(will be adding some more Saturday morning)
YTD: (0-1) -1 units
2021 Week 1 -
Minnesota +14 (-108) Risking 1.08 units to win 1 units
We have a nice little experience chart mismatch in week 1 so we take the big dog who has proven capable of keeping up with tough competition. Minnesota is one of the most experienced teams returning by Phill Steele’s charts as they rank 1st in experience and Big play D ranks, 2nd in offensive line starts, 10th in tackles % returning and 28th in % of yards returning including starting QB Tanner Morgan and dynamic RB Mohamad Ibrahim. Their offense last season was well rounded, ranking 19th in efficiency, 24th in explosiveness, and 12th at finishing drives. On the other side you have Ohio State who ranks 129th in experience, 100th in o-line starts, and 122nd in big play D. On offense they rank 121st with only 45% of their yards returning and on defense they rank 128th with only 48% of their total tackles returning. They lost Justin Fields who accounted for most of their yards as well as extending plays with his athleticism and giving their playmakers time to find open space. Their offensive line struggled (even with Justin Fields running around back there) ranking 103rd in sack% allowed last season. CJ Stroud, redshirt freshman, isn’t nearly as fast or mobile and was a pro-style QB in highschool with only one breakout big run in his highschool career. He will be in a tough environment and there’s a good chance he’s not ready for the big-stage. Minnesota is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games against Ohio State as these big name schools are usually overvalued against these smaller schools. Good to see the majority on Ohio State as well.
Michigan State +3 (+100) Risking 1 unit to win 1 unit
I think the wrong team is favored here and although I think MSU wins outright I prefer to take the points to be safe in these BIG 10 defensive matchups. MSU’s offense should see a spark this season with transfer of experienced Temple starting QB, Anthony Russo, last year QB play was their biggest downfall ranking 122nd in INT % at 5%. The lack of a passing game also made it tough for them to run, as they only gained 10 or more yards on 17 runs of its 239 rush attempts, ranking 125th in the country. They have a very deep receiving corps this year and two new RB transfers to add to their stable of backs - I'm sure one will emerge as a star behind this (hopefully improved) veteran offensive line that returns all 5 starters and ranks 4th in total offensive line starts. Mel Tucker and Scottie Hazelton brought a whole new defensive scheme ast year switching to a 4-2-5. Expect the defense to make less mistakes and blown coverages with 7 returning starters in their 2nd year. On the other side of the ball, the inexperienced of Northwestern should be noticeable as they rank 130th in phill steeles experience chart, 112 in career offensive line starts, and 126th in Big play D rank. Last year although their defense was one of the best in the nation, only 4 starters return and their longtime Defensive Coordinator of 12 years, Mike Hankwitz, retired going out with one of his best seasons under his belt. Their offense heavily relied on Peyton Ramsey who is now gone and other players will have to step up and make plays but may take some time. MSU won last year in this matchup 29-20 and I think the score will be similar this season.
Indiana +3.5 (-105) Risking 1.05 units to win 1 units
Looking forward to this season for Indiana as they had a great 2020 and return mostly in-tact with 19 returning starters, and many of them even expected to be backups as their talent level has risen. Starting QB, Michael Penix Jr is entering his 4th year working with Tom Allen and OC Nick Sheridan, and it shows as he looked like matured a lot last season completing 56% of his throws with 14 TDs and only 4 INTs averaging 7.5 yards per attempt. Their offense although not very explosive (ranked 99th in explosiveness) was great at finishing drives and long slow methodical drives ranking 31st in finishing drives and 31st in Field Position. Their defense was equally well rounded and they led the nation in red zone stop % and ranked 11th at finishing drives and 33rd in Field Position. They were very opportunistic averaging 2.5 takeaways per game (ranking 4th in nation) and are a very disciplined team ranking 5th in penalties per play. They were tough against the run last year only allowing 4 yards per carry. Iowa will need to establish the run as Spencer Petras isn’t much of a QB, ranking 114th last year according to PFF with a 56.9 passing grade. Iowa is ranked 112th in Phil’s experience chart opposed to Indiana’s 40th so that's another advantage. Indiana is 0-3 in their last 3 ATS against Iowa and this is the year to break that trend. I bought to +4 with my book and you should too if you can get -120 or below.