, Stanford Cardinal quarterback Tanner McKee (18) runs up field during a college football game between the Stanford Cardinal and the USC Trojans
Left: Photo by Harry How/Getty Images, Right: Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Best Bets for Week 2: Sam Hartman Returns, McKee Takes on USC & A Late Night Snack


Rough start to the first week of the season. My cold hard facts were spot on, but it just couldn't pay the bills in that Army/Coastal Carolina under.

But if you tailed my gut feeling that Florida was for real this year and was going to upset No. 7 Utah, then good on ya!

It's a new week and a new slate of games. Here is what I am looking at this week.


No. Wake Forest at Vanderbilt

Sam Hartman gets ready to make a throw for Wake Forest.

Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

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This spread was -8 until word of Sam Hartman's return pushed it up to -13 in favor of the Demon Deacons. I like this spread as long as it stays within two touchdowns. Hartman, barring any rust from his recent blood clot surgery in early August, was one of the best quarterbacks in the nation last season. It doesn't seem necessary to rush him back two weeks before taking on Clemson just to face a beatable Vanderbilt program, so the coaching staff must believe he is ready to shine. I'll lay points on the chalk favorite.

Pick: Wake Forest -13

No. 25 Houston at Texas Tech (-3.5)

Shasta, the Houston Cougars mascot, during the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl between the Houston Cougars and the Auburn Tigers

Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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I like trends, never let it be said I don't like trends. The Cougars have not won in Lubbock since 1990. Hmmm... Florida had not lost a week one game in the Swamp since 1989 and that paid out last week, so we're going back to the well with the Red Raiders. Additionally, Tech has won 9 of the last 10

Houston also had a rough Week 1, needing triple OT to put away UTSA, and this line should remain low with Tyler Shough being out. Donovan Smith tossed four touchdowns against Murray State and Houston gave up 337 yards through the air to UTSA, so there's still some meat on the bone. But Houston's offense did not look good for stretches of their last game.

Give me the quarterback who narrowly lost a tight quarterback battle this summer to give coach Joey McGuire a reason he shouldn't give it back.

Pick: Texas Tech -3.5


USC (-8) at Stanford

Tanner McKee #18 of the Stanford Cardinal drops back to pass against the UCLA Bruins during the first quarter of an NCAA football game

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

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The Lincoln Riley era has begun at USC, they are going to be the heavy betting favorites. 84% of the public bets are coming in on USC and since there is such a thing as a sure thing.....

No, there's no sure thing. Especially in betting. 52% of the MONEY is coming in on Stanford. That means there is heavy sharp action on Stanford to cover. Wow.

The Cardinal have won two of the last three meetings and four of the last five at home over the Trojans. Stanford also returns 17 starters and has one of the most experienced teams in 2022. It's a gamble, and I think USC will win, but I like the points on the Cardinal right now.


I may see if it ticks back up some, but I'll play it down as far as +7.5.

Pick: Stanford +8.5

Baylor at BYU (o/u 53)

Puka Nacua #12 celebrates with Keanu Hill #1 of the Brigham Young Cougars after scoring in the first quarter against the South Florida Bulls, Blake Shapen #12 of the Baylor Bears carries the ball to the goal line to score a touchdown against the Albany Great Danes

Left: Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images, Right:Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

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A rare ranked against a ranked team in the late night spot, and some decent betting action is to be had if those on the East Coast can stay up for it. My notion is to lean towards BYU, who is laying three points at home against the defending Big 12 champs.


What concerns me is that BYU traveled to USF to hang 50 on them. While that was an impressive outing, cross-country travel only to immediately then face the No. 9 team is a concern. So I'm going to look at the over/under, which is set at 53. This feels a bit on the low side considering BYU has one of the top offenses in the country and just put up 50 points a week ago. Baylor has a tough defense, but Jaren Hall's ability to extend the play should allow BYU to score, which means this might be a bit of a back-and-forth contest. I like it to narrowly hit the over.

Pick: Over 53

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