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Black Shoe Degenerates: Week 8

Let us all come together, shake hands, and gamble

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Every week when I sit down to write this, typically on Wednesday evening, I always start out by going back to look at the previous week's picks. Usually this leads to some nervous moments, because I can never remember what my picks actually were. Given how this season has gone, I typically expect to have taken another beating. However, if we're counting the Penn State-Ohio State game, and the over/under pick there, it was a nice 3-1 week. Just don't read Eli's picks.

Penn State (-6.5) at Maryland

Not to give everything away before tomorrow's prediction round table, but for the first time all year, I really like Penn State here. Maryland is reeling, with a new coach, and well, not a very good football team. Your biggest worry should be a team with nothing to lose catching a Penn State team that has something of a letdown after last week's big Ohio State game. Given how last year's game played out, I doubt that is an issue. Give the points here, and as always, hammer that under (47).

Top Picks

Last week, we all got a first hand glimpse of what Ohio State's offense does with J.T. Barrett at the helm. I was not too enamored with Ohio State giving 21 against Rutgers on Saturday night...until Urban Meyer installed the sophomore as his starting QB. The Knights will be ready, with a, ahem, big game atmosphere in Piscataway, but I am not sure how they slow down Barrett, Ezekiel Elliot, and Braxton Miller enough to keep this within three scores.

I do not know if the Big 12 has some sort of vendetta against Iowa State, but a week after hosing TCU, they head to Waco to visit Baylor. In their previous two games, the Cyclones have surrendered 111 points in losses to Texas Tech and TCU. On the other side, Baylor hasn't scored below 60 since their season opening win against SMU. In a week without too many intriguing picks, Baylor -37 gets my vote.


Temple +3 at East Carolina - Last year, a ranked East Carolina team made the trip to Philadelphia to face a feisty but otherwise harmless Temple team, and went home with a loss. This year, the roles are reversed. Although I believe this East Carolina team is better than last year's Temple team, I also believe that this year's Temple team is in a better position to succeed than last year's East Carolina team was. This game should be close, and some books have reduced the line to 2.5, 2 at the lowest.

Memphis -10.5 @ Tulsa - Memphis is firing on all cylinders now. After blowing out Ole Miss – which looked like, on paper, their toughest opponent left this season (big emphasis on "on paper") – this game should be no problem for them. I don't view Justin Fuente as a guy who'd let his team bask in the satisfaction of a victory for too long, so don't expect a letdown game. If you do, however, think this game will be a letdown, take a look at the total, which currently sits at 77.

Washington State/Arizona OVER 72 - With Anu Solomon back, Arizona has the ability to score in bunches again. We already know Washington State can score at the speed of light. Don't be surprised if this game hits the over halfway through the third quarter.

Last Week's Prop Bet Results

Saquon Barkley Rushing Attempts (O/U 14.5) - 26

Christian Hackenberg Passing Yards (O/U 199.5) - 120

Joey Bosa Sacks (O/U 2.5) - 1

Joey Bosa Personal Fouls (O/U .5) - 0

Ohio State Points off of Botched Officiating Calls (O/U 3.5) - Nothing directly, but well, Braxton didn't make that third down catch! (No, lurking OSU fans searching for any perceived slight against their team, this is not why PSU lost)

Neutral Site Prop Bets

Saquon Barkley Rushing Yards - O/U 149.5

Maryland Trick Plays - O/U 2.5

Crazy Carl Nassib Sacks - O/U 1.5

Replays of Last Year's Non-Handshake - O/U 2.5

Declarations by TV Announcers of new B1G Rivals - O/U 4.5