THE WEEKEND’S BEST BETS
BRIAN BLESSING THE LINEMAKERS SPORTINGNEWS.COM (0-0)
STANFORD (-2½) over Southern California
Why is everyone overlooking the Cardinal this season? Stanford is eyeing revenge, losing 20-17 at USC last year in a terrible letdown spot after beating Oregon. Junior quarterback Kevin Hogan won’t just manage games this season, as it is his time to shine, and wide receiver Ty Montgomery is a playmaker who usually steps up on the big stage. The Trojans proved little by thrashing Fresno State last week.
STEVE COFIELD ESPN1100.COM (0-0)
Michigan (+4) over NOTRE DAME
This is one of the most competitive rivalries in the country, but the Wolverines are 6-2 ATS in recent meetings versus the Fighting Irish. There is some bad blood between the teams, and Michigan coach Brady Hoke will have his team highly motivated. Notre Dame is patching things together on defense with two starters suspended.
ED GRANEY LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL (0-0)
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (-6½) over Cleveland Browns
Cleveland last won in Pittsburgh about the time French and British explorers encountered the juncture where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers meet. That, and there’s a better chance Johnny Football spent his week trying to get Molly’s number from Wes Welker than preparing to come off the bench and save the day for the Browns.
MATT YOUMANS LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL (0-0)
BALTIMORE RAVENS (-1½) over Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals are 0-4 in their past four trips to Baltimore. The Ravens were the NFL’s most impressive team in the preseason, and quarterback Joe Flacco was especially sharp. This will be a bounce-back season for Baltimore, and a back-to-reality trip for the Bengals, who will miss defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. Flacco and the Ravens should win by a touchdown.