Badgers underdogs again should still cover against Wolverines
September 27, 2016 3:02 AM
by Doc's Sports
Doc’s Sports Service has been a recognized leader and trusted name in sports handicapping since 1971 and one of our top sports over all that time has been college football.
Recapping last week’s top plays, we took the bait on Kent State and the 43 points in its 48-0 loss to No. 1 Alabama. We also went down in defeat with West Virginia when the Mountaineers failed to cover as 6-point home favorites in their 35-32 victory against BYU. Fortunately, the week was not a total loss with the right call in Texas A&M’s 45-24 romp over Arkansas as a six-point favorite at home.
Last week: 1-2
Here are this week’s selections:
Take GEORGIA TECH (+6.5) over Miami (Fla.):
The Yellow Jackets dropped their first game of the season following three-straight wins last Thursday in a 26-7 loss to Clemson as 10.5-point home underdogs, but still remain one of the better rushing teams in the nation with an average of 216.8 yards a game. This complements a defense that is 14th in the country in points allowed (14.3). Look for a much better effort from quarterback Justin Thomas this Saturday after a dismal showing against the Tigers.
Miami is off to a perfect 3-0 start both straight-up and against the spread, but it has yet to be tested in any of those three wins. Following last week’s bye, the Hurricanes are ranked ninth in running the ball with an average of 272 yards a game and its defense is first in the nation in points allowed after giving up a combined 23 points.
However, both of these stats were posted against the likes of Florida A&M, Florida Atlantic and Appalachian State. They will have a much tougher time getting by Georgia Tech on the road.
Take PENN STATE (-3) over Minnesota:
SU losses to Pittsburgh and Michigan have Penn State an even 2-2 on the year and 1-3 ATS. The Nittany Lions come into this game in good position to cover as slight favorites at home with a SU 4-1 record in their last five games against Minnesota.
Revenge will also be a factor following last season’s 24-10 road loss their Big Ten rivals as 2.5-point underdogs. Look for a big day from running back Saquon Barkley after rushing for 317 yards and six touchdowns in his first four games.
The Golden Gophers are off to a solid 3-0 start SU, but they have failed to cover as favorites in tight wins against Oregon State and Colorado State at home. Another concern is some of the other recent betting trends surrounding this matchup. Minnesota has a 1-6 record ATS in its last seven games following a SU win. It has failed to cover in five of its last six games against Penn State and the home team in this series is 3-1-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
Take WISCONSIN (+10.5) over Michigan:
The Badgers are flying high following last week’s impressive 30-6 pasting of Michigan State as 3.5-point road underdogs and should be able to bring quite of bit of momentum into another road game against a Top 10 team.
They are now 4-0 SU on the year with a 3-1 record ATS. Wisconsin’s defense held the Spartans to just 325 yards of total offense in Saturday’s lopsided victory and this unit is now ranked seventh in the nation in points allowed.
Michigan is also off to a 4-0 SU start with a 3-1 record ATS, but the level of competition it has faced so far is nowhere near as good as the team it will have to play this Saturday afternoon. The Wolverines are just 1-7-1 ATS in their last nine games against Wisconsin, including a 1-3-1 record ATS in their last five home games facing the Badgers. The underdog in this Big Ten tilt has covered the spread in six of the last nine meetings.
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