Here are our staff picks for this week’s top college football games., which are listed in standard Vegas rotational order.
Last week’s and year-to-date standings are at the bottom.
STANFORD (-7) Ucla (52.5), 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Stanford has won 11 in a row against UCLA and is 10-0-1 against the spread during this run.
“It’s irrelevant to this game,” UCLA coach Chip Kelly said. “The game four years ago shouldn’t matter in this game. It can’t be a psychological factor if no one talks about it.”
Kelly is right. Stanford is going with third-string quarterback Jack West, who will be making his first career start. We picked the game when the line was at 7. It’s down to 3.5 in some places.
Ohio St. (-28.5) NORTHWESTERN (49.5), 8:30 p.m. (BTN)
This game was moved from FS1 to the Big Ten Network to accommodate Game 5 of the American League Championship Series. According to DonBest.com, Ohio State is 3-7 against the spread in its last 10 games against teams with losing records. Northwestern (1-4) has been lumped up only once, 31-10 by Michigan State. Handle with care.
Oregon (-3) WASHINGTON (50.5), 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
A huge one for Oregon (5-1), which has given up just one touchdown during its five-game winning streak. The Ducks defensive coordinator, Andy Avalos, was on the staff at Boise State with now-Washington coach Chris Petersen.
Florida (-6) SOUTH CAROLINA (48.5), 12 p.m. (ESPN)
South Carolina expects to have starting quarterback Ryan Hilinski, who missed the last quarter and overtime of last week’s stunning win over Georgia. “We’re over that now,” linebacker Ernest Jones said. “We’ve got more of the season left.” Florida is 1-4-1 ATS in this series since 2013.
Lsu (-18) MISSISSIPPI ST. (61.5), 3:30 p.m. (CBS)
LSU jumped Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma — all are 6-0 — to move up to No. 2 after last week’s emphatic win over Florida. Look-ahead game? Mississippi State upset LSU in Starkville two years ago and lost, 19-3, down in Death Valley last season. LSU will be at Auburn next week.
Auburn (-18.5) ARKANSAS (55.5), 12 p.m. (SECN)
Auburn is coming off a bye after a loss to Florida in which top running back JaTarvious Whitlow went down with a knee injury. Arkansas has lost three in a row, but all were one-possession final scores, including a 31-27 defeat to Texas A&M.
Texas A&M (-6) MISSISSIPPI (56.5), 7:30 p.m. (SECN)
Ole Miss rotates quarterbacks. Sometimes on the same series. One’s a redshirt freshman (Matt Corral). The other’s a true freshman (John Rhys Plumlee). No thanks.
Iowa St. (-7) TEXAS TECH (55.5), 12 p.m. (FS1)
Texas Tech won at Okie State two weeks ago and took Baylor to double overtime last week. Wonderfully named quarterback Jett Duffey had 786 passing yards in those two games.
SMU (-7.5) Temple (58.5), 3:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
SMU is 6-0 for the first time since 1982. The Mustangs have 15 players who transferred in from Power Five conference schools, including former Texas quarterback Shane Buechele.
Could be a special weekend in Dallas for Philly fans if Temple and the Eagles could spring the mild upsets. The Owls are 0-2 ATS on the road this year.
» READ MORE: Another week, another big challenge for the Owls
PENN ST. (-8.5) Michigan (45.5), 7:30 p.m. (ABC)
Michigan has won four of the last five in this series. The exception was two years ago when Penn State pulled away in a 42-13 romp that was also a home “white out” game. Michigan’s defense has 12 sacks in the last two weeks and Penn State hasn’t given up more than 13 points all season. That 45.5 might be a little high.
» READ MORE: Clifford keeps the Nits offense running nicely
Year to date
Note: Luke Reasoner did not pick in Week 1.