Pick Six: Wisconsin, Arkansas can come through as road dogs against top-10 teams
Putting it all -- or just your hard-earned cash -- on the line with some confident calls for Week 4
I told you last week that my mediocre start to the season was just a result of wanting to get our losses out of the way early in the year so we could all finish strong together.
I would never lie to you.
We had a fantastic week, going 5-1. Even the Hail Mary Parlay hit, so if you followed all of my advice, you owe me at least one beer, and it better be imported. Oddly enough, the only miss last week was my Over/Under of the Week.
I told you that Boston College Eagles games had stayed under in seven straight 10 of the previous 12. So of course Boston College allowed Virginia Tech Hokies to hit the over all by itself in a 49-0 loss. But hey, overs happen, and we did so well everywhere else that to be angry about it would be silly.
Instead we're focusing on keeping it going this weekend, and I've got some picks I'm excited to make.
Games of the Week
No. 11 Wisconsin Badgers (+6) at No. 8 Michigan State Spartans : Bit of a spoiler alert here, but when I posted this game for my Twitter followers to pick, the results were incredible. They were all over Michigan State, as the Spartans won the poll in a landslide. The general betting public feels the same as 63 percent of the bets as of this writing were on Michigan State. But I just don't agree.
I know the Badgers struggled against Georgia State last week and are a bit banged up, but I think this line and the way it's being bet are just too large of an overreaction. Yes, Michigan State beat Notre Dame last week, but I have serious doubts about the Notre Dame defense, so I'm not ready to trust Michigan State's offense enough to cover this spread -- particularly against a Wisconsin defense that is allowing only 13.7 points per game and giving up 3.34 yards per carry to opposing rushers. Sparty is going to win, but it's not going to cover. Michigan State 20, Wisconsin 16
Twitter Pick: Michigan State -6 (73 percent)
No. 17 Arkansas Razorbacks (+6) vs. No. 10 Texas A&M (Arlington, Texas): I really like Texas A&M this season. I picked the Aggies to finish second in the SEC West before the season began, and I'm currently hoping my Chicago Bears finish with the worst record in the NFL so they can draft my man-crush Myles Garrett next spring. I just can't pick the Aggies to cover here.
Here are some fun facts for you about Bret Bielema's Razorbacks. Since 2014 (Bret's second season in Fayetteville), Arkansas is 11-4-1 against the spread in SEC play. As an underdog in SEC play, the Hogs are 9-2-1 ATS, and that includes five wins outright.
The Aggies, meanwhile, don't fare as well against the spread in SEC play. Since 2013 -- A&M's second season in the conference -- the Aggies are 7-17-1 ATS in conference play, though they are 1-0 this year after covering against Auburn Tigers last week. Still, that lone cover isn't nearly enough to make me ignore what the trends are smacking me over the head with. Texas A&M 27, Arkansas 24
Twitter Pick: Texas A&M -6 (52 percent)
Lock of the Week
Indiana Hoosiers (-7.5) vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons : Wake Forest is an early-season surprise as it's off to a 3-0 start, and it burned me once already this year when I listed Duke Blue Devils as my Lock of the Week against the Deacons two weeks ago. Well, I don't see that happening again this week. The Deacs haven't faced an offense within the same stratosphere as Indiana's, so I'm skeptical about their defense's ability to slow down the Hoosiers and -- improved or not -- I don't believe Wake's offense will be able to keep up. Indiana 38, Wake Forest 20
Underdog of the Week
Syracuse Orange (+5) at Connecticut Huskies : If you see me putting faith in Syracuse and you're a bit put off, just know that I'm not actually putting faith in the Orange. I'm putting faith in UConn. You see, last week I made Virginia Cavaliers -- another team off to a rough start -- my underdog of the week on the road against the Huskies and it paid off. What I didn't tell you last week -- honestly, it was in my notes but I just forgot to put it in the post -- is that UConn is a sure thing at home. Since Bob Diaco took over, the Huskies are 0-7 ATS as a favorite. So until they show any kind of ability to cover a spread when laying points, you should exploit this, and I am. Syracuse 27, UConn 20
Over/Under of the Week
No. 20 Nebraska Cornhuskers at Northwestern Wildcats (Under 48.5): I was burned by Boston College last week, and it isn't here this week, but it's not because I'm scared off by the Virginia Tech game. It's only because BC is playing Wagner, so I can't get a line on it. Instead, we're turning to another old favorite when it comes to betting unders: Northwestern. The under has hit in all three Northwestern games this year and in six of its last seven. Nebraska's been pretty under friendly itself as of late, as the under has come through in two of its three games this year and four of its last five games. Nebraska 24, Northwestern 13
Hail Mary Parlay of the Week
Friday night: Utah Utes (-3) vs. Southern California Trojans
Saturday afternoon: No. 19 Florida Gators at No. 14 Tennessee Volunteers (Under 43.5)
Saturday evening: Cal at Arizona State Sun Devils (Under 82.5)
|Last Week||2016 Overall|
|Games of the Week||2-0||4-2|
|Lock of the Week||1-0||2-1|
|Underdog of the Week||1-0||2-1|
|Over/Under of the Week||0-1||1-2|
|Hail Mary Parlay||1-0||1-2|
An early-season Big 12 game already has major conference and national implications
Top-ranked Alabama hits the road to take on upstart Vanderbilt in Nashville on Saturday
The battle of the Bulldogs will take place Saturday night between the hedges
Penn State hits the road to take on Iowa under the lights in both teams' Big Ten opener.
Penalties include a two-year probation and a show-cause for former coach Kyle Flood
Dig below the surface and you'll find a lot of intriguing matchups on the slate this Satur...