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AP Top 25 against the spread: Mississippi State, Michigan State chase key road wins

Mississippi State running back Aeris Williams (26) looks for running room against Stephen F. Austin on Saturday in Starkville. MSU won 63-6.
Mississippi State running back Aeris Williams (26) looks for running room against Stephen F. Austin on Saturday in Starkville. MSU won 63-6. AP

The second week of the college football season doesn’t exactly have games like Michigan-Notre Dame or Washington-Auburn on the slate, but there are some intriguing contests to keep fans’ interest.

Two AP Top 25 teams have a chance this week to prove themselves on the road — No. 18 Mississippi State, who is at Kansas State, and No. 15 Michigan State, which is at Arizona State.

Georgia-South Carolina and USC-Stanford are two games that have major implications within the College Football Playoff.

Here’s a look at the Vegas odds and how I see games playing out:

7 p.m., Friday — No. 16 TCU at SMU (+22, 58.5) — The Horned Frogs will roll. North Texas led 36-0 over SMU after three quarters last week before UNT finished off a 46-23 win. My pick: TCU covers — TCU 49, SMU 17.

11 a.m., Saturday — New Mexico at No. 5 Wisconsin (-35, 61.5) — If New Mexico gave up 30 points to Incarnate Word last week, I’m taking the over. My pick: Wisconsin covers — Wisconsin 52, New Mexico 13.

11 a.m., Saturday — No. 18 Mississippi State at Kansas State (+9, 54) — Kansas State struggled to get by South Dakota 27-24 last week, but you can bet Bill Snyder will have the Wildcats ready. My pick: Kansas State covers — Mississippi State 28, Kansas State 24.

11 a.m., Saturday — Western Michigan at No. 21 Michigan (-28, 56.5) — Western Michigan can score points. Michigan is still working some things out on offense. Wolverine fans will have to sweat it out a little Saturday. My pick: Western Michigan covers — Michigan 38, Western Michigan 28.

Noon, Saturday — UCLA at No. 6 Oklahoma (-24, 62) — I like Oklahoma, bigly. My pick: Oklahoma covers — Oklahoma 52, UCLA 20.

2:30 p.m., Saturday — Arkansas State at No. 1 Alabama (-36.5, 66.5) — Arkansas State will receive $1.7 million for its troubles. My pick: Alabama covers — Alabama 56, Arkansas State 13.

2:30 p.m., Saturday — No. 3 Georgia at No. 24 South Carolina (+10, 57) The Bulldogs are looking for four straight over the Gamecocks. My pick: Georgia covers — Georgia 31, South Carolina 17.

2:30 p.m., Saturday — Rutgers at No. 4 Ohio State (-35, 64.5)My pick: Ohio State covers — Ohio State 52, Rutgers 13.

2:30 p.m., Saturday — Ball State at No. 8 Notre Dame (-34.5, 62.5)My pick: Notre Dame covers — Notre Dame 51, Ball State 14.

Penn State football coach James Franklin emphasized that he believes this is the most important game in the universe each week.

6 p.m., Saturday — No. 2 Clemson at Texas A&M (+12.5, 54) The Aggies were a little sluggish on offense early against Northwestern State last week. They’ll have to start out hot Saturday. My pick: Clemson covers — Clemson 38, Texas A&M 21.

6:30 p.m., Saturday — Kentucky at No. 25 Florida (-14, 49) — I can see the Gators taking a minor step back, but they’ve won 31 STRAIGHT against Kentucky. My pick: Florida covers — 35, Kentucky 20.

7 p.m., Saturday — No. 13 Penn State at Pittsburgh (+8.5, 56) — Pitt only put 33 points up against Albany last week. My pick — Penn State covers — Penn State 34, Pittsburgh 17.

7:30 p.m., Saturday — No. 17 USC at No. 10 Stanford (-5.5, 56 ½) — USC had its hands full with UNLV for much of last week’s 43-21 win. My pick — Stanford covers — Stanford 27, USC 21.

9:15 p.m., Saturday — UConn at No. 20 Boise State (-31, 64) — Boise State was impressive in a 56-20 win at Troy while UConn fell on its face in a 56-17 loss to UCF. My pick: Boise State covers — Boise State 48, UConn 14.

9:45 p.m., Saturday — No. 15 Michigan State at Arizona State (+6.5, 54)My pick: Michigan State covers — Michigan State 30, Arizona State 21.

Other games

6 p.m., Saturday — Louisiana-Monroe at Southern Miss (-6, 68)Last year’s 28-17 win by USM in Monroe was not as close as the final score indicated. ULM’s 34-31 victory over Southeastern Louisiana in the opener doesn’t give me much confidence that the Warhawks have turned a corner. I’d definitely take the under in this game. My pick: Southern Miss covers — USM 34, ULM 20.

6:30 p.m., Saturday — Arkansas at Colorado State (+14, 70) — This Game opened at -11.5 and quickly climbed. I see an even wider margin for the Razorbacks. My pick: Arkansas covers — Arkansas 42, Colorado State 20.

7 p.m., Saturday — South Alabama at Oklahoma State (-32.5, 63) — This margin of victory seems a bit much. My pick: South Alabama covers — Oklahoma State 45, South Alabama 14.

Patrick Magee: 228-896-2333, @Patrick_Magee.
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