Sticking with the Big Ten, mostly

Week 11 Review: 2-3. Winners: Iowa -4.5 and Rutgers-Indiana under 42.5. Losers: Washington +185 ML, Penn State +105 ML, and Iowa State -10.5 (BB).

Not a good Week 11, but I really can’t complain about 2-3 when the covers were by a total of 2 points. My strategy of going to the B1G because I know it best worked out as we went 2 for 3 on those games. Way off on Iowa St who really has disappointed thoroughly, despite their head coach claiming all they ever wanted to do was worry about process in this week’s press conference. The SEC slate is especially weak with more teams taking their FCS November “bye” than even last week. On to the five perfect picks:

Bet 1: Rutgers +18 (-105) at Penn State (11:00am CT, BTN; all odds via PointsBet)

The fact this line moved the opposite way in which I expected (it was 17 for most of the week) gives me some pause, as well as the need for Penn St to really fend off their closest geographic rival in terms of recruiting, but it’s just too many points. Many have noted that Schiano has done a great job of bringing the best out of his team in the games they have a real chance to win outright (Illinois and Indiana, exception being Northwestern), but they simply have too much confidence to just take a steamrolling by a PSU team that has lost multiple devastating close games, for granted. If anything, putting something on the +650 moneyline too is worth the risk.

Bet 2: Wisconsin -10 vs Nebraska (2:30pm CT, BTN)

I’ve been a Cornhusker backer most of this year, but I strongly believe the blowout avoidance has run its course. Key defender Domann is done for the season and that is enough for the damn to break and the stellar efforts against MSU and OSU to be a thing of the past. UW’s defense is a machine, and while temporary fill-ins for the offensive Nebraska staff that was let go over a week ago might have some creative ideas, it won’t be nearly enough.

Bet 3: Georgia Tech +17.5 (-105) at Notre Dame (1:30pm CT, NBC)

The ACC’s role as a set of rotating Washington Generals to ND’s Globetrotters is getting pretty tiring. The Yellow Jackets come to South Bend on a 4-game losing streak, but not a single one was by more than 11 points (UVA, VT, Miami, BC). With Georgia as GT’s only other remaining game, they’re well aware this is the vastly better chance to pickup a signature win in the season’s second half. They will keep it close enough.

Bet 4: UCF -30.5 vs Connecticut (3:00pm CT, ESPN+)

Malzahn’s first season has been disappointing by recent UCF standards at 6-4, but a strong close can do a lot of good in positioning for what should be their AAC farewell season in 2022. UConn returned the opening kickoff at Clemson last week, but lost the remainder 44-0. UCF takes advantage of the week opponent.

Best Bet: Ohio St vs Michigan St over 69 (11:00am CT, ABC)

Whether Ohio St wins via blowout, close, or MSU pulls the big upset, low scoring does not seem in the cards. To be sure, it’s a high total. But even if the OSU defense makes some changes in response to the 31 Purdue put up (while never really threatening to keep it close past the first 7 minutes), I still see 21 at a minimum out of Sparty, and 49 is a mid-3rd quarter total for OSU most weeks. If MSU does turn it into a game as I hope, it’s going to be in the high 30’s for both teams.

(25-27 ATS on the season)

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