Last week ATS: 7-8 (3-2 National, 4-6 B1G)
Season ATS: 25-22-1 (11-5 National, 14-17-1 B1G)
If you missed yesterday’s national games picks you should feel awful about yourself. Not only has MC&J been doing our best work in the national games, but there are two games tonight you should be paying attention to.
No. 11 Michigan v. No. 13 Wisconsin (-3.5) - 12:00 PM EST - FOX
I’m so glad I’m not a Michigan fan right now. The Wolverines have had a couple weeks to stir over a double-overtime win against Army, and now Michigan has to go to the land of cheese to take on Wisconsin.
Can you believe that Wisconsin hasn’t allowed a point so far this season? Well it’s real life. The Badgers shutout both South Florida and Central Michigan before having last week off to prepare for Michigan. Even though Wisconsin has Jonathan Taylor at running back. Jack Coan has been sneaky good so far at quarterback for the Badgers.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say the hook didn’t scare me with this spread, but I feel like Michigan has a rude awakening coming for them. The Badgers wear down Michigan with Taylor, and by the end of the game Wisconsin ends up winning by at least a touchdown. Michigan just isn’t tough enough to hang with the Badgers here.
Wisconsin 27, Michigan 20
Michigan State (-9) v. Northwestern - 12:00 PM EST - ABC
This game just feels like it is going to be one of the dumbest games of 2019. Michigan State lost last week after they had too many men on the field for a field goal attempt in which they tied the game on. The Spartans couldn’t hit the second to force overtime with Arizona State.
Northwestern has their own mess going on. The quarterback job belongs to Hunter Johnson after T.J. Green was injured for the rest of season during the season opening loss to Stanford. The Wildcats beat UNLV last week after they had a week to prepare for the Rebels, but they were less than impressive in doing so.
I’m less than impressed by both teams right now, which makes me laying so many points with Michigan State even crazier than it already is. At least the Spartans do have pieces on offense, along with Kenny Willekes on the defensive line, which makes me feel like Michigan State is about to have a statement game. Hunter Johnson continues to struggle as the Spartans win by double digits.
Michigan State 27, Northwestern 14
UConn v. Indiana (-27.5) - 12:00 PM EST - Big Ten Network
Where do I even start with something like this? UConn covered against Illinois earlier this season, but the Huskies were at home. Indiana just got blasted in Bloomington by Ohio State. Even though the Hoosiers are at home against one of the worst FBS teams out there, I still feel like Indiana is capable of messing this up enough to where they don’t cover. UConn loses, but they don’t lose by four touchdowns.
Indiana 41, UConn 17
Boston College (-8.5) v. Rutgers - 12:00 PM EST - Big Ten Network
Boston College might have lost to Kansas last week, but do you really want to back Rutgers? The Eagles do have Anthony Brown at quarterback and A.J. Dillon at running back, which is a lot of talent. I’m having a hard time believing Boston College lays two eggs in a row against a couple of the worst teams in the country. Rutgers doesn’t get shutout, but they also don’t score a lot of points.
Boston College 31, Rutgers 13
Nebraska (-13.5) v. Illinois - 8:00 PM EST - Big Ten Network
Illinois just lost Eastern Michigan, right? They definitely did. I was all about Lovie Smith trying to bring the Illinois program back, but I just don’t see it anymore. Sure, Illinois has Michigan transfer quarterback Brandon Peters, and while he is doing the best he can, it doesn’t mean much when he doesn’t have much talent to work with.
Nebraska had a hiccup when they lost to Colorado a couple weeks ago, but the Cornhuskers are working their way to national prominance. Nebraska had little trouble with Northern Illinois, who beat Nebraska in Lincoln in 2017. Adrian Martinez continues to impress at quarterback, while the defense is doing their best to restore some pride in the unit.
I wouldn’t be surprised at this game getting really weird, but I think Nebraska’s will to make a statement heading into next week’s Ohio State game will lead to the Cornhuskers pulling away with a relatively easy victory. Lovie needs a lot of help in Champaign.
Nebraska 42, Illinois 23
Miami (OH) v. No. 6 Ohio State (-39.5) - 3:30 PM EST - Big Ten Network
I truly do hate huge spreads like this. It’s obvious Ohio State is the better team, but one or two fluky plays could lead to the RedHawks covering this game. Also, who knows when Ohio State is going to pull their starters, especially with a trip to Nebraska under the lights in Lincoln on tap for next Saturday.
Justin Fields has been dynamite in his first three starts for the Buckeyes. while J.K. Dobbins has regained his 2017 form, posting 100-yard rushing efforts in his last two games. With plenty of targets for Fields to hit in the passing game, there is no reason Ohio State shouldn’t score at least 50 points on Saturday afternoon.
The RedHawks will trot out Brett Gabbert at quarterback, who is the brother of Blaine Gabbert. Defensive end Chase Young already has five sacks through the first three games of the season, and the junior is primed for more. Miami’s offensive line is experienced at least, with 82 career starts, but they haven’t seen many defensive ends like Young.
I did have some hesitations about this spread, but I keep thinking back to how Ohio State just went and beat Indiana by 41 points in Bloomington with ease. No offense to Miami fans, but Indiana is a couple notches above the RedHawks. I know Ohio State will probably keep things pretty vanilla, especially with Nebraska looming next week, but even Ohio State’s second string has to be better than what Miami will be fielding. The Buckeyes score early and often on Saturday afternoon.
Ohio State 58, Miami (OH) 13