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-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Michigan’s Shea Patterson rushes against Wisconsin in last week’s win. (Image Source: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Here are my picks against the spread for Week 3 (Last Week: 0-3; Overall: 1-3):
Michigan +3.5 WISCONSIN
If you think Wisconsin should win this game easily…maybe you should consider you’re overreacting to a small sample of games.
Through two games, the Michigan offense hasn’t looked great but they still have eight starters back from last season’s team, which was among the most efficient and high scoring in the Big Ten. The belief is left tackle Jon Runyan will be back, possibly wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones as well.
The O-line will rebound from a poor showing against Army and I expect the Wolverines will play their best game of the season on Saturday. Shea Patterson is a capable playmaker and he has good weapons at his disposal, even of DPJ can’t play.
As for the Maize and Blue defense…the unit that people were worried about…while everyone’s reaction to their overtime win was, the sky is falling, few noticed how well the defense played. They allowed 243 yards: Army’s lowest total since 2017; and limited the Cadets to 3.7 yards per play and 3.3 yards per rush: Army’s lowest since 2015.
Yes, Wisconsin is off to a great start to their season winning the first two games by a combined score of 110-0 but they will be really stepping up in competition on Saturday. Wisky doesn’t always handle prosperity well, as they are 2-5 ATS in their last seven after allowing fewer than 20 points and 7-18-2 ATS in their past 27 when scoring more than 40 points. This will be the biggest test for their quarterback and offensive line against a strong UM front.
Prior to the season, this line was Michigan laying between five and seven points…a swing in the range of 10 is too much of an overcorrection. The Badgers might be overvalued while the Wolverines come in undervalued, which is why I will happily take the points, hook and all. The Maize & Blue play their best game of the season, while Wisky comes back to earth a little bit.
Boston College -8 RUTGERS
To some extent this is an anti-Rutgers pick. The Scarlet Knights are bad. Really bad. They showed what some thought was progress when transfer quarterback McLane Carter threw for 340 yards (2 TDs, 3 INTs) against UMass, however they quickly regressed in Week 2 against Iowa. Carter was 6 of 16 for 28 yards (INT) and last year’s starter Artur Sitkowski was even worse, as he was 4 of 11 for 19 yards (INT).
With Carter (doubtful) still under concussion protocol, it’s likely Sitkowski will start which doesn’t bode well for RU’s chances. Especially playing behind a poor offensive line.
Didn’t the Eagles just get spanked by lowly Kansas? Yes, yes, they did. Before we lump Kansas and Rutgers together, let’s not forget the Jayhawks smoked the Scarlet Knights 55-14 last season and Les Miles has proven a lot more as a head coach than Chris Ash. Moreover, because of that loss, you’re getting value with the Eagles.
Boston College was embarrassed after giving up nearly 600 yards to KU, including 329 on the ground. The defense will bounce back, as they respond well coming off poor defensive efforts. They’ve covered four straight after allowing 40 points and are 6-2 ATS in their past eight after giving up 200-plus rushing yards. They will be motivated after last week’s bewildering effort against Kansas.
The Eagles are also solid on the road with an 8-2 ATS record in their last 10.
Offensively, running back AJ Dillon will be the best player on the field when BC has the ball. Quarterback Anthony Brown has six touchdowns to no interceptions and is very capable of connecting on big plays. Five different Eagles already have receptions of 42-plus yards with Kobay White (19 yards per catch) a legitimate big-play threat.
By comparison, Rutgers has only one player with a catch of over 30 yards. The weakness of BC’s defense is a young secondary but RU doesn’t have the weapons to make them pay which is why the Eagles should win this one by double digits.
Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards.
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