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College Football Week 2 Upset Picks: USC a Road Dog?

Alex Kilpatrick

by Alex Kilpatrick in College Football

Updated Apr 1, 2020 · 1:15 PM PDT

USC Stanford
Stanford vs USC has been a tough, tight game for the last four years. Can USC pull an upset? Photo by Daniel Hartwig (Flickr) [CC License].
  • We have three Week 2 upset picks for you, including USC as an underdog
  • So far we’re up on this season! Let’s see how long that lasts
  • This is the year Kentucky beats Florida

Picking upsets last week was a lot of fun, and watching Hawaii beat up on Navy was doubly so. To review Week 1:

NCAA College Football Week 1 Results

Our Pick Result
SDSU (+415) L
Hawaii (+300) W

That leaves us up 2.0 units through Week 1. Let’s keep it going!

USC at Stanford

Team Spread Moneyline
USC +6.0 (-110) +190
Stanford -6.0 (-110) -230

I know, I know, I picked against Stanford last week and got embarrassed. (It helps if you read this next part in Stephen A Smith’s voice) Howeva–

These are tight, physical games, most often decided by who can win the physical battle up front. Normally you’d pick Stanford to win that matchup every time, because the Cardinal is famed for their play in the trenches. Normally.

Not after Stanford rushed for just 50 yards against SDSU last week. Not after Bryce Love rushed for just 29 yards on 18 carries. KJ Costello was tearing holes in the SDSU secondary, but Bryce Love and the Stanford rushing attack were virtually a non-factor. Could be a red herring, and for the PAC-12’s sake I hope it is, but in the meanwhile I’ll happily bet against them.

For their part, USC is doing just fine getting JT Daniels up to speed. With all the weapons at his disposal, Clay Helton can make life easy for Daniels, and if USC can run the ball like they have in the past they have a great shot at an upset.

Kentucky at Florida

Team Spread Moneyline
Kentucky +14.0 (-115) +375
Florida -14.0 (-110) -550

This is the year the streak ends.

I’m not really basing this on anything other than Kentucky being really experienced on defense and Florida being institutionally incapable of scoring any points at all. Florida still has tons of questions to answer in the pass game, and while Kentucky isn’t the most prolific team in football they are just the kind of stout and experienced team that presents too many challenges.

Let’s review how close this game came to an upset last year:

YouTube video

That’s not a comfortable margin of victory. I imagine that Kentucky will have taught its defensive backs the fine art of “not running off the field on third and 1.” Florida’s streak could very well be broken this week, and I’d love to have that ticket.

Michigan State at Arizona State

Team Spread Moneyline
Michigan State -6.0 (-110) -235
Arizona State +6.0 (-110) +195

The weird thing is that S&P+ actually projects Arizona State to win this game outright. S&P+ is, of course blind to things like Herm Edwards being 140 years old, but it’s still worth something here.

Arizona has proved a pretty treacherous place for road favorites, as fans of Washington, Oregon, or just about any PAC-12 team with national title aspirations will recall.

Things I like about this pick: home dogs have always been good to me, especially in the early weeks, especially for out-of-conference games. Arizona specifically has proved a pretty treacherous place for road favorites, as fans of Washington, Oregon, or just about any PAC-12 team with national title aspirations will recall.

YouTube video

Also: ASU played real well last week. Michigan State got off to a disappointing start, beating Utah State 38-31, and travelling all the way down to Tempe might be a big ask.

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