Michigan missed field goals. Pitt earned an atrocious bad beat against Marshall. Our picks went 2-3 last week, bring us to 10-14-1 ATS on the season. Here’s hoping for improvement.
Rutgers [+27.5] vs. Michigan
New Jersey’s college team faces off against New Jersey’s best recruits. Michigan leaves Ann Arbor for the first time, following a physical game against Wisconsin. It’s hard to see Rutgers scoring more than the odd touchdown, sans Janarion Grant. But, there’s potential for bad weather. There’s a probability Michigan leans on the run, shortens the game, and heads comfortably into the bye week without running up a huge margin. Don’t forget about that Wolverine field goal unit that has missed five of nine attempts in 2016.
Oregon State [+13.5] vs. California
Cal heads on the road, where they have suffered both losses thus far. The Bears have one dimension, Davis Webb throwing to Chad Hansen. The latter has 55 catches and 8 touchdowns already. Perhaps the one thing Oregon State does well is defend the pass with excellent cornerbacks. Cal also has a porous defense, especially against the run. The Beavers keep it closer than anticipated at home in a night game.
Boston College [+17.5] vs. Clemson
This is prime letdown territory for Clemson, following a dramatic, emotional, and important Louisville win. That’s far from the optimal time to play on the road, in a short week night game, against a very good defense. Steve Addazio’s hallmark, besides talking about “dudes,” has been making his team a tough out against very good opponents. That has included Florida State and Clemson nearly every time. The Tigers may struggle rushing. They have not shown a great proclivity for hanging onto the ball. Take the points in a defensive battle.
North Carolina State [-2.5] vs. Notre Dame
Sure, the Wolfpack haven’t played anyone. The Irish, one could point out, have not beaten anyone. N.C. State has a prolific, efficient offense, that does not commit turnovers. They should tear apart a soft, inept Notre Dame defense. Their defense is decent against the run and does not allow big pass plays. This is a bad matchup for the Irish, in one of their only true road games of the season. Trust the line. Take the points.
Kansas [+28.5] vs. TCU
Kansas tends to play TCU pretty well since they joined the Big 12. Even great TCU teams have struggled. Gary Patterson’s largest victory margin against the Jayhawks in four attempts is 14 (20-6 in 2012). The last two games were decided by less than a touchdown. Kansas is a work that has yet to make much progress. But, the Jayhawks are relatively decent defending the pass, against a team that will try to throw it 50 times per game on them. Factor in the fits and starts of TCU’s offense. Expect this to be the halftime score tweeted around when it’s a 6-3 game before TCU pulls away.