If Week #1 was bad, then Week #2 was a disaster. I was 6-8 in Week #2 bringing my running total to 13-15 or 46% which is a far cry from my goal of 70%. I did realize that this is not a true betting simulation because if I was betting with my money, I would not bet on many of these games. In fact, many of these games are “stay away” games for betting folks who know what they are doing. My model forces me to pick every game and that is what I’ll do, but I shouldn’t feel so bad about not winning at a higher percentage.
Alrighty then, let’s feel better about ourselves as we dive in to Week #3…
Air Force @ #4 Michigan State – Noon on ABC. Holy crap, our game against Air Force is the ABC Noon game, that’s amazing. The Falcons scare me a little bit because of the bizarro triple-option offense they run that 400+ yards rushing per game. Yikes. The good news is that the Spartans are really good at stopping the run, but what about the shifty, crafty, goofy, crazy triple-option run? Who knows because nobody that we play runs that scheme. I believe AF’s starting QB is out, so that may help. Michigan State is a 26.5-point favorite but they win by 24 not covering.
Illinois @ North Carolina – Noon on ESPN-2. This is a good non-con match-up and I applaud the Illini for scheduling the Tar Heels. Carolina (North) looked pretty good against Carolina (South) and they may be the best team in Carolina (North) this year which they can prove when they play Duke. I think the Illini defense is looking pretty good but it’s hard to say based on the level of competition they’ve faced. The Heel’s offense is pretty balanced where as the Illini are pass-heavy. Hmm, this is a tough call. Illinois is a 10-point dog and I’ll take them and the points; UNC wins by a score.
South Florida @ Maryland – Noon on ESPN-U. If SFU can score 14 on FSU, then they can probably put up 28 on Maryland. I’ve discovered that the Terps are terrible. They are not to be trusted. Of course, I shouldn’t really be trusting the Bulls either. I kind of hate this game. Maryland is favored by 7 but they win by 2 and don’t cover.
UNLV @ Michigan – Noon on BTN. Lord how I hate Michigan, and apparently the Harbaugh magic is wearing off as they are relegated to BTN while Maryland gets ESPN coverage. Sad to watch a brand in decline. Anyway, there is no line for this game. The Rebels are 0-2 against UCLA and Northern Illinois mainly because there defense can’t get the job done. The Wolverine’s offense isn’t much to speak of, but they are probably enough to get this job done. Michigan wins by 13 (no spread avail.)
Kent State @ Minnesota – Noon on BTN. The Gophers will win, the question really is by what margin. Will they cover? They don’t typically rack-up huge points, it’s just not their style, but if Illinois can score 52 on Golden Flashes, then I think the Gophers can do something similar. Minnesota is a 23.5-point favorite but they win by 34 and cover.
#23 Northwestern @ Duke – 12:30PM on ESPN-3. Another smarty-party for the Wildcats after knocking off Stanford, but this one is on the road. The Blue Devils haven’t played anyone worth mentioning as of yet so they are untested no matter how good the stats look. The Wildcats are tested and have been victorious. I got burned by NW repeatedly last year but I’m impressed this year so I’m going to gamble. Northwestern is a 3.5-point dog but they win by a score; Duke doesn’t cover.
Nebraska @ Miami – 3:30PM on ABC/ESPN-2. This is a pretty interesting match-up against two storied programs. The Huskers lost a heartbreaker to BYU opening weekend, but overall have looked pretty good. They’re throwing the ball well but their defense is not exactly Black Shirt caliber. The Hurricanes are utterly untested and all of their stats are worthless. This is a close one I think. Nebraska is a 3.5-point dog and I’ll take them and the points; Miami doesn’t cover.
Northern Illinois @ #1 Ohio State – 3:30PM on ABC/ESPN-2. The Huskies rack-up a lot of yards but they also allow a lot of yards. The Buckeyes will dismantle them, no question. But by how much. The Bucknuts didn’t exactly impress against the Rainbow Warriors last week. Ohio State is a 34.5-point favorite but they win by 31 and don’t cover.
Virginia Tech @ Purdue – 3:30PM on ESPN-U. The Hokies are spending a lot of time playing B1G teams this season, but who wouldn’t want to play the Boilermakers, it’s a Power-Five win without all that messy competition to slow you down. Bottom line, VT wins but do they cover? I think yes. Purdue is a 6-point dog but Virginia Tech wins by 10 covering.
Troy @ #24 Wisconsin – 3:30PM on BTN. The Trojans are more like Trojan wrappers… okay, that was incredibly mean. Troy is not up to this task. They will not win let alone cover. Wisconsin is a 35.5-point favorite and they win by 42.
Western Kentucky @ Indiana – 4:00PM on ESPN-N. Wow, a 1-point spread. This is basically a pick-em game and the home-field advantage is only worth one-third of it’s typical value. Ouch Hoosiers. Indiana is like a video game team, all high-flying offense and no defense. Well shit, so are the Hilltoppers. Both teams allow more yards than they produce. ugly. Indiana is a 1-point favorite but Western KY wins by 10.
Rutgers @ Penn State – 8:00PM on BTN. The first B1G conference game of the season. Yes! But then looking at these teams… No. I’m not impressed with either team here and I think this could be a very ugly game. I’m kind of glad they are tucking this one away on BTN where the general population can’t find it. Penn State is a 10-point favorite but they win by 7 and don’t cover.
Pittsburgh @ Iowa – 8:00PM on BTN. This should be a pretty good game. Doozer will see some B1G action for the first time as a Head Coach which is cool. Both teams are 2-0 and both teams have beat okay but not good teams thus far. Iowa hasn’t been 3-0 in years and years so maybe this will be year? But Pitt has momentum right now with their new coach and convincing wins but I don’t love the two-QB system. Iowa is a 5.5-point favorite but I’m taking Pitt and the points, Pitt wins by 3 in OT.
Done and done. The picks are in. Agree? Disagree? Don’t care? Chime in if you like. Best of luck to all of the B1G squads this week. Don’t forget to look for me on TV during the Michigan State vs. Air Force game, I’ll be behind the Spartan bench on about the 50 about 20 rows up. Can’t wait. Let’s win some games.