Penn State vs. Pitt, USC vs. Stanford Rivalries Headline Otherwise Ho-Hum College Football Week Two

Posted on: September 7, 2018, 04:00h. 

Last updated on: September 12, 2018, 09:58h.

The No. 13 Penn State Nittany Lions (1-0) travel 140 miles west to play in-state rivals Pittsburgh Panthers (1-0) in a nationally televised Saturday night primetime broadcast. The game is one of the marquee matchups that fans are looking forward to in second week of the college football season.

Penn State college football odds
Penn State is hoping for a slightly less drama-filled week two game when it plays rival Pittsburgh Saturday night on ABC. (Image: Justin Aller/Getty)

PSU is an 8.5-point favorite, and the over/under is at 55.5 points. That might be an attractive underdog betting opportunity considering Penn State’s nearly shocking defeat a week ago at home to Appalachian State.

The Nittany Lions needed overtime to finally defeat the Division I-FBS program 45-38. Before kickoff last Saturday, Penn State was a 24-point favorite over the Mountaineers.

Pitt enjoys nothing more than beating Penn State. And it hasn’t been long since they’ve done just that. When the rivalry renewed in 2016 following a 16-year hiatus, the Panthers upset the Nittany Lions 42-39 at Heinz Field, which is where Saturday’s game is being played.

Pittsburgh is coming off a 33-7 win over Albany. Pitt barely covered the 25.5-point spread.

Other Rivalry Games

It seems rather unlikely that a highly ranked program will be upset in week two of the college football season. But there are two ranked vs. ranked games, and both are storied rivalries where anything can happen.

No. 3 Georgia visits No. 24 South Carolina in the SEC rivalry game. The Bulldogs are strong favorites, and are spotting the Gamecocks 10.5 points. The matchup kicks off at 3:30 pm ET.

While the media is hyping up the rivalry, ESPN’s Football Power Index, which runs 10,000 simulations based on various data points, gives Georgia a 73.3 percent chance of winning.

Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm won’t get rattled, will play smart with the football and keep Georgia in it into the fourth quarter. Running back D’Andre Swift will take it from there, and lead the Bulldogs to a hard-fought win,” CBS Sports college football writer Barrett Sallee predicts, but believes South Carolina will cover the spread.

No. 17 USC travels to play in-instate rival No. 10 Stanford, with kickoff set for 8:30 pm ET. The home team Cardinals are six-point favorites, and the Football Power Index gives them a 70 percent chance of prevailing.

Anything Can Happen

The rest of the best are playing what should amount to little more than warmup wins. No. 1 Alabama is spotting Arkansas State a staggering 36.5 points, No. 4 Ohio State is spotting Rutgers 35 points, and No. 5 Wisconsin is also favored by 35 while hosting New Mexico.

There is one game, however, that could have a top-five program on upset alert.

No. 2 Clemson is a 12-point favorite playing at coach Jimbo Fisher’s new school Texas A&M. ESPN analyst Trevor Matich believes the Bulldogs have the better talent, but the Aggies “have one-on-one matchups where they can win.”

“No one knows better about how to scheme those kinds of matchups than Jimbo Fisher,” Matich opined. “And when he was at Florida State, he played Clemson a lot.”