Last week I was not able to write up my traditional column (moving apartments is the worst thing on earth) but it’s probably a good thing as the card I ended up tweeting out went just 2-4. It’s been an even year thus far in college football as I am 37-35-1 on the season, but up just over 3 units.
Not great, but not bad. Thankfully for us we’ve still got some time to push the gas pedal and try to widen this margin out before the end of the season. Without further ado, lets get into Week 9!
Michigan @ Michigan State Under 52
I was able to get this game at the opener of 52. Currently DraftKings, the official odds provider of B5Q and SB Nation, has this total at 50 so the line has come down some but I still like it down to 49.5 based on my numbers.
Personally, I like this under for a few reasons. First, Michigan State’s offense has been predicated on explosive plays with running back Kenneth Walker but they’ll now be going up against a Michigan defense that is by far the best front seven they have faced this season.
Michigan ranks No. 24 in rushing defense which is 22 spots higher than Indiana, the next best team that Sparty has faced in that category. In the Hooisers contest with Michigan State they held Walker to just 3.7 yards per carry, and I think the Michigan defense will be able to do the same here.
On the other side, Michigan’s offense is incredibly run heavy, ranking No. 5 in the country in rushing offense. They’ll be going up against a run defense that ranks No. 31 in the country so I think they may have some troubles as well. I think both teams could struggle to run the football, but I don’t think either team trusts their pass offense all that much to really open it up.
That creates a slugfest scenario so give me the under here in this early spot. I also kind of like Michigan here as I think Sparty is a bit of a paper tiger but I can’t lay four points on the road.
Purdue @ Nebraska Under 52
A few weeks back I hit four SEC unders in a weekend and I think you could see a similar trend in the Big Ten this weekend. In this spot, I think 52 points feels like a lot once again. On one side you have Purdue who comes in off their loss to Wisconsin in a game where their offense once again struggled. Take out that win against Iowa and Purdue has scored just 13 points a game in their last four contests.
This offense just does not seem to be working, and I think that continues here with virtually no run game to speak of. The Boilermakers will go to the air, but the Nebraska defense has been pretty solid all season long. They rank No. 43 in passing yards allowed, so I think they’ll be able to hold this Boilermaker offense down again.
On the other side, Purdue’s defense has been really solid all season long, especially against the pass, ranking No. 5 in the nation in pass defense. I think that will force Nebraska to keep the ball on the ground here which has been the best part of their offense. The Huskers rank No. 22 in rushing offense, and I think they’ll attempt to keep the run game going in this spot.
Purdue’s defense got lit up by the run last week, but I think they are better than what they showed in that contest. They rank No. 53 in that nation in run defense so it will be a test, but I think it’s one they can handle. This just feels like a game that could get really ugly like most of the Big Ten West games are this year.
Florida vs. Georgia Over 50
It’s not all under for me this week as I am busting out a rare over bet in this World’s Largest Cocktail Party down in Jacksonville. I’ve bet a total of two (2) overs this season and both have lost so I have to be due here eventually right? Anyway, I look to the over in this matchup for a few different reasons.
First, for Georgia, the Bulldogs have a very good running attack that should be able to bust some big plays against a Florida defense that started the year strong but has recently been shredded on the ground. Last time out against LSU the Gators gave up an embarrassing 321 yards on the ground to what was one of the worst rushing attacks in the country. If they give that up to LSU, Georgia should eat on the ground here.
On the other side, Florida comes into this game off a bye as does Georgia which I think will allow both teams to scheme up some plays and get some extra preparation offensively. Dan Mullen is a great play-caller offensively and that extra time should allow him to come up with some plays that work against this Georgia defense.
They’re the best defense in the nation, but I do think Mullen can find a way to put some points on the board here. Lastly, these two teams hate each other so a garbage touchdown to cover the spread is always in play on both sides. Give me the over here.
Minnesota at Northwestern Under 42.5: Minnesota runs the ball 70% of the time and Northwestern is just plain bad offensively. This one could be real ugly.
Rutgers @ Illinois Under 42: Ditto. Two horrendous offenses. The under has hit in seven of Illinois eight games and one included nine overtimes!
Fresno State +110 ML: Think the wrong team is favored here, I imagine Fresno will be able to score against a good SDSU defense.
Wyoming (+3.5) @ San Jose State: Wrong team is favored here as well according to my numbers. 3.5 is too much value to not take in this spot.