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Black Shoe Degenerates: Week 6

Throw out the records, it's RIVALRY WEEK

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Last week was something of a mixed bag. On one hand, both of my alleged top picks lost. On the other, I'm quite proud of getting both of my PSU-Army West Point picks (Army +24.5, Under 47.5) correct. Rookie contributor Eli recovered from a bad Miami -6.5 pick to get both Iowa +7 and the over in Texas Tech-Baylor, so overall, not a bad effort on the overall column's part.

Penn State -6.5 vs. Indiana

When two long time rivals like Penn State and Indiana meet on on the field, you throw out records, history, and really any sense of decency. There is too much emotion at play to really know what is going to happen when that ball is kicked off.

But since the rules of this column – which I make up as I go – state I need to offer my pick for this game, I'm going to say take PSU and give the points. I didn't like this as much at 8, but with it going down to 6.5 once the Vegas books picked it up, I like the Lions. The under (54.5) is probably a safe bet as well. The under has hit in four of this season's first five games.

Top Plays

At this point, I really hope you are taking this section with a grain of salt, and aren't planning to sue me for terrible Internet advice. But, I feel good about this week!

In this season's first week, I vowed to make Baylor a regular feature here, which has not happened. However, the Bears visit Lawrence, Kansas this week, and well, the Jayhawks are terrible, and cannot stop anyone. They gave up 38 points to Iowa State! Baylor's offense has started humming along, and I think they cover the 44 Vegas is giving KU.

Alabama hosts everyone's favorite* former Wisconsin coach, BERT on Saturday evening in Tuscaloosa. The Tide are coming off of that blowout win against a pretty good Georgia team in Athens. BERT did get a nice 24-20 win against Tennessee, but the Vols are reeling, and well, the Hogs aren't that good as far as I'm concerned. The power running offense that Arkansas favors plays right into Saban's defense, and there's no way BERT out-coaches Nick. Give those 16.5, in my opinion.


Purdue +3 vs. Minnesota - Chalk it up to another week of overreactions, but Minnesota just doesn't have enough to keep pace with a Purdue team that, for all its faults, has been in every game save Virginia Tech. And unlike last year, Purdue is at home and probably feeling pretty ticked off after the missed opportunity against Michigan State. I see them winning outright.

Northwestern +8 at Michigan - This is a perfect line for me. It's above a touchdown, so even if Michigan wins, there's a very good chance it won't be by two scores. Michigan has been feasting on opportunistic opponents. They're 3-2 ATS right now, but the best team they've covered against, BYU, was just done doing a cross country tour by the time they got to the Big House while missing a few key players. Not to mention the last time Michigan played a defense close to as good as Northwestern's, they lost the game. The line opened at 8.5 too, so there's some weight moving in Northwestern's direction. I thought about taking the under here as well, but 35 points is a little too low for me to risk it.

Oklahoma -17 vs. Texas - Two things will happen here: The game will be like 2013, where Texas came out of nowhere and blew Oklahoma out, or it will be like 2012, where Oklahoma blew Texas out. One thing I'm confident on, this game won't be close, regardless of winner.

Last Week's Prop Bet Results

Penn State Passing Attempts (O/U 17.5) - 19

Army West Point Passing Attempts (O/U 6.5) - 1 (or 4, if you count sacks and fumbles)

Rushing Yards by PSU RBs (O/U 169.5) - 99

Penn State Tackles for Loss (O/U 10.5) - 6

Total Elapsed Time (O/U 2:45) - 2:50

Fun PUNT WEEK Prop Bets

Penn State Punts - O/U 6.5

Indiana Punts - O/U 6.5

Combined Fake Punts - O/U 1.5

Combined Blocked Punts - O/U .5

Total Trick Punts - O/U .5 (yeah, I don't know what this is either, but we will know it if/when we see it)