Northwestern/Iowa Under 37.5- Both of these teams have some offensive concerns to say the least. Northwestern can’t do anything well, averaging less than 4 yards per rush, completing less than 50% of their passes, and operating at a -6 in turnover margin this season. Iowa has spent most of their season trying to change their name from Tight End U to Field Goal U. Northwestern likes to keep the grass in Evanston nice and long so every game there plays slow, helping to contain any real speed their opponents possess. Every NFL team that needs a punter will have a scout at this game.
Tennessee +4 vs South Carolina- How have we reached the point in Jeremy Pruitt’s likely short-lived career where Tennessee is getting more than a field goal at home against a team predicted to win five games? South Carolina is still going to win five games, but this isn’t one of them. Here is our chance to buy low on the Vols (who were in it last week until a bad fumble and some officiating help against Alabama) and to sell all that SC stock that everyone seems to want since the Gamecocks beat Georgia (while they forget that they lost to Florida last week and didn’t cover despite the Gators missing half their defensive line). This is a good spot for a few dollars on the moneyline at +170 as well.
Oklahoma State +10.5 at Iowa State- Oklahoma State are the losers of three of their last four. Here, they come into Ames to play the Cyclones, who haven’t lost an October game since Christ was preaching in Omaha if my Twitter timeline is correct. The Cowboys are -7 in the turnover department in their last two games and are having some issues against the run. That is admittedly concerning but not concerning enough that I am not going to jump at this game. Oklahoma State has the best running back in the conference, a top tier quarterback, and Mike Gundy knows a thing or two about winning big games in conference; it’s how you keep a coaching job for 15 years. To be clear, I’m incredibly impressed with the Cyclones again this season. They seem to be solid everywhere and have young exciting talent and a veteran offensive line. With all the accolades, sometimes a letdown happens. Sometimes, it happens against a team that has lost three of their last four while you look ahead to a trip to an undefeated national title contender. Sometimes you stumble. At the very least, you don’t win by double digits.
Nebraska -2 vs Indiana- Here we have Scott Frost after a bye week with a program in turmoil and a fan base that is growing more and more restless despite the promises they made to themselves that Frost can have as many years as he needs. After a demoralizing loss to Minnesota, the Huskers have since taken time away from football (fans will tell you they did that during the game), decided a running back (Maurice Washington) doesn’t belong on the team at least for now, and had a bye week. They come home to the somewhat friendly confines of Memorial Stadium to take on an Indiana team who has beaten no one of substance. Last time we saw Adrian Martinez and Wandale Robinson, they were hurt and Frost is notoriously cagey on injury reports. However, the Huskers should have enough firepower and anger to win a home game here.
Michigan +1 vs Notre Dame- Banned team alert here. I promised myself and you all that I would not pick Michigan again. Well, as the song goes, never again is what you swore the time before. Michigan is 5-2 on the season with an offense that looked substantially better in the second half of their game against Penn State. Are they finally clicking? Is Shea Magic back? I made a prediction that was much mocked this week and said Michigan could go 10-2 on the season. The Wolverines have three of their last five at home and a key one Saturday. If they can get this one and gain some momentum, they end with a rivalry game at home. I will not be counting them out that Saturday if it comes down to that game and a chance at a Big 10 title shot. That all has to start here, though, and I am putting my faith in Harbaugh to have the Maize and Blue ready to go.
Thank you all again for taking the time to read and I wish the best of luck to all of you whether you tail the picks or fade them. If you have any games you’d like my opinion on or you just want to tell me how fantastic I am, find me @tgslevi on Twitter. Thank you to DeadEye BBQ for sponsoring the Tailgate Society and my meals three times a week. Finally, thank you to the entire Tailgate Society crew for letting me join them on this site. They are a fantastic group of people doing very cool things and if you’d like to be a part of it, please let us know. Now, it’s time to watch some good teams win and great teams cover.