B1G (Mis)takes: Gambling lines for Week 9
All that time inside Club Cherry Bomb reaped a profit that I immediately spent on holograms of Martha the Mop Lady.
I just get Indiana.
You see an aisle full of pudding and think of a gross, unimaginative dessert, I see an underappreciated snack ridiculed for its plain appearance.
John Mellencamp is not the father of a Real Housewife, but the musician with a greatest hits album that holds the lowest percentage of skips imaginable.
Not to mention Bobby Knight. The world understands him as an angry man who used his temper and vitriol to mask his team’s poor play. I see him as, well, I actually agree with the world on that one. And don’t even get me started on 2019 Indiana football.
After a review of my individual record ATS this season, Indiana checked in at a perfect 4-0. There’s much more than corn in Indiana. There’s a middle-of-the-conference football team some nitwit from suburban Chicago understands better than most. Unfortunately, I don’t like the Indiana game this week. Expect bad things.
Stickler’s note: all lines taken from mybookie.ag. Lines may have shifted from the column’s inception. Funny how a trip to the bank always turns into a withdrawal and a bunch of new pens in your possession.
Game: Notre Dame vs. Michigan -2.5 o/u 51
The play: Notre Dame
The logic: We have endured the lows and lower than lows of Michigan’s season. There were the high points of the 10-3 win over Iowa and the near-comeback against Penn State. Near comeback fails to ring the bell for Michigan.
Notre Dame comes into the game 5-0 off of byes in its last five seasons. The road game at Georgia, complete with fancy red lights most suited for a photographer’s dark room, proved to be not intimidating enough and the Irish covered in the loss. Ian Book was subpar in the performance, but the strength of the defense kept them in the game along with the conservative approach to offensive football that Michigan might lean into this week.
I expect a deflated Michigan crowd with a dash of vigor since it’s Notre Dame in the Big House, but how does Michigan score enough to cover the small number?
The Wolverines are 42 nationally in yards per point, and 48 nationally in punts per score. The numbers are tells that the lack of explosiveness will plague Michigan against the ninth ranked defense in yards per play. Notre Dame covers the number on the strength of its defense.
Game: Wisconsin vs. Ohio State -14 o/u 50
The play: Wisconsin
The logic: It’s becoming a fool’s errand to bet against Ohio State who is 6-1 ATS, but I’m willing to take the Badgers getting two touchdowns on the spirit of the defense and the running game.
Wisconsin committed the sort of mistakes in the form of two fumbles lost and an interception thrown by Jack Coan last week against Illinois, but expect an ultra conservative approach to keep Ohio State out of good field position. Wisconsin is going to make Ohio State drive the length of the field and attempt to eat up large chunks of time on offense in an effort to put Coan in winnable situations on third and fourth down.
Ohio State wins, but faces its most difficult competition of the season. There’s a healthy amount of self-loathing in the pick, as Ohio State showed no mercy through the duration of the season, but expect a return to form for the Badgers even if it means just short of a victory.
Game: Penn State vs. Michigan State +7 o/u 44.5
The play: Over
The logic: Every time Michigan State appears on the conference schedule my better judgement, the angel, tries to send a bunch of distractions to the devil on the other side who coincidentally likes a late arrival and jalapeno peppers on excessive amounts of food. Sometimes the devil gets the lead on the angel.
So it’s entirely against all I feel good about that I involve myself in a Michigan State game. The Spartan offense looks moribund, averaging .34 points per play, among other inefficiencies in efforts to score the ball. But that’s not why you called.
I’m optimistic since Michigan State comes off a bye, and the Penn State defense showed some signs of wear down in the second half against Michigan last weekend. The Nittany Lions’ three game stretch that culminates in a game in East Lansing included games against Iowa and Michigan. Expect a little fatigue from Penn State who might struggle to maintain the dominance they showed against some of the lesser offenses in the Big Ten.
Penn State lost its last two against Michigan State and don’t think James Franklin wants to keep anything in the tank with the Nittany Lions heading into a bye next week. Even if the defense struggles a little expect the offense to pick up the slack and hit the 44.5.
Last week’s record: 2-1
Overall record: 14-9-1
Status on the card: This is the last time I volunteer to be a body double for the loser in a Buried Alive match walk-through when the crane operator suffers from severe hand cramps.