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Trio of Big Ten College Football Picks for Week 2

September 6, 2017

The second-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, sixth-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions and 11th-ranked Michigan Wolverines will all be looking to move to 2-0 and keep their four-team College Football Playoff hopes alive when they take on their respective Week 2 opponents. The trio of legitimate Big Ten national title contenders are all in the spotlight for my must-bet college football picks for Week 2. Now, let’s find out if all three can cover the spread as decisive home favorites.

Cincinnati Bearcats (1-0) at No. 11 Michigan Wolverines (1-0)

When: Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 12:00 PM ET

Where: Michigan Stadium

TV: ABC

MyBookie NCAAF Odds: Michigan Wolverines -31.5

Total: OFF

Analysis: Cincinnati beat Austin Peay 26-14 in their opener but struggled throughout and never came close to covering the spread as an insane 43-point home favorite despite getting three touchdown passes from quarterback Hayden Moore in the win. 11th-ranked Michigan used a powerful effort from their defense to get past No. 16 Florida in their 33-17 in their regular season opener on Saturday, but they saw quarterback Wilton Speight struggle while tossing one touchdown and two interceptions. Still, while Michigan didn’t impress me with their passing attack in Week 1, I still like the Wolverines to cover the huge spread against a Cincinnati team that didn’t look very competent last weekend at all.

The Bearcats are just 3-13 ATS in their last 16 non-conference games, 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games in the month of September while Michigan has gone 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in the month of September and will be looking to make more of an emphatic statement after their uneven performance against the Gators. I’m not real fond of the high spread, but I’m going to pick Michigan to narrowly cover it!

 

Pittsburgh Panthers (1-0) at No. 6 Penn State Nittany Lions (1-0)

When: Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 3:30 PM ET

Where: Beaver Stadium

TV: ABC

MyBookie NCAAF Odds: Penn State Nittany Lions -20.5

Total: 68

Analysis: Pittsburgh won their regular season opener by beating Youngstown State 28-21 in overtime, but they looked mostly awful in doing so. The Panthers blew a 21-0 halftime lead but held on to beat Youngstown State in overtime as quarterback Max Browne completed 17 of 24 passes for 140 yards and the winning touchdown in his first start for Pitt after transferring from USC.

Heisman Trophy-contending running back Saquon Barkley rushed 14 times for 172 yards and two touchdowns while catching three passes and additional 54 yards to lead Penn State to an emphatic 52-0 shutout win over the Akron Zips on Saturday to get their 2017 campaign started off on the right foot. Quarterback Trace McSorley completed 18 of 25 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns in the win.

After watching Pittsburgh look almost completely incompetent in the second half of their narrow win against Youngstown State, there is no way I expect the Panthers to hang with a Penn State team that looks like a legitimate national championship contender from where I’m sitting.

The Panthers are just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games in the month of September and 2-12 ATS in their last 14 non-conference games. Penn State is a near-perfect 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 home games and 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall. I know the Panthers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings against the Nittany Lions, but I’m expecting Penn State to lay a huge, statement-making smackdown on the Panthers this coming weekend.


No. 8 Oklahoma Sooners (1-0) at No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0)

College Football: Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 7:30 PM ET

Where: Ohio Stadium

TV: ABC

MyBookie NCAAF Odds: Ohio State Buckeyes -7.5

Total: 64.5

Analysis: Eighth-ranked Oklahoma smacked UTEP senseless in their 56-7 season-opening win on Saturday as Heisman Trophy-contending quarterback Baker Mayfield completed a near-perfect 19 of 20 passes for 329 yards with three touchdowns and no picks.

Second-ranked Ohio State beat Indiana 49-21 in their regular season opener, but trailed the Hoosiers 14-13 at the half before ‘opening up a can’ on their Big Ten rivals in the second half to get the emphatic win as quarterback J.T. Barrett played like the Heisman Trophy candidate he is by completing 20 of 35 passes for 304 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

I don’t see a whole lot of sense in beating around the bush with my Week 2 pick on this intriguing pairing since I fully believe that Baker Mayfield and the Sooners are the easy pick to cover the spread against J.T. Barrett and the Buckeyes.

The Sooners are a perfect 6-0 ATS in their last six games against a team with a winning record and 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall. While Ohio State has gone 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games against teams from the Big 12 and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games, the Buckeyes are also 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games against a team with a winning road record. Simply put, I like Baker Mayfield and the high-scoring Oklahoma Sooners to cover the spread – by beating Ohio State outright!

 

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