Wolverines due for a winning cover

Wolverines due for a winning cover

September 19, 2017 3:00 AM


Taking a quick look back at last week’s free picks for GamingToday, we started the day with the wrong call on Kent State in a 21-0 loss to Marshall as a 13.5-point road underdog.

We had Alabama over Colorado State, but the Tide could not cover the 28 points at home in a 41-23 victory. The Big Ten’s Wisconsin Badgers came through as our big win of the day with a 40-6 romp against BYU to easily cover as a 13.5-point road favorite. After three weeks of action, we are now an even 4-4-1 on the year.

Here are this week’s selections:

Take UNC (+3) over Duke: The Tar Heels come into this bitter ACC rivalry at 1-2 straight-up with a 1-1-1 record against the spread following Saturday’s 53-23 romp over Old Dominion, out of Conference USA. North Carolina quarterback Chazz Surratt played his best game of the season with 257 yards passing and one touchdown throw while completing 16 of his 24 attempts. He also scored twice on the ground to help pace the win.

Duke is off to a perfect 3-0 start both SU and ATS after knocking off Baylor, 34-20, at home this past Saturday as a 10.5-point favorite. This followed a 41-17 rout of Northwestern on Sept. 9 as a two-point underdog at home. The Blue Devils did most of their damage on the ground against Baylor with 246 yards rushing and three scores on 51 attempts.

While you have to be impressed with Duke’s start, we are still taking the points on the home underdog in what has turned into a highly competitive serises that has gone back and forth over the past few years.

Take Michigan (-9.5) over Purdue: UM head coach Jim Harbaugh has guided the Wolverines to 3-0 SU through their first three games, but they did fail to cover as heavy favorites at home in victories against Cincinnati and Air Force the past two weeks. This followed a big 33-17 victory at Florida as 4.5-point road favorites in their season opener. Wilton Speight has thrown for 571 yards and three touchdowns as Michigan’s starting quarterback and the offense has racked up 598 yards on the ground behind Ty Isaac to produced one of the most balanced attacks in the Big Ten.

Purdue opened some eyes this past Saturday with a 35-3 pasting of the SEC’s Missouri Tigers on the road as a 5.5-point underdog. The Boilermakers are now 2-1 SU with a perfect 3-0 mark ATS. David Blough had a productive day throwing the ball with 187 yards on 22 completions and Purdue used a host of players to add another 205 yards on the ground in Saturday’s win. It is definitely stepping way up in class this Saturday afternoon in a game that Michigan should win going away.

Take Iowa (+13) over Penn State: The Hawkeyes completed a SU 3-0 run (1-1-1 ATS) heading into this Saturday’s Big Ten opener with the biggest victory coming on the road against rival Iowa State, 44-41, on Sept. 9 in a game that ended as a push. Iowa has outscored its opponents 99-58 behind an offense that is averaging 398.3 yards of total offense a game. Nathan Stanley has thrown for 655 yards and 10 touchdowns while running back Akrum Wadley has rushed for 258 yards on 60 carries.

Penn State improved to 3-0 SU with a 2-1 record ATS with Saturday’s 56-0 shutout of Georgia State as a 38-point home favorite. It also beat Pittsburgh and Akron earlier in the year. While the Lions boast some serious firepower on offense behind quarterback Trace McSorley with 753 yards passing and nine touchdown throws on the year, this offense has yet to be really tested. The Hawkeyes will be hard pressed to pull off a SU upset at home this Saturday night, but they are more than capable of keeping this single-digits over all four quarters.

Last week: 1-2

Season record: 4-4-1