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Cappin’ the B1G: Week 4 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

NCAA Football: Morgan State at Rutgers Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Well it seems as if we’re finally getting on a little roll here for the first time since I’ve started doing this article. Let’s go ahead and make it three strong weeks in a row with another winning week where we all get rich!

To recap Week 3:

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

Season so far:

  • Overall Record: 37-35
  • Wagered Games Record: 20-20
  • Season Units: +2

Bolded W’s and positive season units are good for the soul. Let’s dig into the Week 4 slate.

(Illinois, Minnesota, Northwestern, and Wisconsin are all on BYE this week)

Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Nebraska Cornhuskers

  • Saturday, September 23rd 3:30 PM EST
  • TV: BTN
  • Point Spread: Nebraska -12
  • Total: 47

Rutgers finally showed they have the offensive tools necessary to be competitive in conference play when they steamrolled Morgan State last week by a 65-0 score. If Chris Ash wants to spark some excitement within the program, he can do it by going to Lincoln and coming out with a win. Mike Reilly is on the hot seat after the Cornhuskers lost to Northern Illinois last week and unfortunately for Rutgers, Nebraska isn’t going to be taking this game as lightly as we first thought they could. For the Scarlet Knights to pull off a win here, they need to do what they’ve been doing, controlling the clock for a majority of the game, convert some drives into points, and make Nebraska turn the ball over. If Chris Ash can get the troops to do all of these things, Rutgers may very well come out of Lincoln with a victory. I’m extremely worried that we are getting Nebraska coming off of an unexpected loss because now the entire program is on their toes and ready to prove that last week was a fluke. If the Cornhuskers don’t turn the ball over, I can’t see Rutgers doing enough on offense in this game to get the win so I’m going with my brain over my heart here. This could get ugly.

  • Projected Score: Rutgers 14 – Nebraska 27
  • Spread Pick: Nebraska -12 (1 unit)
  • Total Pick: UNDER 47 (1 unit)

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels at Ohio State Buckeyes

  • Saturday, September 23rd 12 PM EST
  • TV: BTN
  • Point Spread: Ohio State -40.5
  • Total: 65.5

Ohio State gets yet another tune up before entering conference play when the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels come to Columbus. UNLV is best known for losing as a 45.5-point favorite earlier this year when they lost to the FCS Howard Bison in embarrassing fashion. Urban Meyer knows that if the Buckeyes run the gable, they’ll get into the College Football Playoff at the end of the season so they know what’s at stake from here on out. The question is whether or not they can be focused enough to easily handle UNLV. This point spread looks a little too high to me because I know UNLV has some semblance of an offense and can put up a score or two late against the Buckeyes for a backdoor cover.

  • Projected Score: UNLV 13 – Ohio State 48
  • Spread Pick: UNLV +40.5 (1 unit)
  • Total Pick: UNDER 65.5 (1 unit)

UCF Golden Knights at Maryland Terrapins

  • Saturday, September 23rd 3 PM EST
  • TV: Fox Sports 1
  • Point Spread: Maryland -4
  • Total: 59.5

The two teams that meet in College Park on Saturday will both be looking to leave undefeated as DJ Durkin’s Maryland Terrapins host Scott Frost’s UCF Golden Knights. Both teams are coming off of a bye and Frost will be looking for revenge after Maryland escaped with a 30-24 win in Orlando last season. Durkin will be looking to start the season 3-0 for the second time in his career in College Park. Both of these teams rank first and second in the country in scoring, with UCF averaging 61 ppg while Maryland is putting up 57 ppg. UCF is led on offense by QB McKenzie Milton, who had a great game against FIU in the opener, throwing for 360 yards and four touchdowns. Milton had a nice game against Durkin’s defense last year, putting up 260 passing yards and two touchdowns and he will need another solid performance on Saturday. Freshman QB Kasim Hill has looked terrific for Maryland after Tyrrel Pigrome went down with an injury. Hill will use his compliment of weapons including RB Ty Johnson and WR DJ Moore to move the ball down the field in this one. I think this is going to be a very back and forth battle between two teams that I believe are evenly matched. I’ll take the points here in what I assume will be a one possession game either way.

  • Projected Score: UCF 28 – Maryland 31
  • Spread Pick: UCF +4 (1 unit)
  • Total Pick: UNDER 59.5 (0 units)

Georgia Southern Eagles at Indiana Hoosiers

  • Saturday, September 23rd 3:30 PM EST
  • TV: BTN
  • Point Spread: Indiana -24
  • Total: 52

Indiana gets a nice tune up game before conference play begins when they host a downtrodden Georgia Southern squad on Saturday. Indiana got cancelled on by FIU last week due to the hurricane and now they look to get things in order before taking on the Big Ten slate. Georgia Southern’s option offense hasn’t been able to do much of anything this season against Auburn or New Hampshire. Georgia Southern’s offensive line is downright dreadful, allowing a whopping 20 tackles for loss and 11 sacks in just two games as an option offense. Indiana’s defense looked great their last time out on the road against Virginia, shutting down the Cavaliers rushing attack. Indiana is going to utilize a two-QB approach in this one and I think this will be the week that the rushing attack will finally get going after a rough opening two games. I look for this one to fall very close to the number as both teams will eat up tons of clock in this game, preventing it from getting entirely too out of control.

  • Projected Score: Georgia Southern 13 – Indiana 38
  • Spread Pick: Indiana -24 (0 units)
  • Total Pick: UNDER 52 (0 units)

Michigan Wolverines at Purdue Boilermakers

  • Saturday, September 23rd 4 PM EST
  • TV: FOX
  • Point Spread: Michigan -10
  • Total: 51.5

Michigan has gotten off to a relatively easy 3-0 start but have looked dismal on offense thus far and now they travel to take on an upbeat and confident Purdue Boilermaker team that everyone seems to be falling in love with. Can Purdue shock the world? Not so fast my friend. Michigan has struggled to put points on the board on offense but they have done a very good job of moving the ball between the 20’s and when they stall in the red zone, true freshman kicker Quinn Nordin has been money with his FG attempts. I expect Michigan’s rushing attack to flourish against a questionable Purdue stop unit. The Boilermakers have only registered one sack on defense this season and they are 2nd to last in the conference in terms of yards per play allowed. I think Michigan finds it’s rhythm on offense in this one and gets close to 30 points. The Purdue offense has looked great thus far this season but they are about to run into a brick wall. Michigan’s defense is ranked nationwide 5th in total defense, 9th in rushing defense (and they played Air Force!), and 7th in pass efficiency defense. They are also ranked 2nd in the Big Ten in sacks per game and yards allowed per game. Once Michigan grabs an early lead and Purdue is forced to be one dimensional on offense, the Wolverines defense is going to pick apart mistake prone QB David Blough. This is officially my first five-unit max play of the season. Give me the Wolverines.

  • Projected Score: Michigan 35 – Purdue 17
  • Spread Pick: Michigan -10 (5 unit max play)
  • Total Pick: OVER 51.5 (0 units)

Penn State Nittany Lions at Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Saturday, September 23rd 7:30 PM EST
  • TV: ABC
  • Point Spread: Penn State -13
  • Total: 52.5

Head Coach James Franklin has the Nittany Lions rolling on all cylinders lately as they are fresh off of another beat down shutout performance over Georgia State last week and now they enter hostile territory in Iowa City. Along with Penn State, Iowa also sports a 3-0 record and is looking to put themselves right in the thick of the race for the Big Ten title. This will be Penn State’s first true test of the season as they have played three really crappy opponents thus far. In order for Iowa to have a legit shot of winning this game, they have to play keep away and stay in control of the game by taking off huge chunks of clock while utilizing their run game to march down the field. This year’s Iowa team is better than the one that knocked off Michigan in Iowa City last year and I’m feeling another upset this year. I think they will come up just short in the end, but I can’t pass up taking 13 points from James Franklin at home here.

  • Projected Score: Penn State 27 – Iowa 21
  • Spread Pick: Iowa +13 (2 units)
  • Total Pick: UNDER 52.5 (1 unit)

Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Michigan State Spartans

  • Saturday, September 23rd 8 PM EST
  • TV: FOX
  • Point Spread: Notre Dame -3
  • Total: 54.5

These games have been very entertaining in the past few years and I expect the one on Saturday to be no different as the 2-1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish head into East Lansing to take on the 2-0 Michigan State Spartans. Sparty seems to be completely over the 3-9 mess of a year ago and have their sights set on an upset here that may completely change the direction of their program. Notre Dame QB Brandon Wimbush has had a lot of difficulty throwing the football thus far this year but he’s made up for it with his legs, picking up 6 rushing touchdowns in just 3 games. The Irish have great receiving threats in WR Equanimeous St Brown and Alize Mack so look for Wimbush to take some steps forward with his arm as the season progresses. The strength of the Irish offense lies in their run game as they picked up 400 yards rushing versus Temple and over 500 yards versus Boston College. Michigan State has looked good on defense albeit against dog crap competition and the Notre Dame offensive line is going to have a big night Saturday against the Spartans. Notre Dame has looked great on defense this season, allowing just 16, 20, and 20 points thus far and Michigan State hasn’t looked great on offense against lackluster competition. I believe that Notre Dame will win the rushing battle by a wide margin here and find their way to a comfortable cover on the road over Mark Dantonio’s Spartans.

  • Projected Score: Notre Dame 30 – Michigan State 20
  • Spread Pick: Notre Dame -3 (4 units)
  • Total Pick: UNDER 54.5 (1 unit)

Weekly picks recap in order of units wagered:

1. Michigan -10 (5 units)

2. Notre Dame -3 (4 units)

3. Iowa +13 (2 units)

4. Nebraska -11 (1 unit)

5. Rutgers/Nebraska UNDER 47 (1 unit)

6. UNLV +40.5 (1 unit)

7. UNLV/Ohio State UNDER 65.5 (1 unit)

8. UCF +4 (1 unit)

9. Penn State/Iowa UNDER 52.5 (1 unit)

10. Notre Dame/Michigan State UNDER 54.5 (1 unit)

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you all again next week!