2019 Big Ten Picks – Week Three
Week one was a good one for me but my 2-1 start has been submarined by a rotten 1-3 week two. That’s a total of 3-4. Let’s get to work on bouncing back. The lines for this week are as follows: Ohio State (-14) at Indiana, Maryland (-6.5) at Temple, Pittsburgh at Penn State (-17.5), Eastern Michigan at Illinois (-10.5), Georgia Southern at Minnesota (-17), UNLV at Northwestern (-16.5), Iowa (-2.5) at Iowa State, Arizona State at Michigan State (-14), TCU (-2.5) at Purdue, Northern Illinois at Nebraska (-14)
Maryland (-6.5) at Temple – Noon on CBSSN – OVER 63.5
The Temple Owls beat Bucknell 56-12 in their opener as quarterback Anthony Russo threw for more than 400 yards. The Owls then had an odd early bye week and will have had two weeks to prepare for the now ranked Maryland Terrapins. The Terps opened the season with a 77-0 win over Howard. No one thought much of it because of the opposition. They then followed it up with a dismantling of Syracuse, outgaining the Orange 650 to 400 and winning 63-20 in a game that was never remotely close. Maryland ran the ball 45 times for 354 yards, an average of 7.8 yards per carry. Javon Leake, Jake Funk, Anthony McFarland Jr. and Tayon Fleet-Davis all ran for more than 65 yards! I love the over for two reasons: Maryland’s offense looks outstanding and I don’t think Temple will be able to keep up with the speed of the Terrapin attack. Second, I believe Temple will be able to throw the ball on the Terrapins to contribute to the total. The line opened with Maryland being favored by four but it has risen to eight and will probably keep going up. I love this game going well over the total but I’ll be staying away from the side.
Northern Illinois at Nebraska (-14) – 8:00 on FS1
This is a gut pick. I am taking Nebraska to bounce back at home and drill a very mediocre Northern Illinois squad. The Huskies are perfectly fine and they gave Utah a good half of football before the Utes pulled away for a comfortable victory. Northern Illinois is not dynamic or explosive and it looked to me like Utah was holding quite a bit back during their 35-17 victory. Nebraska’s offense was really good for about three quarters at Colorado but they ended up losing because of a defensive collapse and some terrific play from the Buffaloes Steven Montez. After two weeks, it seems that many (myself included) have overestimated Nebraska’s potential this season but I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt this week and take a shot on them to cover this spread.
TCU at Purdue (-2.5) – 7:30 on BTN
We don’t know anything about TCU. They handled Arkansas Pine-Bluff after a slow start and then had one of their two bye weeks in the second week. I do know that I don’t love Alex Delton at quarterback and really would like to see what freshman Max Duggan could do with full-time work. Delton is the better rusher but the ceiling for this offense is higher with Duggan. Here’s what I think I know about Purdue: they cannot run the ball and their defense is susceptible and likely to give up lots of yards to competent attacks and their offense is extremely explosive through the air. Elijah Sindelar is scary to trust because he can make some truly baffling decisions but his receiving corps is exceptional. Rondale Moore, David Bell, Amad Anderson and tight end Brycen Hopkins are very difficult to cover and Jeff Brohm has no problem airing it out and being aggressive. I don’t think TCU has enough firepower to stay with the Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium. It is not a gigantic facility but it’s a night game and there will be a terrific atmosphere. The Boilers win by a touchdown or more.
NOTE: This article was posted before yesterday’s news that starting Purdue QB Elijah Sindelar is likely to miss this weeks game against TCU with a concussion.