Hate week. Are you ready? I'm ready.
Last Week's Results
Ohio State -32.5-L
Penn State -8-W
Michigan State -15-L
Big Ten Record: 39-29
Penn State at Ohio State
Line: Ohio State -17.5, 53(?)
Never again. Ohio State probably eats gas station food. Ohio State most likely buys single-stuffed Oreos at the store. Ohio State probably cried at the end of Finding Nemo (guilty, too).
I’ll never touch an Ohio State spread for as long as my position at MnB stands. Here’s a list of things I’m more likely to do than pick a Buckeyes game against the spread:
-shotgun a pint of Mad Dog 20/20 with the Loch Ness monster
-watch Seasons 1 & 2 of Finding Bigfoot, and actually find Bigfoot
-play left wing on the Detroit Red Wings’ third line
-wear a backwards, upside down visor
-talk to my mom’s side of the family
-witness Melissa McCarthy play a different role other than an overweight, conniving savage
-eat a Nature Valley bar and not have any crumbs on my lap once I’m finished
-keep a piece of Fruit Stripe gum in my mouth for more than four minutes
-answer my door when the Jehovah Witnesses come
-choose Tombstone pizza over Jack’s
-Watch Taken 3
-email Hersey’s and tell them they need to add more Sour Apple to their bags of Jolly Ranchers
This will be the first real test for Penn State as it’s enjoyed five consecutive home games versus questionable competition, so now the Nittany Lions travel to the Shoe for a night game. I’m still not sold on Hackenberg as he’s been rather erratic while getting minimal help from his skill players.
Oh, not to mention that in Hackenberg’s career, he and the offense have scored 14 or less points in seven of nine road games. Night game in Ohio? Yes please. I’m not sure where this total will open, but I’m guessing it will be around 52-53.
Pick: Penn State Team Total Under 18.5
Nebraska at Minnesota
Line: Pick ‘Em, 46
Just a terrible spot for Nebraska here, in my opinion.
Add another chapter to the monotonous Lincoln novels as the Cornhusker has been letdown more than when I went to see the opening premiere of The Gambler. Make that four losses on seemingly the last play of the game, and now Nebraska has to travel up north in the cold versus a Minnesota team that opened up the playbook last week in passage to 41 points.
Pick: Minnesota Moneyline
Iowa at Northwestern
Line: Pick ‘Em, 40
Another pick ‘em and this one’s a bit tricky. This is a massive hangover spot for Northwestern as it was shelled in Ann Arbor, while Iowa seems to be churning the wheels en route to an illustrious season. Teams that have played Michigan are 5-1 against the spread the following week and have scored more than 24 points in every contest but one (Maryland, 21 vs Ohio State).
With Northwestern’s defense somewhat vulnerable and the ‘Cats measuring up with a defense that’s at least a step down from the Wolverines, I don’t want anything to do with the spread.
Pick: Iowa-Northwestern Over 40
Rutgers at Indiana
Spread and total won’t be released until later in the week once the oddsmakers figure out what’s up with the Hoosiers. Injuries aplenty, Indiana may be down to its third-string quarterback with setbacks to both Nate Sudfeld and Zander Diamont.
Both clubs are vastly in disarray, so without much to go off of, I think I’ll play the under here as both offenses have somewhat regressed.
Purdue at Wisconsin
Line: Wisconsin -19.5, 48
High spread, low total; go figure. Short and simple, I’ll take the over. I think Wisconsin can run all over the 112th ranked running attack, all while Purdue scores just enough to sail over the total.
Pick: Purdue-Wisconsin Over 48
Michigan State at Michigan
Line: Michigan -7.5, Total TBD
Welp, here we are. The Spartans strut into A2 undefeated, yet haven’t covered a spread since New Year’s Day. On the other hand, try to find a better defense in the country than Michigan; I’ll wait.
Michigan State comes in with a string of consecutive 24-point or more contests, while the Wolverines have allowed seven points in the previous 19 quarters; so something will have to give. There’s no doubt that even after a seven-point win and escape out of Piscataway that Sparty will be raring to go in Ann Arbor.
Once a projected five-point underdog, the Wolverines have shifted to 7.5-point favorites after a convincing 38-0 blanking against Northwestern left the ‘books aghast.
So where do we go from here?
History says that the Wolverines will struggle on the scoreboard given recent results versus the Spartans, but Pat Narduzzi won’t be governing the Michigan State defense.
I’ll be honest; I don’t want anything to do with the spread. Nor do I want anything to do with the total. I sincerely can’t find an edge in this game. I do, however, believe that Michigan wins the game. It may be just a bit closer than people believe. Wolverines 20 Spartans 14.
Pick: Spartans +7.5