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Cappin’ the B1G: Week 3 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

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Northwestern v Michigan Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

After a dismal week one, I was able to bounce back in week two and make a few units to start to climb out of the hole I fell into. I look forward to having another strong showing this week, unlike the Scarlet Knight did against Eastern Michigan.

To recap Week 2:

  1. Indiana -3 (4 units) W
  2. Florida Atlantic/Wisconsin OVER 57.5 (3 units) L
  3. Rutgers -5.5 (2 units) L
  4. Duke +3 (2 units) W
  5. Pittsburgh +22 (2 units) W
  6. Indiana/Virginia UNDER 56.5 (2 units) W
  7. Michigan State -7 (2 units) W
  8. Minnesota +2 (2 units) W
  9. Ohio/Purdue OVER 57 (1 unit) W
  10. Wisconsin -32 (1 unit) L
  11. Iowa/Iowa State UNDER 48 (1 unit) L
  12. Pittsburgh/Penn State OVER 66.5 (1 unit) L
  13. Nebraska/Oregon OVER 70 (1 unit) W
  14. Ohio State -7 (1 unit) L
  15. Western Kentucky/Illinois OVER 53 (1 unit) L
  16. Minnesota/Oregon State UNDER 51.5 (1 unit) L

Season so far:

  • Overall Record: 25-27
  • Wagered Games Record: 11-16
  • Season Units: -4

Time to keep this money train rolling and get to some more winners!

(NOTE: There is no line for Morgan State at Rutgers, due to it being a FCS v. FBS matchup, Indiana’s game was cancelled due to the hurricane, and Maryland is on BYE)

Illinois Fighting Illini at South Florida Bulls

  • Friday September 15th, 7PM EST
  • TV: ESPN
  • Point Spread: South Florida -17.5
  • Total: 56

Last week, Lovie Smith shut me right up after I all but declared them dead in the water at home versus the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers before the Fighting Illini won handily at home at a 7.5 point underdog. This week the task is much taller for Lovie as he takes the team to South Florida to take on Charlie Strong’s Bulls. USF has a ton of speed and an all-world QB in Quinton Flowers but they haven’t looked great thus far this season under Strong. Illinois could have a secretly decent season if they get some unexpectedly good quarterback play. This is going to be a tough game to predict as I would like to see one more game out of each of these teams in order to accurately gauge how they will perform going forward. Going to stay off of this one as the line look about right to me but I’ll throw a unit on the under for actions sake. Gamble!

  • Projected Score: Illinois 17 – South Florida 34
  • Spread Pick: Illinois +17.5 (0 units)
  • Total Pick: UNDER 56 (1 unit)

Air Force Falcons at Michigan Wolverines

  • Saturday September 16th, 12PM EST
  • TV: BTN
  • Point Spread: Michigan -24
  • Total: 47.5

Last week, it took over a half for Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines to get going against a Cincinnati team that they were supposed to steamroll. Harbaugh has to prepare for the option offense as Air Force comes to town with massive upset on their minds. The Falcons finished 2016 strong as they beat Boise State and then won their bowl game and rolled it into a 62-0 victory over VMI to open up the 2017 campaign. This game is all going to come down to how well Air Force’s defense can play against a Michigan offense that can be very problematic for opposing defenses once they get rolling. If the Falcons can put together a complete game and force Michigan QB Wilton Speight to make some mistakes, this could become a game that is very close in the fourth quarter. I like Air Force to keep this one close because while Michigan has a stout defense, it is difficult to prepare for the triple option in just one week so I think the Falcons keep it close for a while in a high scoring affair.

  • Projected Score: Air Force 20 – Michigan 38
  • Spread Pick: Air Force +24 (3 units)
  • Total Pick: OVER 47.5 (2 units)

Northern Illinois Huskies at Nebraska Cornhuskers

  • Saturday September 16th, 12 PM EST
  • TV: Fox Sports 1
  • Point Spread: Nebraska -13
  • Total: 56

Nebraska looked dead in the water by halftime last week in Eugene, Oregon when they took on the Ducks but Mike Reilly’s squad scratched and clawed their way back before falling just 7 points short of sending the game into overtime. This week the Huskers will look to finally put together a complete game against the Northern Illinois Huskies who have looked solid this season thus far. These two teams are very good at turning the ball over so it will be interesting to see who can win the turnover battle here in this one. Northern Illinois QB Daniel Santacaterina is a dual threat who could find a lot of success on Saturday against a Nebraska pass defense that is allowing a whopping 390 yards per game this season. I expect this to be a pretty ugly game with Nebraska winning a close one that goes just under the posted total.

  • Projected Score: Northern Illinois 21 – Nebraska 33
  • Spread Pick: Northern Illinois +13 (0 units)
  • Total Pick: UNDER 56 (0 units)

Wisconsin Badgers at BYU Cougars

  • Saturday September 16th, 3:30 PM EST
  • TV: ABC
  • Point Spread: Wisconsin -16
  • Total: 41

Wisconsin didn’t exactly light up the world last week against Lane Kiffin’s FAU Owls. The Badgers had plenty of opportunities to put that game well out of reach but they kept shooting themselves in the foot and let FAU hang around long enough to cover the spread (ARGH!). This week Paul Chryst’s Badgers travel to BYU to take on a Cougars squad that has looked abysmal on offense this season. My insiders are telling me that BYU QB Tanner Mangum will not play on Saturday due to injury so a bad offense will look that much worse. BYU’s defense has looked very tough this season but they will have their hands completely full against a Badgers rushing attack led by true freshman (and former Rutgers commit) Jonathan Taylor. Paul Chryst is 8-1 on the road so it’s tough to pick against them here against a BYU team that will be without their starting QB.

  • Projected Score: Wisconsin 30 – BYU 10
  • Spread Pick: Wisconsin -16 (1 unit)
  • Total Pick: UNDER 41 (0 units)

Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders at Minnesota Golden Gophers

  • Saturday September 16th, 3:30 PM EST
  • TV: BTN
  • Point Spread: Minnesota -10
  • Total: 51

Gophers Head Coach PJ Fleck row, row, row’d his boat all the way to Corvallis, Oregon and laid the smack down on the Oregon State Beavers last week on the road and now he returns to Minnesota to take on the MTSU Blue Raiders. MTSU took advantage of a handful of Syracuse mistakes in the Carrier Dome last week and beat the Orange in their own house. It’s going to be a tall order for the Blue Raiders to look as impressive as they did last week in their second straight road game here. Minnesota will look to establish the run once again this week but the MTSU defense has looked very good thus far in 2017 so if the Gophers can’t move the ball on the ground, it could be a long afternoon for the offense. I think Minnesota will crank up their 1-2 rushing attack of Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks and it will be too much for MTSU to handle as they haven’t seen a ground duo quite like this yet this season.

  • Projected Score: MTSU 17 – Minnesota 31
  • Spread Pick: Minnesota -10 (2 units)
  • Total Pick: UNDER 51 (1 unit)

North Texas Mean Green at Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Saturday September 16th, 3:30 PM EST
  • TV: ESPN 2
  • Point Spread: Iowa -21.5
  • Total: 53.5

Iowa is fresh off a thrilling victory in the CyHawk Trophy rivalry game against Iowa State last week and they’ll look to avoid a let down here against the North Texas Mean Green. North Texas runs an air raid offense which could spell trouble for an Iowa secondary that has looked soft in spots in 2017. Mean Green QB Mason Fine is fresh off of a 424 yard, 2 TD performance last week and will look to exploit the Hawkeyes secondary this week. If Iowa gives Fine time to throw the ball, it could be a long afternoon for Kirk Ferentz’s stop unit. Iowa is going to slam the ball with RB’s Akrum Wadley and James Butler against a North Texas defense that will have no answers. Hawkeyes QB Nathan Stanley looked like he took a big step forward last week and he will be able to do what’s necessary for Iowa to avoid too big a scare in this one.

  • Projected Score: North Texas 21 – Iowa 38
  • Spread Pick: North Texas +21.5 (1 unit)
  • Total Pick: OVER 53.5 (1 unit)

Purdue Boilermakers at Missouri Tigers

  • Saturday September 16th, 3:30 PM EST
  • TV: SEC Network
  • Point Spread: Missouri -7
  • Total: 78.5

The Jeff Brohm era at Purdue is off to a great start after the Boilermakers came up just short of upsetting Louisville and then throttling a decent Ohio team at home. This week they have their work cut out for them as they hit the road to face another high-flying offense in the Missouri Tigers who are fresh off of a disappointing home loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks. Las Vegas set this total at a sky high 78.5 points so if you like points you should definitely tune into this one because they should come in droves. The Purdue offense will utilize their two QB system again with David Blough leading the charge with RB Tario Fuller looking to provide the spark for the offense on the ground. It won’t be very difficult to move the ball against a Missouri defense that is allowing opposing offense to convert 52% of their third downs. On the flip side, Missouri’s offense should be a be able to put up plenty of points against a Purdue defensive front that isn’t generating any pressure at all this season. Look for Tigers QB Drew Lock to have a lot of success throwing the ball as he will have all day to find receivers down field. This is going to be a very fun game to watch and I have to think Purdue keeps it close enough to cover the spread in a high scoring affair.

  • Projected Score: Purdue 35 – Missouri 38
  • Spread Pick: Purdue +7 (1 unit)
  • Total Pick: UNDER 78.5 (1 unit)

Army Black Knights at Ohio State Buckeyes

  • Saturday September 16th, 4:30 PM EST
  • TV: FOX
  • Point Spread: Ohio State -30.5
  • Total: 53

Well I certainly didn’t see that coming. Last week Baker Mayfield took a dump all over Ohio State’s National Championship hopes and dreams as Urban Meyer’s team lost by 15 at home. Buckeyes QB JT Barrett has looked abysmal this season and the whisperings of a benching have begun with Dwayne Haskins waiting in the wings. This week they get a nice tune up as the Army Black Knights bring their triple option offense to the horseshoe. Army will hang tough in the early goings of this game but as the Buckeyes hang points on the board, it will be difficult for Army to respond as they have zero chance of finding success throwing the ball down the field here. I like Army to keep it within the number but there is no shot of this game being within three scores in the fourth quarter.

  • Projected Score: Army 14 – Ohio State 42
  • Spread Pick: Army +30.5 (1 unit)
  • Total Pick: OVER 53 (1 unit)

Georgia State Panthers at Penn State Nittany Lions

  • Saturday September 16th, 7:30 PM EST
  • TV: BTN
  • Point Spread: Penn State -37
  • Total: 54.5

Penn State just keeps on rolling. Sickens me to admit this but I have to say that as of this writing, the Nittany Lions are the clear best team in the conference right now. Before conference play begins against Iowa next week, they get a nice cupcake of a game against a Georgia State team that lost at home to an FCS school a week ago. Penn State QB Trace McSorley was a little out of rhythm against Pitt last week but he will find his groove this week against the Panthers. Nittany Lions RB Saquon Barkley will pad his Heisman resume in this one and run up and down the field for as long as James Franklin keeps him in the game for. The Penn State defense is licking it’s chops for this one as they take on a Georgia State rushing attack that is averaging just 1.7 yards per carry this season. This one just isn’t going to be close but 37 is such a large number that I’m going to stay away completely here.

  • Projected Score: Georgia State 7 – Penn State 45
  • Spread Pick: Penn State -37 (0 units)
  • Total Pick: UNDER 54.5 (0 units)

Bowling Green Falcons at Northwestern Wildcats

  • Saturday September 16th, 7:30 PM EST
  • TV: BTN
  • Point Spread: Northwestern -22
  • Total: 57

It just seems to be Northwestern’s modus operandi that they start off very slow in September and then just kick it into gear in October and November. The Wildcats got beaten up badly by their fellow nerds in the Duke Blue Devils last week but for some reason I just know they’ll be in the thick of the Big Ten West when we’re in November. Bowling Green won’t pose much of a threat in this game as their QB James Morgan hasn’t been able to hit the broad side of a barn, throwing 30 completions on 80 attempts so far this season for two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Bowling Green rushing defense is downright dreadful so Northwestern will be able to use a healthy dose of Justin Jackson here to keep things under control en route to an easy Wildcat victory before they hit conference play.

  • Projected Score: Bowling Green 13 – Northwestern 38
  • Spread Pick: Northwestern -22 (1 unit)
  • Total Pick: UNDER 57 (1 unit)

Weekly picks recap in order of units wagered:

  1. Air Force +24 (3 units)
  2. Air Force/Michigan OVER 47.5 (2 units)
  3. Minnesota -10 (2 units)
  4. Illinois/USF UNDER 56 (1 unit)
  5. Wisconsin -16 (1 unit)
  6. MTSU/Minnesota UNDER 51 (1 unit)
  7. North Texas +21.5 (1 unit)
  8. North Texas/Iowa OVER 53.5 (1 unit)
  9. Purdue +7 (1 unit)
  10. Purdue/Missouri UNDER 78.5 (1 unit)
  11. Army +30.5 (1 unit)
  12. Northwestern -22 (1 unit)
  13. Bowling Green/Northwestern UNDER 57 (1 unit)

Thanks for reading and I will see you all next week!