I'll be upfront about this. This weekend's slate sucks, boring, dull, whatever. There's very few games that will have relevancy on a national scale. It is either hot seats for the very good teams who are ready for an upset, or trying to separate the middle of the conference teams from the not sure just how bad they are teams. Yea not very fun. Guess the people scheduling the games figured everyone would be piss drunk and away from their TVs since it is halloween. (Also is Halloween even a thing this year?) Oh yea, and go pour one out for Wisconsin and go buy a Wisconsin fan a drink, they need one. Also remember that eventually, these will just be on Barstool Bets so get used to checking over there when Friday rolls around. I hope there are some amazing upsets this weekend that I can write about. I need to find something to write about that excites me about this weekend. Ugh whatever, meh slate. Let's talk some football.
Texas @ #6 Oklahoma State, 4pm, opened OK State -3, 58.
Questions: Has Texas figured their defensive issues out, or did they just do what they needed to do against Baylor? What has OK State done this season to make you think "wow they're good"? Is OK State's defense really good or have they not been tested?
Matchup: Last year, Texas won 36-30 at home, breaking a 4 year win streak by OK State. The underdog has covered in the last 3 meetings. Over is 7-1 in the last 8 meetings in Oklahoma State. Last week Texas seemed to have found its rushing defense, so going against Chuba Hubbard will be a test to see if it is for real.
2019: UT won 36-30 at home.
2018: OK won 38-35 at home.
2017: OK won 13-10 at Texas.
2016: OK won 49-31 at home.
2015: OK won 30-27 at Texas.
Texas (3-2): coming off of a 27-16 win over Baylor, and an OT 53-45 loss to Oklahoma two weeks prior. It seems that Texas has finally found their defense, especially against the rush. They only allowed 316 yards, of which only 64 were rushing. In B12 play, before Baylor, they had allowed an average of 456 ypg with 181.6 rushing ypg. Games have been averaging 77.2 total points, with Texas scoring 45 of them. Can throw and run the ball but is a heavy passing favorite.
Spread: Are 1-3-1 ATS this season, and haven’t covered vs. a B12 team yet. Since 2018 are 3-6 ATS as the away team, and 1-2 ATS as an away underdog. In the L6 games when underdog by less than a TD are 1-5 ATS.
Total: Before the Baylor game, all 4 games have gone over. Under Herman are 5-1 for the under as a road underdog. Since 2019, are 1-4 for the over vs. ranked opponents, and 1-2 for the over as the away underdog.
SU: Under Herman are 1-5 SU as a road underdog. Since 2019, as an underdog are 1-6 SU.
Oklahoma State (4-0): Coming off of a 24-21 win over #17 Iowa State, and a 47-7 win over Kansas three weeks prior. Games have been averaging 40.5 total points, with OK scoring 28.5 of them. Is a fairly equal passing and rushing team. One of the four undefeated P5 teams left (that have played more than one game) and reputation wise seem to still not have recovered from their close win over Tulsa (16-7). Spencer Sanders came back from injury, and played the full game vs. Iowa State so seems good to go.
Spread: Have covered their last 3 games, and all their B12 games. Since 2019 are 12-4-1 ATS in all games, 5-2 ATS as home favorite, 8-3-1 ATS vs. B12 teams, and 8-2-1 ATS after a win. Are on a 2-9 ATS run as a top 10 team.
Total: Are 3-1 for the under this season, on a 0-7-1 for the over streak. Since 2019 are 6-11 for the over in all games, 2-5 for the over as home favorite, and 4-8 for the under vs. B12 teams. Last 5 home games have been unders.
SU: Since 2019 are 7-1 SU as a home favorite, and on a 5-0 streak.
Opinion: I think that this could be one of the more interesting, and more importantly, close, games this weekend. Texas seems to have finally found a defense, yes it was vs. Baylor, but the fact they found any at all is remarkable, so we'll take it. Oklahoma State's defense has been very solid all year, and I think they'll keep Texas off the board. Just looking at his game the under looks good, but if you look at the history of the matchup the over is the play. Spencer Sanders is back for OK State and looks very healthy. This is a huge choke spot for Gundy and Texas has been out of the spotlight for too long so feel like they're due for a "We'Re BaCk" game. I would love to see OK State make it to the playoffs but they're entering a 3 game gauntlet that each are a huge let down spot. Wouldn't be surprised if this goes to OT, but think Texas will cover.
Michigan State @ #13 Michigan, 12pm, opened Michigan -23.5, 53.5.
Questions: Did Michigan win or did Minnesota lose last week? How good is Rutgers? Can Michigan State get their turnover issues under wraps? Last week was Joe Milton’s first start, how much of a step up, if any, can we expect this week? Could Michigan look ahead to Indiana next week?
Matchup: Michigan has covered the last two, MSU covered the 8 before then.
2019: UM won 44-10 at home.
2018: UM won 21-7 at MSU.
2017: MSU won 14-10 at UM.
2016: UM won 32-23 at MSU. (UM was favored by 24.5 here)
Michigan State (0-1) with first year HC Mel Tucker, they just gave Rutgers their first B1G win in 21 games. Lost 38-27. Were a heavy pass team with only rushing for 50 yards. Against Rutgers, had 7 turnovers and only caused 3. QB Rocky Lombardi was 72%, had 3 TDs and 2 INTS, and was in the negatives in rushing yards. Has the worst efficiency in rushing offense with 1.28 yards per attempt.
With a new head coach and quarterback, take these stats with a grain of salt. Last year they beat Rutgers 27-0, and they just lost 38-27 to them last week.
Spread: Last year, were 2-7 ATS vs. B1G teams, 0-4 ATS vs. ranked teams, and 0-3 ATS as away underdogs. On a 0-7-1 ATS when an underdog.
Total: Last year was 5-8 for the over in all games, 1-3 for the over vs. ranked opponents. On a 9-1 for the under streak as an underdog, but that 1 over came the last time they played Michigan. Are 2-7 for the over when underdog by more than 14.
SU: on an 0-8 streak when the underdog. Have lost the last 13 when underdog by more than 14.
Michigan (1-0) is coming off of a 49-24 win over Minnesota. They were fairly evenly split between running and throwing the ball. QB Joe Milton, in his first career start did pretty well, 68%, 225 yards and averaged 10.2 ypp, rushed for 52 yards, and 2 TDs, one of which was rushing. They rushed by committee with 5 players having 5+ carries, including Milton. Minnesota’s defense didn’t put up much of a fight, keeping them from scoring/scoring positions on only 2 plays; Michigan had 3 missed FGs. Are already #1 nationally in effective rushing offense with 8.26 yards per attempt.
Spread: Since 2018, are 9-4 ATS as home favorite, and 12-7 ATS vs. B1G teams. Under Harbaugh are 8-14 ATS when favored by 21+, and 3-6 ATS since 2018, and 2-4 ATS when at home favorite. Are on a 3-11 ATS run when favored by 21+, 2 of those covers did come last year. Currently 6-1 ATS as a favorite.
Total: Since 2018 are 9-4 for the over has a home favorite, 14-5 for the over vs. B1G teams, and 18-9 for the over in all games.
SU: on a 14-0 SU streak as a home favorite, and 29-2 as home favorite under Harbaugh. Harbaugh has never lost at home when favored by 21+, (16 games). Have won the last 13 games when favored by 21+.
Opinion: 7 turnovers. SEVEN. That's the big part of where MSU lost Rutgers last week, oh and the only 50 yards rushing. I don't think Rutgers was that good, MSU gave them the game. On the other side of the ball, I can't tell either way from the Minnesota vs. Michigan game; whether Minnesota gave them the game or not. Michigan made Minnesota's defense look non-existent, but after one game it is hard to tell if that is Michigan being amazing or if Minnesota never had any defense to begin with. My guess is the latter. But luckily for Michigan, MSU didn't have any signs of having a defense either. With a new HC, I think that this game is a must compete for MSU, but I just don't think they have the tools to do so. Yes Michigan has Indiana next week, but this still rivalry game so I don't think that Michigan takes this for granted, so they'll lay on every point possible. If they can win by 50, they will.
Mississippi State @ #2 Alabama, 7pm, opened Alabama -32.5, 62.5.
Questions: has the SEC figured out the air raid? Can Mississippi State catch Alabama sleeping? If Alabama puts Bryce Young in, can Leach take advantage? Does Alabama want to cover, or will they put in the 2nd or 3rd string? Is Mississippi State’s defense for real or hasn’t been properly tested?
Matchup: Alabama has won the last 12, only 3 of those were by 30+. Alabama is 4-1 ATS in L5 meetings. A matchup of #3 (alabama, 566.4ypg) overall offense vs. #15 (miss st, 295.5 ypg) overall defense. L10 meetings are 2-7-1 for the over. This season for all teams, underdogs by 28+ vs. a ranked opponent are 7-3-1 ATS.
2019: Alabama won 38-7 at MS.
2018: Alabama won 24-0 at home.
2017: Alabama won 31-24 at MS.
2016: Alabama won 51-3 at home.
Mississippi State (1-3): Off of a bye, and a 28-14 loss to #11 Texas A&M the week before. Has lost 3 in a row. Games have been averaging 45.3 total points with Miss St. scoring 18.5 of them. With the air raid, only throws the ball, averaging 28.5 rushing yards per game. Top RB Kylin Hill is out for the season/off the team. Costello’s leash is getting much shorter, and have started seeing more of Will Rogers.
Spread: haven’t covered the last 3 games. Biggest spread since 2006 vs. LSU. 6-1 ATS in L7 games following a 10+ point loss at home. Since 2019, are 1-4 ATS vs. ranked teams.
Total: Last 3 games have gone under. When off of a bye, the last 5 have gone under.
SU: seems (according to sports database) this is the 4th time in the program they’re an underdog by 30+. Lost the last 3 SU. On a 0-20 SU streak when underdog by 17 or more, and never won (0-25) when road underdog by 18+.
Alabama (5-0): coming off of a 48-17 win over Tennessee and a 41-24 win over #3 Georgia the week before. Games have been averaging 74.8 total points with Alabama scoring 48.4 of them. Can run and throw the ball but a heavy throw team. Top WR Jaylen Waddle is out for the year with a broken ankle, but there are 2 WRs that are right behind him ready to fill the gap; so don’t expect the unit to take a huge hit.
Spread: After winning by 28+, on a 2-7 ATS streak. When at a rest disadvantage are on a 5-0 ATS streak. No good data on when Alabama is favored by this much, close to 50/50.
Total: are 4-1 for the over for this season. Last 4 favorites at home were all overs. Since 2019, are 9-4 for the over vs. SEC teams, 6-3 for the over as home favorite, 10-4 for over after a win. After winning by 28, they have been 8-0 for overs.
SU: hasn't lost to an unranked team since 2007, that's 93 games.
Opinion: Brandon, I'm so sorry. This game is going to suck. Leach is currently purging his team of the "malcontents", maybe this is going to be for the better for the program down the road, but not having Kylin Hill on the field, from a strictly talent angle, is certainly not going to be an upgrade. Maybe after seeing Jaylen Waddle go down last week Saban will be fast to put in back ups and keep starters healthy? The biggest test in this game is going to be Mississippi State's defense. I don't think they have been pushed much this year, and now they're facing the biggest challenge in the nation. Miss St.'s defense numbers are inflated a bit for sure, but I still think there is something to them; I think they'll keep Alabama from completely embarrassing them to the point they never want to play for Leach again. Instead it'll only be embarrassing to the point of a "well what did you think was gonna happen?" Ultimately I think that the locker room at Miss St. is a blaze right now and emotions are all over the place. Even with an extra week to prepare for this game I still think the team isn't cohesive and ready to put up a fight; feels like even at 31.5 points, Alabama will still cover.
#3 Ohio State @ #18 Penn State, 7:30pm, opened OSU -9.5, 61.5.
Matchup: Ohio State has won the last 3 meetings. Look for Penn State to attack on the ground. Penn State has covered the last 4. Besides 2019, with an 11 point difference, the 3 games before that have been decided by 3 or less. Has the less college gameday show.
2019: 28-17 at home.
2018: 27-26 at PSU.
2017: 39-38 at home.
Ohio State (1-0): coming off a 52-17 win over Nebraska. Both run and throw the ball, with passing slightly favored. Have a stronger pass defense than rushing. Last week Nebraska’s quarterbacks found their legs, and OSU’s defense let them. With Clifford being mobile, the defensive line needs to find a way to keep him in the pocket. Also proved last week that they don’t buckle under pressure but respond well and turn on their A game.
Spread: Since 2019, are 8-3 ATS vs. B1G teams, 4-1 ATS as an away favorite, 10-5 ATS for all games. Are on a 8-1 ATS streak when allowing less than 20 points in the previous game. 9-2ATS after covering the spread in the previous game. 1-4 ATS streak after a SU win.
Total: Since 2019, are 4-1 for the over as an away favorite, and 1-5 for the over vs. ranked teams. Last 3 road games went over.
SU: on 7-0 SU run as an away favorite.
Penn State (0-1): coming off of a 36-35 OT loss to Indiana on a controversial 2pt conversion play. Both run and throw the ball, with running slightly favored. Only allowed 41 rushing yards vs. Indiana. Sean Clifford is a dual threat QB, had 119 rushing yards vs. Indiana last week, whereas in 2019 he had 402 rushing yards for the entire season. Not sure if this is him trying to take the next step or running is a panic move. (I’m sure some PSU fan will quickly correct me either way.) He didn’t show much signs of improvement from last year, and had two costly interceptions. There were 3 missed FGs, and bad clock management (should have kneeled instead of going for it and trying not to score) that added to the loss to Indiana. James Franklin isn’t a coach to look ahead
Injuries: top 2 RBs from last year are out for the season. Had 890, and 443 yards respectively. #3 was QB Sean Clifford at 402, and after that the next RB has 294 yards in 2019.
Spread: Since 2018, are 1-4 ATS after a loss. Are on a 0-5 ATS streak at home. On a 7-1 ATS streak after not covering in the game before.
Total: Since 2018, are 7-3 for the over vs. ranked teams, 2-3 for over after a loss.
SU: have won the last 10 at home. Under Franklin (2014), when a home underdog by 7+ are 1-8 SU, that 1 win was vs. OSU in 2017. Are 4-0 SU after a SU loss.
Opinion: The "big" game this weekend. RIP the White Out, had to pay homage to it in the cover picture, yea it makes me sad too. I have never been to one before, and they better be back soon. I will cry when I experience that. But, I think this might be the biggest game this year that the lack of fans will be a big factor in. This would have been the Penn State white out game, which even in the state that we saw them in last week vs. Indiana, could have made this game, maybe not competitive, but at least interesting. Now with no fans, and Ohio State on a roll? Penn State fans, time to start drinking. An issue that Ohio State did have vs. Nebraska was stopping the QB run. If Sean Clifford can find a successful run game, then maybe Penn State can sneak in a few extra points. Also Penn State is without their top 2 RBs, so who else do they have in experienced runners? But at the end of the day Ohio State's offense is going to make up, and easily so, for any issues that Ohio State's defense may have. I'm sorry, but this game doesn't look like it is going to be very interesting. I think worst case scenario is that it is a shootout.
Per usual, I don't bet on any of these games, but if you chose to, please do so responsibly.