College football picks, predictions, odds for Week 2: Northwestern an easy call as best bet

Each week, I will use this space to tell you what I think are a few of the best bets heading into the weekend. I will also throw in an upset of the week, which will be a team that is at least a touchdown underdog that I am picking to win outright. Also in this space will be picks on other games involving potential College Football Playoff teams. 

Last week, my picks went 2-1 and my upset special, Tulane, lost in overtime but covered the 7-point spread. Only Lane Kiffin, err FAU, let me down. Oklahoma looks to be just fine without Baker Mayfield.

Week 2 picks

Duke at Northwestern (-3): Quarterback Clayton Thorson is back for the Wildcats, and even though he split time with TJ Green at Purdue, the Northwestern offense showed some promise. The defense was opportunistic as well, picking off the Boilermakers three times  Duke was solid as well in a season opening win against Army, but I like the Cats at home somewhat comfortably. Pick: Northwestern (-3)

Fresno State at Minnesota (-2.5): Fresno State is a legitimate challenger to Boise State for supremacy in the Mountain West this season after coach Jeff Tedford engineered a nine-win turnaround in his debut season. Minnesota looked comfortable against New Mexico State a week ago, but the Gophers will have to work much harder this week. The Bulldogs are playing with a lot of confidence after running up a basketball score on Idaho last week. Pick: Fresno State (+2.5)

Rice at Hawaii (-17.5): OK, I'm buying into Hawaii. The Rainbow Warriors followed up an impressive win at Colorado State to start the season with an even better one against Navy at home last week. Hawaii is scoring in droves, having put up 102 points in its first two contests.  Rice nearly lost to Prairie View A&M at home. Traveling to Hawaii tends to bring out the worst in the visitors. Pick: Hawaii (-17.5)

Upset of the week

Memphis at Navy (+6.5): Memphis lit up Mercer to start the season, while the Navy got sunk at Hawaii. The Midshipmen gave up 52 points, which obviously will not get the job done against the Tigers. I think Navy is better than they showed in their season opener in paradise. In the three seasons since Navy joined the American Athletic Conference, the winner of this game has won or shared the division title. That is likely to be true again this season. Pick: Navy (+6.5)

So which teams should you back in Week 2 of the college football season? Visit SportsLine now to see the projected final score for every FBS matchup, all from the model that nailed its final seven picks of the 2017-18 season and has returned over $4,000 in profit to $100 bettors over the last three seasons.

Other CFP candidates

  • Arkansas St at Alabama (-36.5)
  • Clemson at Texas A&M (+12.5)
  • Georgia at South Carolina (-10)
  • Rutgers at Ohio State (-35)
  • New Mexico at Wisconsin (-35)
  • UCLA at Oklahoma (-30)
  • Ball State at Notre Dame (-34.5)
  • USC at Stanford (-5.5)
  • Penn State at Pitt (+9)
  • Michigan State at Arizona State (+5.5)
CBS Sports Senior Writer

Jerry Palm started writing about sports on the Internet right after Al Gore invented it. He was the first to bring RPI out in the open and is one of the pioneers of predicting the March Madness bracket.... Full Bio

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