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Utah St at Utah -13, 44
Utah might be even better this year than they were last year, but Utah St had made major improvements as a program in recent years, and the last home and home series these teams played in 2012 and 2013 were both very close. Utah St returned 15 starters this year, including multiple key contributors on offense. The spread opened at -12, so curiously the initial line movement favored Utah even as a double-digit favorite, but I wouldn't be surprised to see sharp action come in on Utah St on game day, and see the line drop.
Oregon St at Michigan -16.5, 45
Initial line move from -15 to -14 was likely sharp action and favored Oregon St. But the line has since bounced back up to -16.5. Michigan is tough and experienced, but possibly still not fully in sync on offense. Dual-threat freshman QB for Oregon St Seth Collins is promising, but an early-season road game here against a strong defense will be a very tough assignment, and Oregon St struggled to pass at home against weak Weber St in Week 1. Any significant late line movement on the spread in this one will probably be telling.
Massachusetts at Colorado -13, 62.5
UMass was an excellent ATS team last season, including getting easy covers in close losses against both Vanderbilt and Colorado. Playing in the thin air could pose a bit of a unique hurdle for UMass this week, but the early market betting action has not been concerned about that in this spread range, and has bet UMass down from a 16-point underdog on the opener to the current line of +13. UMass is undersized on defense, but has a legitimately potent enough offense to go score-for-score with teams at Colorado's level, as they proved last season. UMass returns 18 starters from last year, and may still have line value at +13.
Sacramento St at Washington (no line)
A tune-up game for Washington before they host gritty Utah St the week after, and then start conference play. But watch out for this game. There will be a spread released for it closer to kickoff, and even though Sacramento St is just a mid-range Big Sky team, they were good enough to get outright upset road wins in both 2012, as a 21-point underdog at Colorado, and 2011, as a 27.5-point underdog against Oregon St. More recently in 2013 and2014, they got blown out against Arizona St and Cal, respectively, and lost ATS in both of those games as well, even as a huge underdog. So Sacramento St will be outmatched, but they do have some history of outplaying market expectations against lower-level Pac 12 teams.
Washington St at Rutgers -2, 63
A curiously low spread at first glance, considering Washington St lost at home as a 30-point favorite to Portland St in Week 1, and also lost at home to Rutgers last season. But this line is low for a reason. Rutgers' win last year required a 4th quarter comeback, aided by a key Washington St fumble on a punt return late in the game. And Rutgers' secondary has become very thin and inexperienced after the dismissal from the team of 4 defensive backs, 3 of whom were slated to be starters, which might result in Rutgers being unusually vulnerable on defense against Washington St's overwhelmingly pass-heavy offensive attack. A bounce-back win by Washington St would not be a surprise at all.
San Diego St at Cal -14, 61
A massive overall line move in favor of Cal over the week, from an opener of about -8 all the way up to -14 currently. Interestingly, the total hasn't moved at all, so someone whose betting action is respected really, really, really likes Cal to win by double digits. San Diego St was picked to win the West division in the Mountain West this year, but the offense appeared to struggle in Week 1. Then again, they weren't opening up the playbook against San Diego. We'll get a good sense of just how unstoppable Cal's offense really is this week. This was a major and very interesting line move, in light of how well-regarded San Diego St was to start the season.
Arizona at Nevada +11.5, 62.5
Nevada in an interesting spot as a double-digit home underdog to Arizona, who lost by a mile ATS in Week 1, beating UTSA by only 10 as a 32-point favorite. Arizona did have some players suspended for the UTSA game, but not 22 points' worth. And star linebacker Scooby Wright is now injured and out for this game. Last season, Nevada played Arizona in Tucson relatively close and got a cover by double-digits. Nevada does have a young secondary,which is dangerous with Arizona QB Anu Solomon appearing to be as good as ever in Week 1. A blowout win by Arizona wouldn't be a surprise, but in general, the Wildcats have recently tended to play relatively close games, fully evidenced by the Nevada game last year and against UTSA last week. Nevada may be deemed by the market to have value as a home underdog, and we may see this line dip from the current 11.5 by kickoff.
Oregon at Michigan St -4, 66.5
Marquee game of the week is sure to attract massive betting action from the public, most likely evenly split. Not much to take from the Week 1 games. Both teams got comfortable wins but lost ATS as huge favorites. It will be interesting to see if sharp action comes in on either side of this spread. Oregon does have some hurdles they'll have to overcome. In last year's game in Eugene, the Ducks were down by 9 in the third quarter, but were able to pull away by pulling off big plays offensively. That figures to be significantly tougher this year, with transfer QB Vernon Adams facing the toughest defense he has ever played against, and on the road. And Oregon's defense looked less than elite against Eastern Washington in Week 1, with problems tackling, in the secondary, and pressuring the QB.
Idaho at USC -43, 66
USC's massive Week 1 blowout win was eye-opening and impressive, as Arkansas St is not a complete pushover. But these games with 40+-point spreads are tricky. USC can probably name the score, but what score will they be motivated to name? They have a home game against Stanford next week, so extending a lead in the 30s over Idaho into the 40s late in the game is not something we can be sure they'll be inspired to do. This game will probably see relatively light betting action, and I would guess a complete pass from the sharps as far as the spread is concerned.
Central Florida at Stanford -19, 45.5
Both teams lost outright as a double-digit favorite in Week 1, but the Stanford loss was much more surprising. Central Florida is rebuilding, and their line against FIU got bet way down, while the general preseason expectations for Stanford were very high. Many forecasts pegged Stanford as likely to have a stronger offense than usual, to go along with their standard stout defense. Despite having a road game at USC next week, a look-ahead by Stanford is less likely now because of the Week 1 loss. And the early Pacific start time to the Northwestern game may have been a forgivable contributing factor to their Week 1 sluggishness. The question is how strongly will Stanford bounce back? Quality programs do tend to bounce back after losses, and Stanford is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a loss. It is a high spread for a game with such a low total, and it's gotten bet up from the opener of -17. We'll see if it holds at the current line of -19, or if it gets bet back down, possibly below -17, would almost certainly suggest sharp action on UCF. If the line holds, Stanford more likely than not will cover.
UCLA at UNLV +30, 66
UNLV is one of the more interesting lower-profile teams in college football this year. From a roster perspective, things were looking pretty unpromising for them to start the year, but they also made an interesting new hire at head coach in Tony Sanchez, who had only coached high school football but with great long-term success. And in Week 1, UNLV played way above their market valuation, getting a double-digit cover as a big underdog against legitimately tough Northern Illinois. So UNLV may have more ATS wins in store this season, but this week might not be the best time to look for another one. They'll probably be good to look to bet on when matched up against a non-elite team that might be overrated, but that is not UCLA at the moment at all. If they stay healthy, UCLA should be a dominant team this year, and they were undervalued by the market on their futures odds to start the season, attracting notable sharp betting action on their various futures odds. If the total sees significant movement on game day, that will probably be an indicator of sharp action, especially if it moves lower.
Cal Poly at Arizona St (no line)
Cal Poly is a decent FCS team from the Big Sky conference, and they have had some nice covers against FBS teams in recent years. They've also had some flops as well though, and Arizona St off of a loss might not be the kind of FBS team you'd want to look to bet against with Cal Poly. Poly does run the always-tricky triple-option offense that can help give overmatched teams betting value as a big underdog at times, so we'll see what the spread on the game is when it opens. If the spread is big enough, Poly could be worth a shot for a cover.