Michigan State at Penn State Preview
The Penn State Nittany Lions stormed to the #2 spot in the AP Poll this week by not playing a game! Great to have a bye week when so many other contenders are losing.
Clemson, supposedly a lock for the Final Four already, lost as 22-point favorites at Syracuse. Washington, whining about a lack of TV coverage, embarrassed themselves in a nationally televised loss at Arizona State. Washington State? Mike Leach always finds a way to shoot himself in the foot. Auburn is afraid of its own shadow in big games.
Is Penn State about to be the next highly ranked power to fall apart under the pressure of the championship chase?
It’s #2 Penn State hosting #19 Michigan this Saturday night in Happy Valley, in a game that will be televised in prime time by ABC. Penn State at its best shouldn’t have any trouble with this inconsistent Michigan team that has trouble finding the end zone. That said:
*All those other Top 10 favorites we just mentioned weren’t supposed to have trouble either.
*Michigan’s a lot better (particularly on defense) than most of the dogs who just scored big upsets! Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines would be favored on a neutral field over Syracuse, and Cal, and Arizona State, and LSU, even with their shaky offense.
JIM HURLEY and his full team of experts will take advantage of the lead-time into this marquee matchup. This is one of those games that could blow up in either direction. If Penn State gets nervous, then they’re going to suffer turnovers against his aggressive Michigan defense. But, if the Nittany Lions really are the real deal this season in the Big 10…then this is going to be their coming out party on what’s been one of the strongest home fields of the past few seasons.
The early line is Penn State by 10 points, after being bet down from openers closer to -11.5 or -12. You can see that oddsmakers were pricing Penn State at perfection, while early sharp action was influenced by all the underdog winners this past weekend. What’s tricky for sports bettors is…how do you price Michigan if they have to play catch up on the road with this shaky offense?
*They haven’t been an underdog this season, let alone a double-digit underdog.
*They could only score 10 points in a home loss to Michigan State.
*They only scored 20 points in regulation against Indiana’s soft defense.
*They barely scored the pointspread against Cincinnati and Air Force earlier this season, and that was with their first-string quarterback.
If this unit has to put the ball in the air from behind, then things could get out of control very quickly. Penn State’s Saquon Barkley is hard enough to contain without giving him short fields to work with. Plus, don’t you think he’s heard all the talk about how another running back is now the frontrunner to win the Heisman Trophy? Will there be any other player on any other field MORE MOTIVATED to have a big game this Saturday than Barkley?
This is going to be a very tricky one for you to handicap. If you thought college football was easy for novices, you were taught a big lesson last week. So many upsets that couldn’t possibly happen did happen. It’s time to sign up with true experts…with a NETWORK of experts put together by handicapping legend JIM HURLEY!
*Our SOURCES and SCOUTS will tell us all about Michigan’s game planning, and Penn State’s readiness off a bye week.
*Our STATHEADS will have crunched all the relevant numbers…including what happened in big games when these particular head coaches were at prior jobs! This is definitely a matchup where “program” tendencies are going to be dwarfed by career coaching tendencies.
*Our COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS will run simulations around the clock to determine what kind of confluence of events Michigan needs to spring a defensive-minded upset…and what triggers would yield a Penn State runaway.
*Our FRIENDS BEHIND THE LINE in Las Vegas and offshore will tell us what the smart money is doing all week…and will help us get the right team at the right price on game day.
It’s possible we’ll have to pass this game if the number settles into the right spot. But, JIM HURLEY is looking to be aggressive this week after winners this past weekend on Georgia Tech (+) over Miami (should have won outright), Minnesota (+) over Michigan State (same), New Orleans (-) over Detroit in the NFL (up 41-10 at one point), the LA Rams (+) over Jacksonville (outright), and Pittsburgh (+) over Kansas City (outright).
You can always purchase BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-800-323-4453 during normal business hours. Ask about combination packages that include the rest of the baseball playoffs, and the NBA season that starts Tuesday night. We’ll be attacking the board seven days a week for the forseeable future!
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