Sdst Stanford

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San Diego St

vs.

Stanford

Week 1

College Football

Pick

8/31/18

Stanford has a big first couple weeks of the season with the Game against San Diego State followed by USC. The Cardinal didn’t have an over-the-top 2017, but still went to the Pac-12 title Game despite a 9-5 overall record. San Diego State has similar aspirations with hopes of reaching the MWC title Game and a Fourth-straight double-digit win season. Playing at home, Stanford is a -14.5 point favorite at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

The player most people care about for Stanford, and for good reason, is running back Bryce Love, one of the leaders in terms of Heisman odds. He ran for 2,118 yards and 19 touchdowns last year and had a bum ankle for the last few Games. Because of that, Love probably won’t be given the ball 30 times a Game, but 20 carries is good enough, especially after going for 184 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries in last year’s meeting. To win this Game, the Cardinal need a little more from their quarterback and that means K.J. Costello, who took over last season. As long as he doesn’t throw Games away like Keller Chryst did at times, that’ll be enough with Love in the backfield and Four starters returning on the line.

The Aztecs were great in that upset last year, but were only able to do it because Chryst threw two picks and only 72 yards. SDSU lost a couple guys on the defensive front and that could mean more success for Love in this Game. That said, betting on Stanford to win by two touchdowns is a bit much considering how this Game went last year. SDSU’s defense is good enough to keep the Scorelow and close. 

As for the Aztecs on offense, quarterback Christian Chapman may be asked to do a little more in his third season as starter after being a Game manager the last two years with Rashaad Penny doing everything else. Instead of Penny, they’ll lean heavily on Juwan Washington to get things going and if he only reaches half of the 175 yards Penny had against Stanford last year, that could be enough. The Aztecs return Four starters on the line and that should allow for them to Scoreat least a couple times. Stanford always has a solid defense, but if SDSU can move the chains on every drive behind an experienced quarterback and always-good running Game, the home team will have trouble breaking this Game open.

Betting on the Cardinal requires faith in Costello as the new full-time starter under center. While Love is excellent, Costello is the main difference in the offense from a year ago, but he’s still not exactly a Game breaker, failing to surpass 212 passing yards last year. With both teams expected to rely heavily on their ground Games, that should make it difficult for Stanford to win by a big margin. Of course, there’s a chance Love breaks out for two 50-plus-yard touchdowns in the first quarter and SDSU will have to play from behind the entire way. That’s an extreme situation, but one that can always happen with Love.

Our Pick – Stanford got caught looking ahead last year as they had UCLA on deck coming into the San Diego State Game in week 3 and were upset 20-17. No looking ahead this year as the Cardinal has been focused on week 1 and this opponent since spring. Revenge call here and figure on Stanford extending this margin as an exclamation point. Stanford -14.5