to 7 range, the narrow pick against the spread is USC.  Using the end of last season ratings though would have had the pick as USC by 5.2 though so this will be a test to see if USC's trouncing of San Jose State and/or Ohio State's narrow win over Navy are representative of how they will play the remainder of the year.

Another highly watched game will be Notre Dame visiting Michigan.  With Notre Dame picked by 4.2 and the line 3, Notre Dame is the pick.  And using last years ratings the pick would have been Notre Dame by 4.6 as both teams improved about the same amount after their week 1 impressive wins.

Last, in a game where Tennessee wants to make up for the loss last year, UCLA visits the Vols with the computer picking the Vols by 7.8.  The line had been around 7 early but is now around 10 so the pick is UCLA taking the points.  Both teams improved a bit after week 1 with the predicted margin shrinking just a bit from 8.9.  So again, a narrow pick.

And just for fun, the game with the largest gap between the computer's pick and the line is Idaho visiting Washington.  Washington did improve some after playing LSU tough in the opener, but the winless season from last year still weighs them down and the +21 points is the pick for an Idaho team that won by 15 on the road in week 1.  I expect Washington to win the game (computer pick by 4.4), but the margin will tell us whether they are back or if they will struggle in the Pac-10.

Enjoy the games!