Last Week: 2-10
Last Week’s Best: Indiana at Northwestern, UNDER 52.5
There were only two to choose from and picking Wisconsin at -3.5 against Iowa was a little too easy. Of course, an 11 a.m. local kickoff between Northwestern and an Indiana team that can seem to stop sucking. Who knows. Maybe neither of them were good.
Last Week’s Worst: Arkansas (+10) at Auburn
Like last week when I was reviewing the picks from two weeks ago, there are a lot to choose from. But one really stands out. I went with BERT and the Hogs to cover at Auburn and the Tigers rolled 56-3. Honorable mention: All other picks, except Minnesota to cover against Rutger. I would make that pick again, even if I knew the result, because I wouldn’t believe Rutger would hang with another Big Ten team.
Last Week’s Bad Beat: Texas A&M (+18) at Alabama
The Aggies led the No. 1 team in the country 14-13 halfway through the 3rd quarter. But they wouldn’t score again and the Tide rolled off 20 unanswered points for a 19-point win. On the last real drive of the game, A&M moved the ball with ease and had it 3rd and 5 at the Alabama 25, but Trevor Knight was sacked for a 13-yard loss and then the Aggies turned the ball over on downs ending any hope of a backdoor cover.
At 3-19 over the last two weeks, and under .500 for the first time all season, it’s time for y’all to buy low and join the ride as we get back in the black numbers. Or, you know, the whole thing will be burned down by Saturday night.
Maryland at Indiana (-3.5), O/U 53, 3:30 p.m.
Well, I’m done thinking that Indiana is a good football team. At 3-4, the Hoosiers are in real danger of not reaching six wins and getting back to a bowl game. If they lose on Saturday, you can start getting ready for basketball season.
Maryland, on the other hand, is probably a lock for a bowl game at this point. They’ll win at least one more along the way. But they’re not as good as their record and the advanced stats suggest that they’ve not been nearly the same team in their last three games that they were during their 4-0 start.
All of that adds up my mind, for some reason unbeknownst to me (probably being a stupid Indiana fan), to the Hoosiers saving their season with a home win on Saturday. But the defense will have to do it, as Kevin Wilson’s offense continues to sputter.
Pick: Indiana (-3.5) AND Under 53
Top 25 Games
4 Washington (-10.5) at 17 Utah, O/U 54, 3:30 p.m.
When Indiana and Maryland look like a bunch of monkeys humping footballs halfway through the second quarter, flip over to FS1 and catch the Huskies and Utes. This one oughta be one of the best games of the weekend. Washington has marched through the Pac-12 thus far and appears to be just one win over Utah from being home free on their journey to a 12-0 conference title matchup with Colorado. But Utah has different plans.
The Utes have just one loss, a heartbreaker on the road against a bad Cal team. They have sights on the Pac-12 title game themselves, which would require wins over Washington and Colorado. But at 11-1, a second win over Washington in the Pac-12 championship might be enough to get them in the playoff, depending on what happens ahead of them.
All of that means that I wouldn’t dream of touching this line, but it’s one of the few college football games I’ve been excited to watch other than our Hoosiers this season. I think it has drama, and points, written all over it.
Pick: Over 54
7 Nebraska at 11 Wisconsin (-9), O/U 43, 7:00 p.m.
This is the first game in a stretch where everyone who hasn’t been watching learns that Nebraska isn’t very good. That over/under is tough to take a stab at, but I feel comfortable saying that Wisconsin is a couple scores better than Nebraska.
Pick: Wisconsin (-9)
3 Clemson (-4.5) at 12 Florida State, O/U 60, 8:00 p.m.
Clemson has one real test remaining before the ACC Championship. After this week, they’ll see Syracuse, Pitt, Wake Forest, and South Carolina. Dabo’s boys could sleepwalk the final four weeks of the season and get to 12-0 if they win in Tallahassee.
Florida State simply isn’t the same team Jimbo Fisher has had the past few seasons. They’ll put a fight at home, but the Tigers know that they’re incredible close to getting a second shot at a title that was well within reach last season. They won’t let that slip away against a mediocre Seminoles bunch.
Pick: Clemson (-4.5)
Big Ten Games
Minnesota at Illinois (NL), 12:00 p.m.
No line. Can’t lose this one!
2 Michigan (-24.5) at Michigan State, O/U 54.5, 12:00 p.m.
Okay, Michigan is really good. Michigan State, as this website has so often pointed out, is booty. But that line, in a rivalry game on the road? I don’t like it. At all.
But I like the points. If Michigan State gave up 50+ to Northwestern, the Wolverines can score plenty on them. I’ll take the over.
Pick: Over 54.5
Penn State (-13.5) at Purdue, O/U 57, 12:00 p.m.
Folks, this one seems way too easy. But this betting guide needs that. Penn State probably isn’t good enough to beat Ohio State again if they played another 9 or 99 times. But they’re plenty good to beat Purdue by two touchdowns 99 times out of 100. Let’s hope this isn’t the one.
Pick: Penn State (-13.5)
Northwestern at 6 Ohio State (-27.5), O/U 53, 3:30 p.m.
Oooh boy. Northwestern has looked so much better as of late, of course the Hoosiers helped with that. Ohio State hasn’t been good, at least by their standards. It appears that Buckeyes fans may be suffering through a, dare I say, 2-loss season (audible gasps heard all the way from Columbus).
I don’t like this line either, but in an effort to get back on track, I’m gonna go with both picks here. Call it a gut feeling, call it financially reckless but...
Pick: Northwestern (+27.5) and Over 53