COLUMBUS, Ohio — Penn State gets its toughest test of the season so far on Saturday night, and we’ll all find out just how good, or not so good, Michigan football is this season.
Ohio State’s off week coincides with this showdown between its two main rivals, and it’s hard to imagine a scenario where the Michigan offense can get enough done to win this one. A big play here and there from Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley and running back Saquon Barkley should be too much for the Wolverines to keep up with, so expect the Nittany Lions to roll into Columbus next week undefeated and still ranked No. 2 in the nation.
Though the Buckeyes aren’t playing, we’re still picking.
Last week’s results
Bill Landis: 8-4
Doug Lesmerises: 7-5
Reader Sam Faulkner: 6-6
Tim Bielik: 6-6
Year to date results
Tim: 50-41 (4-3 best bets)
Readers: 50-41 (3-4 best bets)
Doug: 47-44 (3-4 best bets)
Bill: 44-47 (5-2 best bets)
Thanks to Sam Faulkner of Lexington, Ky., who picked with us last week. Welcome Jon Burnell (@MrB135) of Columbiana, Ohio, as our guest picker this week.
Maryland at Wisconsin (-24.5), Noon, Fox
Maryland: Jon, Bill
Wisconsin: Doug, Tim
Iowa at Northwestern (+1.5), Noon, ESPN2
Purdue at Rutgers (+9.5), Noon, BTN
Purdue: Doug, Tim
Rutgers: Jon, Bill
Indiana at Michigan State (-7), 3:30, ABC
Indiana: Bill, Tim
Michigan State: Doug, Jon
Illinois at Minnesota (-13.5), 3:30, BTN
Illinois: Doug, Bill
Minnesota: Jon, Tim
Michigan at Penn State (-9.5), 7:30, ABC
Penn State: Doug, Jon, Tim
Louisville at Florida State (-6.5), Noon, ESPN
Louisville: Doug, Jon
Florida State: Bill, Tim
Oklahoma State at Texas (+7), Noon, ABC
Oklahoma State: Doug, Jon, Tim
Tennessee at Alabama (-36), 3:30, CBS
Alabama: Jon, Bill, Tim
Syracuse at Miami (-17), 3:30, ESPN
Syracuse: Jon, Bill, Tim
Central Florida at Navy (+7), 3:30, CBSSN
Central Florida: Everyone
Oklahoma at Kansas State (+14.5), 4, FOX
Oklahoma: Doug, Tim
Kansas State: Jon, Bill
USC at Notre Dame (-3.5), 7:30, NBC
Notre Dame: Doug, Jon, Bill
BIG TEN BEST BET
Tim: Penn State (-9.5) vs. Michigan
This bet is largely about Michigan’s offense not being up to par in the past two weeks, particularly with John O’Korn at quarterback. He threw for 58 yards at Indiana last week. You can’t get away with being one-dimensional on the road in the Whiteout at Penn State. Michigan’s defense will be the best Penn State has seen all season. But that won’t make up for a team that has trouble scoring. Penn State will find enough offense with all of its weapons to win by double digits at home.
Jon: Maryland (+24.5) at Wisconsin
Wisconsin plays every game close and Maryland is not as bad as Ohio State made them look. The spread is way too much.
Bill: Maryland (+24.5) at Wisconsin
I just don’t think Big Ten West teams ever cover these massive spreads against conference opponents. Wisconsin’s average margin of victory in conference play is 12.7. The Badgers are the class of the West, and they’ll win, but not by three-plus touchdowns.
Doug: Purdue (-9.5) at Rutgers
The Scarlet Knights won at Illinois so now they’re fixed? Not quite. In the last three weeks, Purdue scored 10 against Michigan and 9 against Wisconsin. This is a chance to remind people what that Purdue offense looked like earlier in the year and could be a huge blowout in New Jersey.