B1G Action: Betting lines and picks for Week 2
Apologizing prevailed after Week 1.
Ryan Day apologized to Scott Frost for not taking a knee at the end of Ohio State’s win against Nebraska. Day wanted Nebraska and Ohio State on good terms should a plague of locusts jeopardize the 2022 college football season.
Indiana kicker Jared Smolar botched a squib kick near the end of regulation in Saturday’s game versus Penn State and apologized on Twitter, the ideal platform to bare one’s soul and catch no flak for such openness.
Draftkings apologized to those who bet on the Penn State moneyline and refunded all bets on Saturday’s game after the loss to Indiana. The betting public accepted their apology and did them one better by taking the Bears with the points Monday night. So contrite, but so after-the-fact.
Enough Monday morning quarterbacking the act of contrition. Might as well get out ahead of my mistake. I will flat-out stink in Week 2. I’m sorry. At least I can’t get the Wisconsin-Nebraska game wrong.
The line between red and black is needle-thin. Scour the Week 1 box scores? Or rest assured on the merits of the season-long stats from the 2019 season? Shrug shoulders to the beat of “Mambo No. 5” until the lyrics correlate to a side and a team?
Fine. I’m sorry.
Please confuse activity with accomplishment.
Stickler’s note: Lines may have changed since the pick’s inception. Sometimes overtime of the late Sunday game delays the start of “60 Minutes.” Consider yourself blessed to be on the West Coast.
Indiana -12 vs. Rutgers O/U 52.5
The play: Rutgers
The logic: Did the White House announce Tom Allen’s Presidential Medal of Freedom? Must be after the Nobel people are done with him.
Big week for the Hoosiers. Indiana’s hurdled the monsters in the East who dizzied and confused them with an array of problems for the last several years. Such accomplishment should not absolve the team from its offensive failures, including a 3rd down conversion percentage near 33% and nearly half the time of possession of Penn State. Throw in the 100 yards in penalties amassed by Penn State, and some sizable breadcrumbs charted the Hoosiers’ path to victory.
Expect Rutgers to play a cleaner brand of football than Penn State and keep things cautiously vanilla on defense to force the Hoosiers into longer drives.
(Note: no muscle spasming took place after I typed the last sentence. Also, Cautiously Vanilla is the name of my new boutique ice cream parlor devoted to the men and women of neighborhood watch.)
Michigan State +25 vs. Michigan O/U 53.5
The play: Michigan
The logic: Jim Harbaugh doesn’t do social graces and niceties. Other coaches wish to engender goodwill amid conference brethren. Harbaugh’s inability or disinterest in reading the room is a charming trait for those who prefer the scenes in “Curb Your Enthusiasm” when Larry David skews dramatic. It’s Michigan State. Harbaugh has the sort of bells-and-whistles quarterback and speed on the defensive line that he’ll want to display.
Don’t expect Michigan State to continue to honor the later part of Mark Dantonio’s tenure with another 7-turnover performance, but nothing from the paltry run game — not to mention the lack of explosive plays — shows me that Michigan State can keep up with Michigan. Throw in Mel Tucker’s Urban Meyer impression and Harbaugh’s salt truck is ready for the newest wound.
Purdue -7 vs. Illinois O/U 58
The play: Over
The logic: Jeff Brohm is going to be itchy to fling the ball all over Memorial Stadium when he returns to coach Purdue on Saturday. After watching Graham Mertz and Wisconsin efficiently carve up the Fighting Illini in the pass game last week, the Boilermakers are ready to dive head-first into the attempt.
For all the grievances justifiably sent to the fighting Illini after last week’s loss to Wisconsin, the offense ran the ball relatively well and averaged over 5 yards a carry. Matched up against a Purdue defense at the bottom of the conference in rushing yards last season, it’s easy to see these teams trading scores in opposite styles of offense.
Last week’s record: 3-0
The other B1G lines (you’re on your own)
Minnesota -20 vs. Maryland o/u 60.5
Northwestern +2.5 vs. Iowa o/u 46.5
Ohio State -11.5 vs. Penn State o/u 63