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Week 2 Pick 'Em: Big Ten Favored in Every Matchup

Who says we have to wait until Saturday to weigh in on Big Ten odds for Week 2?

Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

I originally perceived my calling as a ‘Vegas Insider’ at MnB to be barren. I mean, people spend large portions of time strictly fixated on their team, whereas the whole betting and ‘by the numbers’ seemed far too complex for those that were befuddled by the purpose of Las Vegas spreads and odds.

As Saturday morning progressed into the early stages of the afternoon and GameDay hosts highlighted their predictions, I threw all that witchcraft straight through the windowsill: I witnessed a batch of college football analysts picking games by the spread, a newfound approach that’s never been tampered with on the College GameDay platform.

Oh, the alchemy. Anarchy at its finest, I thought Kirk Herbstreit’s son was primed to dial up Bovada sportsbook to claim his 100% deposit bonus code.

The tides have turned and I’m your patron. You bring the pillows, I’ve got the covers. Big Ten, Week 2, here we go.

Last Week's Results

Michigan-Utah First Half Under 23.5-Win

Minnesota +14.5-Win

Western Michigan +18.5-Win

Stanford-Northwestern Under 45-Win

Illinois -14.5-Win

Kent State-Illinois Over 57.5-Loss

BYU +6-Win

Penn State-Temple Over 38-Loss

Alabama-Wisconsin Over 52.5-Loss

Alabama Team Total Over 31.5-Win

Marshall -7.5-Win

Ohio State -10.5-Win

Buffalo at Penn State

Time: Saturday, September 12th (12 ET)

Line: Penn State -18.5, 49

If hair pulling and cursing bloody murder at your television screen were two frequent occurrences while watching Michigan play Thursday, then imagine the ulcers that gradually built for Penn State fans: they watched Christian Hackenberg get sacked ten times en route to a 27-10 to Temple, the so-called ‘little brothers’ in the state of Pennsylvania.

Perhaps we’re dishing out a surplus of credit here to the Nittany Lions. Hackenberg is supposedly on pace to incline following a dismal 2014 campaign, right? If the opening week was just a fragment of foreshadowing the rest of the season, then we’re in over our heads. Not so fast, though. Temple returned nearly its entire defense from a year ago and I expect Penn State head coach James Franklin to bounce back.

For me, it’s now or never for the Nittany Lions. Fail to come through and I’ll be fading or laying off the rest of the year. Give me Hackenberg to rebound versus a brutal defensive Buffalo unit.

Pick: Penn State Team Total Over 34

Bowling Green at Maryland

Time: Saturday, September 12th, (12 ET)

Line: Maryland -8, 65.5

Bowling Green was strictly laughable in a half-hearted attempt to halt Tennessee’s offensive attack, as the Falcons watched the Vols run laps all afternoon in Knoxville; the Terps kicked off 2015 with a cakewalk versus Richmond, a 50-21 end result.

I’m a shootout connoisseur and you’ll almost always see me root for deep bombs and tunnel screens that go for 80-yard scores.

However, I think 65.5 points for Week 2 could be a bit inflated due to opening week results between BG and Maryland.

Pick: First Half Under 34.5

Miami (Ohio) at Wisconsin

Time: Saturday, September 12th (12 ET)

Line: Wisconsin -33, 53

Wisconsin played a hard-fought game versus Alabama before falling on the short end of the stick on neutral grounds. Derrick Henry and Jake Coker were both enough to stifle the Badgers, 35-17, while the Redhawks ousted Presbyterian, 26-7.

Wisconsin is still somewhat a question mark for me, and while the pieces are still awaiting correct alignment, I believe it’ll come in due time. I think a hangover following a tough loss is absolutely imminent, and I’ll hope for the Badgers to start slow, before ultimately closing things out in Camp Randall in the second half.

Pick: Miami (Ohio) First Half +17.5

Washington State at Rutgers

Time: Saturday, September 12th (3:30 ET)

Line: Rutgers -3, 63

This should be a pretty chaotic contest, if I do say so myself. Washington State travels out to the east coast following an upset at home to the hands of Portland State, while Rutgers took some time to get things going, only to find a groove in the second half to take care of Norfolk State.

Mike Leach, bounce back junkie: on the road, following a home loss, Washington State is 7-2 against the spread and to the under since the Cougars’ ringleader took the helm in ‘12; time to screw around and nail the trifecta.

Pick: Washington State +3, Under 63, Rutgers Team Total Under 33

Hawaii at Ohio State

Time: Saturday, September 12th (3:30 ET)

Line: TBD

I’m not at all sold on the Hawaii offense for starters. This isn’t a Rainbow Warriors offense circa Timmy Chang and the boys back in ’07, and even then, the unit showed it couldn’t measure up with top-tier talent (cough, Sugar Bowl versus Georgia, cough).

Ohio State goes up early and doesn’t look back, but I don’t see as much flash on paper as many.

Pick: Hawaii-Ohio State Under

Minnesota at Colorado State

Time: Saturday,  September 12th (3:30 ET)

Line: Minnesota +5.5, 54

Going to get down to the point on this one: Minnesota played a lot better than most think in 23-17 defeat to TCU. The defensive group held their own, and after so many months of preparation for the Frogs, to fall extremely short, I think Colorado State’s tempo can gash it on Saturday. It’s also a perfect slot for Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner to get on track.

Points, please and thanks.

Pick: Minnesota-Colorado State Over 54

Iowa at Iowa State

Time: Saturday, September 12th (3:45 ET)

Line: Iowa -3.5, 54

Let’s remember that Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes are 0-4 against the spread the last four openers versus FBS clubs; however, that’s not the route I’m heading. I think the Cyclones will portray their new offensive corps with the athletic wide receivers they possess. Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard should be able to throw the ball downfield, and I’ll root for points once more.

Pick: Iowa-Iowa State Over 54

Florida International at Indiana

Time: Saturday, September 12th (8 ET)

Line: Indiana -7.5, 52

Indiana nearly broke down and opened up 2015 with a loss to Southern Illinois, while Florida International stormed into Central Florida and upended the Knights as 16.5-point ‘dogs. It’s a tale of two tapes here: Indiana wants to run ‘n gun, and FIU wants to chip away and rely on defense.

So which way does the game go? Tough for me to say on this one, but I’ll lay the chalk on Indiana, as I feel Ron Turner’s club may be riding a bit too high after a Week 1 upset.

Pick: Indiana -7.5

South Alabama at Nebraska

Time: Saturday, September 12th (8 ET)

Line: Nebaska -25.5, 54

Gee, I get to cap a Big Ten-Sun Belt contest, how many good deeds did I fulfill to dub this sort of accolade?

The Jaguars of South Alabama I don’t think even have a program, they just kind of get called upon to play the Power Fives in September, and it’s like "okay, thanks for coming out guys, we appreciate it." You know in elementary school when the eighth grade basketball team needs to scrimmage someone so the athletic director matches them up with the fifth graders who are still supporting Skechers from the local Shoe Carnival? Nebraska-South Alabama.

If I recall, I was thrown in the exact same situation in fifth grade, and I’m almost certain we kept it under four touchdowns.

The Jaguars ran for well over 200 yards in the contest versus Gardner Webb, but I don’t believe they surpass that in Lincoln. Nebraska periodically looked a bit lost on offense, and I’m anxiously waiting to see how that core performs after a brutal beat to end Saturday’s game.

Pick: South Alabama-Nebraska Under 54

Oregon at Michigan State

Time: Saturday, September 12th (8 ET)

Line: Michigan State -3.5, 67.5

For such a monotonous Saturday slate, the stage is set in East Lansing for a heavyweight battle between the Ducks and Spartans. The importance of this one: perhaps the loser misses a bid to the playoff.

For Oregon, the defense was shelled, even in a double-digit win over Eastern Washington. Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook used a slew of receivers to start the season on the right foot, while Madre London collected some nice statistics out of the backfield.

Oregon isn’t use to playing in the underdog role here, and frankly, I’m going to roll on the better defense at home and lay the chalk. Sparty may have given up some points to Western Michigan, but it could be a bit deceptive with a backdoor score and a kickoff return for a touchdown.

Pick: Michigan State -3.5

Oregon State at Michigan

Time: Saturday, September 12th (12 ET)

Line: Michigan -14.5, 48

Where to start.

For starters, I didn’t like the Wolverines in Salt Lake City on opening Thursday. A team with so much buzz, Harbaugh, etc., people clearly didn’t latch onto the capability of Utah; the Utes are a damn good team. And yet, aside from mental errors, Michigan found momentum crawling to the sideline in the second half, which was nullified by turnovers. The pieces are genuinely there, it’s just all about placing them in correct order.

Oregon State looked extremely stagnant in a 26-7 win versus Weber State, a game in which the Beavers rushed the ball 56 times. You’ll have to find a better game plan than that in the Big House versus a stout front seven.

Rudock has some big-time receivers in Jake Butt and Jehu Chesson, so add Amara Darboh, Grant Perry and others to the mix, and the Maize and Blue should be practicing ‘Hail to the Victors’ countless times come Saturday afternoon.

Pick: Michigan -14.5, Oregon State Team Total Under 17