It’s Sherrone Moore’s turn as acting head coach for the Michigan Wolverines as they take on the Bowling Green Falcons under the lights at the Big House. This game will be back on a familiar channel, Big Ten Network, after the first two games have been on the Big Ten’s new television/streaming partners.
Here’s the latest on everything you need to know for the game, and some of the other top contests with betting lines courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
No. 2 Michigan Wolverines vs. Bowling Green Falcons
- TV: BTN
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Ann Arbor, Mich.
- Weather: 71 degrees, cloudy
- DraftKings Odds: MICH -40.5, O/U: 53.5
- Best Bet (3-3): BG +40.5
For the third week in a row, the Wolverines are heavily favored. They did not cover the spread the first two weeks, and in this one, it’s a 40.5-point difference.
It’s probably because Bowling Green’s defense has allowed 357 yards per game to Liberty and Eastern Illinois in their first two games, with the former running for 246 yards on 49 attempts against the Falcons’ defense. As this new Michigan offensive line continues to solidify, they should have an opportunity to gel and dominate, leading the way for Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards.
Bowling Green’s offense is also extremely turnover-prone. Indiana transfer quarterback Connor Bazelak is the starter, and he threw for three interceptions in the season opener and was benched. In his career, he’s thrown 30 interceptions to just 39 touchdowns and completed less than 60 percent of his passes the last two seasons.
As Sherrone Moore leads the way, there is a chance we see more from the playbook for J.J. McCarthy and company. Everyone’s been able to see how efficient he can be within the system, but in a night game in the Big House, perhaps we’ll see some splash plays.
At the same time, this team has felt comfortable bringing in the reserves and just running the clock out. With the new rules of the clock continuing to run after first downs, it’s been tough for the Wolverines to put up the massive totals they did a season ago with their play style. Michigan wins big, but I’ve learned my lesson from the first two weeks and will be taking Bowling Green and the points.
No. 7 Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Illinois Fighting Illini
- TV: FOX
- Time: Noon ET
- Location: Champaign, Ill
- Weather: 67 degrees, cloudy
- DraftKings Odds: PSU -14.5, O/U: 48.5
- Best Bet (3-3): U48.5
What happened to the Illinois defense? It was the No. 4 defense last season by allowing only 286.8 yards per game. But through their first two games of the season against unranked Toledo and Kansas teams, the Fighting Illini have allowed almost 500 yards per game.
They’re missing some of the secondary players who went to the NFL, but they still have some studs on the defensive line in Jer’Zhan Newton and Keith Randolph. Illinois has given up 224 yards per game on the ground even with them on the field. The unit as a whole has to be better for the Illini to compete in Big Ten play like they did last season.
Now, they welcome a Penn State squad that rolled through the first two weeks. This game in 2020 went to a historic NINE overtimes, and the score was 20-18. Ironically, Penn State was also ranked No. 7 in that one. But this Penn State squad is much different. Drew Allar has completed 78.2 percent of his passes this season, and sophomore running backs Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton seem to have stepped up their game.
Still, this is their first time on the road this season. Penn State has not faired as well on the road under James Franklin, and that trend could continue heading into this matchup. In their last nine conference games, the under has hit in seven of them. Even with an Illinois squad that has had issues on defense, I think this one will be lower scoring as both teams keep the clock moving and the ball on the ground.
No. 11 Tennessee Volunteers vs Florida Gators
- TV: ESPN
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- Location: Gainesville, Fl.
- Weather: 86 degrees, cloudy
- DraftKings Odds: TENN -6.5, O/U: 58.5, ML: TENN -245, FLO +200
- Best Bet (3-3): O58.5
I’m not so confident this Tennessee team will have anywhere near the success it had a season ago. Everyone wants to talk about the cannon Joe Milton has, but I question how efficient he’s going to be once he’s playing real competition.
They’ll be on the road for the first time this season in a place they haven’t won since 2003, The Swamp. Florida’s in a similar spot as Tennessee, a veteran Big Ten transfer quarterback has taken over for an NFL Draft pick. For the Gators, it’s Graham Mertz from Wisconsin, and he has some weapons. Senior Ricky Pearsall has been a stud with 14 receptions for 215 yards and a score. They also have a solid duo in the backfield with Montrell Johnson and Trevor Etienne, who have each rushed for more than 100 yards rushing.
I love the over in this game because of the speed and athleticism each team has on offense. Tennessee is averaging 477.5 yards per game to Florida’s 453. They’re getting it done on the ground and through the air. Defensively, Tennessee showed it couldn’t slow down Austin Peay, which had 339 yards of offense. Florida is big defensively, but lacks the speed to keep up with faster-paced offenses. Even at 58.5 points, I think the over hits and the Gators keep this one close.