Bulldogs to bulldoze BYU
October 31, 2017 3:07 AM
by Doc's Sports
Looking back at last week’s three picks, we started out on a down note with Northwestern’s 39-31 upset against Michigan State in overtime as a two-point home underdog.
In our other Big Ten pick in Week 9, we were on the winning side of Nebraska’s 25-24 victory over Purdue as a 6.5-point underdog on the road. USC came through as a three-point road favorite in the Trojans’ 48-17 rout of Arizona State.
Last week: 2-1
Here are this week’s selections:
Take Nebraska (-2) vs. Northwestern: We are going with the Cornhuskers again this week as slight favorites at home given the way they were able to step up their game against Purdue getting points on the road. The momentum generated from quarterback Tanner Lee’s game-winning touchdown pass to Stanley Morgan Jr. in tight coverage to win that game should carry over to this Saturday’s contest in front of the hometown crowd.
Northwestern should be riding high as well following last week’s upset against Michigan State at home, but this big win could actually cause a bit of a letdown this Saturday in a game the Wildcats will have to play on the road as slight underdogs. Getting a win in Lincoln under any circumstances is a hard thing to do, especially with a straight-up record of 1-4 in Northwestern’s last five trips to Memorial Stadium.
Take Michigan State (+11) vs. Penn State: There is a very good chance the Spartans were looking past last week’s game against the Wildcats to a much bigger matchup this week. We still think Michigan State is up to the task as one of the top teams in the Big Ten this season. It is a profitable 4-1 against the spread this season at home behind a balanced attack on offense and a defense that is only allowing an average of 19.6 points per game.
It will be hard for Penn State to get past last week’s highly disappointing one-point loss to Ohio State last Saturday by the time kickoff for this game rolls around this Saturday. The Lions basically had that game wrapped up late in the fourth quarter before blowing a 15-point lead. They should still come away with the SU win against the Spartans, but it will be a four-quarter struggle to get it done on the road.
Take Fresno State (-10.5) vs. BYU: Moving out to the Mountain West, we have been impressed with the Bulldogs’ play this season despite Saturday’s stunning 26-16 loss to UNLV as heavy 22.5-point home favorites. This loss should work as a wake-up call this week for a team that is still 5-3 SU with a solid 6-1-1 record ATS. This was Fresno State’s first loss in the MWC and the first time it failed to score at least 27 points in its last five games.
BYU provides the perfect rebound opportunity for the Bulldogs in this nonconference matchup. The Cougars did snap a seven-game losing streak (both SU and ATS) with last Saturday’s 41-20 victory against San Jose State as 8.5-point home favorites, but that win was against one of the worst teams in the MWC at 1-8 on the year. Going on the road against one of the best teams in this conference should result in a totally different outcome for a BYU team that has issues in every phase of the game.