Bovada gave us an early Columbus Day gift with their lines this week. Here are four more winners to help line your pockets this long weekend:
Michigan vs. Rutgers
Line: Michigan -26.5
The Wolverines have covered 8 of their last 10 games against teams not coached by Urban Meyer, and though Chris Ash is just a year removed from the scarlet and gray in Columbus, his Scarlet Knights are not Buckeyes. In fact, Rutgers might be the worst team in recent memory for the Big Ten Conference, if not for the complete ineptitude that is Darrel Hazel at Purdue. Last week, in a game I sincerely believe Urban Meyer attempted to keep respectable out of respect for his first year protege in Newark, the Buckeyes accidentally dropped 60 on the hapless Knights, with third stringers in by the end of the third quarter.
Rutgers is worse than most MAC teams, which in its own right should allow for a Michigan cover coming off of a week in which the Wolverine offense went just 1/5 in the red zone against Wisconsin, missing three field goals and throwing an interception. Jim Harbaugh, who once famously went for two against Pete Carroll and USC while up 34 in the 4th quarter, has not gotten off to a friendly start with Rutgers Coach Chris Ash. Ash, who petitioned the New Jersey legislature to block Harbaugh’s satellite camp tour and commencement speech at Paramus Catholic, the alma mater of Jabril Peppers and Rashan Gary, famously claimed to have “built a wall” around New Jersey upon taking the job.
With several top prospects slated to be at the game, and the Wolverines relying heavily on New Jersey to build their roster, Harbaugh keeps his foot to the pedal in a massacre otherwise spared by Hurricane Matthew’s near miss.
Michigan 56, Rutgers 10
Washington State vs. Stanford
Line: Stanford -7
This is a free cash giveaway, gift wrapped to you by the kind people of Bovada. Last week could not have played out any better for this bet. A good Washington team at home destroyed Stanford, moving this line from what should easily be a 2+ touchdown spread to a mere score. Defensively, this could not be a worse matchup for Mike Leach and the Cougars, with Stanford undoubtedly aiming to establish Christian McCaffrey and their vaunted power run game against the small and inexperienced Wazzu front. Washington State conversely is one of the worst rushing teams in America, allowing for what should be an immense Stanford advantage in time of possession.
This game may be close early, and Leach’s run and gun spread can hit a big play or two, but the lack of depth and size of Washington State’s front seven will prove deadly in the second half, as the Cardinal wear down the outmanned defense with methodical and plodding drives. It will be interesting to see what David Shaw does at quarterback after both Burns and Chryst, the two-headed quarterback competition, looked absolutely awful against a surprisingly stout Washington defense. Either way, their main role will be to hand it to #5, for what I am guessing will be a 200+ yard day.
Stanford 38, Washington State 23
BYU vs. Michigan State
Line: MSU -7
If there is one thing you can count on, it’s BYU to lose close. They love it. BYU has played five games this season, with the total point differential being 10 points. Think about that for a second. Combine that with what is, without a doubt, the worst Michigan State team in recent memory losing to perennial Big Ten doormat Indiana last weekend, and I cannot fathom how this is a full touchdown spread. BYU is built to stop the inside run, basically the only thing MSU can do (or at least try to do) with their completely inept quarterback Tyler O’Conner. BYU has an extremely experienced QB, in what must be his early 30s after a mission trip and two medical redshirts, who has shown an ability to play on the road against quality opponents, and a defense that gets after the passer as well as any team Michigan State has played this season.
BYU 30, MSU 27
Texas vs. Oklahoma
Line: Oklahoma -10
Texas is in the midst of the worst defensive clusterfuck in the history of the program, as they’ve allowed over 400 yards in four of their first five games and have the second worst scoring defense in a horrible Big 12 conference. Last week, after giving up 50+ to a very pedestrian Oklahoma State team, Charlie Strong demoted Defensive Coordinator Vance Bedford, opting to take over the defense personally.
There’s nobody left to fire on staff, after two offensive coordinator changes and now the demotion of Bedford. The last man to go has to be Strong. The Sooners’ offense is humming at just the wrong time for Strong & Co., amassing nearly 600 yards of total offense on the road against TCU, and FINALLY handing the ball off to Mixon and Perine to the tune of what should be the best rushing offense in the conference. Mayfield has kept turnovers in check, which doomed the Sooners against Houston and Ohio State early on, flashing the sort of improvisational skills that had prognosticators talking Heisman before the season.
Mike Stoops still struggles this week, as Texas will score a respectable amount of points, but Big Game Bob wins another Red River Shootout, this time effectively ending Charlie Strong’s place in both the rivalry and Austin, Texas.
Oklahoma 53, Texas 34
Editor’s Note: I kinda like Texas at +10 here as they return their best cover corner, Holton Hill, from an injury that sidelined him for OSU and most of the Cal game.
Cardinals vs. 49ers
Line: Cardinals -185
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