USC to bounce back vs. Sun Devils
October 24, 2017 3:06 AM
by Doc's Sports
Recapping last week’s picks for GamingToday, we went 2-1 on the day to move our overall record to 13-10-1. Missouri’s crushing 68-21 victory against Idaho as a 14-point favorite followed by East Carolina’s 33-17 win as a 5.5-point underdog against BYU were the two winning plays. We ended up on the wrong side of UNLV’s 52-28 loss to Utah State as a three-point favorite.
Here are this week’s selections:
Take Michigan State (-2) vs. Northwestern
The Spartans come into this Big Ten clash with four straight-up victories in a row while going 3-1 against the spread. This past Saturday they got past Indiana, 17-9, to cover as 6.5-point favorites at home. Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke threw the game-winning touchdown in that victory late in the fourth quarter and now has 10 TD passes on the year. The Spartans’ defense is one of the best in the nation when it comes to points allowed (16.9).
Northwestern moved to 4-3 both SU and ATS with Saturday’s 17-10 win at home against Iowa as a two-point favorite. That game was decided in overtime with quarterback Clayton Thorson scoring on a one-yard run. The Wildcats have done a good job moving the ball through the air, but their running game fell to 95th in the nation with an average of 136.9 yards per game. The other concern against the more talented Spartans is a defense that gave up over 30 points in previous losses to Duke, Wisconsin and Penn State.
Take Nebraska (+6.5) vs. Purdue
Over in the West Division of the Big Ten, Nebraska is 2-2 SU in conference play as part of a 3-4 record overall. The Cornhuskers will welcome a bit of a break this Saturday on the road coming off back-to-back losses to Wisconsin and Ohio State at home both SU and ATS. This is another team that gains most of its yards through the air behind Tanner Lee at quarterback. He has thrown for 1,709 yards and 13 touchdowns this season.
Purdue is also 3-4 SU on the year coming off a bad 14-12 loss to Rutgers as an 8.5-point favorite on the road. The loss dropped the Boilermakers to 5-2 ATS with the total staying under in four of their last five games. They have only scored an average of 15.5 points over their last four games against a season scoring average of 24.1 points per game. While Purdue has played tough on defense, this Saturday’s contest should remain a three-point game either way between two closely matched teams.
Take USC (-3) vs. Arizona State
The Trojans remain in the driver’s seat in the Pac-12 South Division title race at 4-1 in conference play heading into this showdown against the Sun Devils. Following Saturday’s stunning 49-14 loss to Notre Dame as a 3.5-point road underdog, USC is now 6-2 SU overall with a 1-7 record ATS. Despite their costly record for bettors this season, the Trojans are in an excellent spot to cover this week with a SU 6-2 edge in their last eight road games against Arizona State.
The Sun Devils improved to 4-3 SU and 4-2-1 ATS with Saturday’s 30-10 upset against Utah as 10-point road underdogs. This followed a big 13-7 win against Washington at home the week before as 17.5-point underdogs. Arizona State forced four turnovers in Saturday’s win while also gaining 168 yards on the ground. Give the Sun Devils all the credit in the world for those two impressive wins, but they will have a tough time shutting down USC with a defense tied for 83rd in points allowed (28.4).
Last week: 2-1