It’s an off week in the Big Ten for five teams while the remaining squads square off in conference play, with one non-conference tilt also on the slate.
Last weekend was a bit more on the quiet side, lacking the massive upsets that took place the week prior. Ohio State continued to roll, Michigan kept Nebraska on its heels and still winless, Rutgers was, well Rutgers, and the marquee game in Iowa saw Wisconsin get it headed in the right direction with a thrilling win over the Hawkeyes.
This week features a game of epic proportions for college football betting fans as Saturday night’s main course, with some interesting appetizers throughout the afternoon schedule.
The biggest game of the weekend should be the most competitive. On paper these two teams are very close to one another.
Coach James Franklin has not been a home underdog since he took over Penn State’s program in 2014. But the Nittany Lions are indeed 3.5-point dogs coming into this game, which has the potential to full of offensive fireworks.
Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins has been extraordinary in his first four career starts, averaging 10.4 yards per attempt. He is ranked second in the nation with 16 touchdown passes. Penn State leads the nation in scoring, averaging 55.5 points. Both teams are the only pair in the FBS to have scored at least 30 touchdowns this season.
It’s going to be a Saturday night shootout but Penn State will prevail. Take Penn State +3.5 at SugarHouse.
This isn’t how Nebraska coach Scott Frost thought things would go when he returned home. The former Huskers QB came back to Memorial Stadium with optimistic but realistic aspirations for improvement.
It’s been anything but that in the early going and Nebraska has stumbled out of the gate 0-3, suffering a non-conference defeat at the hands of Troy and last week’s annihilation from Michigan, 56-10.
Enter this week’s match up with Purdue. The Boilermakers got a non-conference win on the board last week against Boston College. Purdue has run 277 plays this season for 1,934 yards, which ranks 11th in the nation in total offense. The Boilermakers average 7 yards per play, which is 20th in college football.
So offensively things are looking up in West Lafayette.
Purdue comes into the game the favorite but not by much. Maybe some home cooking will inspire the Huskers. Bet Nebraska +3 at SugarHouse.
Two teams trending in opposite directions will meet on the shore of Lake Michigan Saturday in Evanston, Ill. Northwestern beat Purdue in its opener before losing two straight to Akron and Duke. Michigan lost to Notre Dame to start the year and has since strung together three straight victories including last week’s crushing of Nebraska.
Northwestern sophomore running back Jeremy Larkin retired from football for medical reasons earlier this week. He was the Wildcats’ most productive member of the offense and accounted for 91 touches and 473 yards in the first three games.
Already scuffling, Northwestern won’t be able to recover from that salvo and Michigan should have an easy afternoon. Give the 14 points and bet Michigan at SugarHouse.
There’s one telling stat to describe Rutgers’ season to date. The Scarlet Knights have been outscored in their last three games by a combined score of 149 to 30.
They got off to a solid start to the season with a win over Texas Tech but since then it’s been a nightmare for head coach Chris Ash. Buffalo ran all over his team 42-13 last week coming in the aftermath of a drubbing the week before by Kansas.
Indiana is 3-1 but the Hoosiers haven’t exactly been setting the world on fire, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. The running game was especially putrid in last week’s 35-21 loss to Michigan State, averaging less than a yard per carry (32 attempts for 29 yards).
This game appears a bit closer than the line suggests. Scoring will be at a premium despite the defensive deficiencies for both schools and the O/U is set at 52. I’d look at the under at SugarHouse and take Rutgers +17.5 as well.
The Spartans are a huge favorite at home in Lansing against the Chippewas. But despite a 35-21 win over Indiana last week, Michigan State is still not at the top of its game.
Defense has been spotty for Michigan State, particularly its secondary giving up a 66 percent pass completion ratio to opponents. But Central Michigan might just be the tonic for the struggling D.
The Chippewas are averaging just 15 points per game so Michigan State shouldn’t have much of a challenge to worry about shutting down.
Spartans QB Tommy Lazzaro is now at the controls and has an opportunity behind his big arm to put up some big numbers. He’ll need to for Michigan State to cover the spread. We think he will and we’ll bet Michigan State -28 at SugarHouse.