After getting shutout on the spread picks in week 1, I bounced off the pavement onto my feet. I went 5-1 on the spread picks in week 2, and went 9-1 overall. Despite sporting an awesome record last week, the disclaimer for this week's picks is still the same -- trust these picks only if you're considering a lifestyle free of worldly possessions. All lines were checked as of Thursday afternoon.
MASSACHUSETTS at MICHIGAN (no line)
Denard runs a lot, Michigan fans become more insufferable. You know how this goes.
OHIO at OHIO STATE (-30)
When betting an Ohio State nonconference game, one must ask this question - how soon in the game does Tressel call off the dogs? Terrelle Pryor had a significant number of pass attempts in the Marshall victory, and I think he gets enough here for OSU to cover the spread.
SPREAD AND STRAIGHT PICKS: OHIO STATE
KENT STATE at PENN STATE (-21)
Well, Bolden did look good against Youngstown State and played predictably badly in Alabama. I think Royster finally breaks out in this game and the Nitts beat Kent State -- but not by more than 21.
STRAIGHT PICK: PENN STATE SPREAD PICK: KENT STATE
NORTHERN ILLINOIS at ILLINOIS (-7)
A bit tricky, since Northern Illinois is one of the more decent MAC teams. Keep in mind that Illinois gave Missouri more of a game than what was expected, and the decision goes to the Illini to cover.
STRAIGHT AND SPREAD PICKS: ILLINOIS
BALL STATE AT PURDUE (-16.5)
After Purdue's closer than expected victory against Western Illinois, I don't trust the Boilermakers to cover until Robert Marve produces a game that doesn't remind me he's still at Miami.
STRAIGHT PICK: PURDUE SPREAD PICK: BALL STATE
USC at MINNESOTA (+12) - LOCK OF THE WEEK
A team that could be terrible going against a team that is terrible. USC's offense and defense have looked good in separate weeks, I'm thinking the Trojans put both together this week and maul Minnesota.
STRAIGHT AND SPREAD PICKS: USC
ARIZONA STATE at WISCONSIN (-14)
A 13-point win against San Jose State and a 20 point win against UNLV tell me that Wisconsin's good enough to win this game, but not good enough to cover the points.
STRAIGHT PICK: WISCONSIN SPREAD PICK: ASU
INDIANA at WESTERN KENTUCKY (+12)
For reasons that can only be described under the heading "Hoosier football", Indiana is headed to Bowling Green to take on the Hilltoppers, a team that is going into its third year as a 1-A school. Expect Indiana to score 40-50 points mainly through the air, but as usual with its nonconference opponents, just cover the spread.
STRAIGHT AND SPREAD PICKS: INDIANA
NORTHWESTERN at RICE (-6.5)
Egad. Northwestern has sucked just enough this year to make this line look feasible, and with this being a home game for a Rice team that gave Texas a game for a while, this game looks like the second shakiest (the first to come in a bit) to bet on this week. Based off last week's performances -- a decisive 37-3 win against Illinois State for the Wildcats, compared to a 32-31 squeaker for the Owls against North Texas -- I think Northwestern wins by 10 or so.
STRAIGHT AND SPREAD PICKS: NORTHWESTERN
IOWA at ARIZONA (+1.5) - MISS OF THE WEEK
Iowa should be the better team, but I have two thoughts here. One, Nick Foles is really good (but I'd still rather have Cousins), and two, Big Ten teams almost always underperform when they have to go west. Besides "Foles is a good QB" I can't really give a reason why Arizona wins this game, but my gut feeling is that the Wildcats win.
STRAIGHT AND SPREAD PICKS: ARIZONA
NOTRE DAME AT MICHIGAN STATE (-3.5)
Points will be scored, oh goodness will points be scored. LVS will have the preview up tomorrow, but in short, I think MSU's defense is slightly better than Notre Dame's -- four points better. 35-31, MSU.
STRAIGHT AND SPREAD PICKS: MICHIGAN STATE
YEAR TO DATE:
STRAIGHT UP PICKS: 19-2
SPREAD PICKS: 5-6-1
LOCK OF THE WEEK: 2-0 straight up, 1-1 spread
MISS OF THE WEEK: 1-1 straight up, 0-2 spread