Iowa will put its unbeaten record on the line this weekend, when the Hawkeyes take on the Michigan Wolverines at the Big House. We have odds and a pick for that anticipated Week 6 game, as well as four more (all games Saturday).
Michigan gained some confidence last week against an overmatched Rutgers squad. Iowa is 4-0, with its signature win so far a one-point victory over rival Iowa State.
But can the Hawkeyes go into the Big House and win? I don’t think so. They weren’t ultra impressive in the Iowa State game and I won’t give Michigan too much grief for losing to a quality Wisconsin team in Madison.
Michigan did almost lose to Army at home, but Michigan teams under coach Jim Harbaugh tend to get better as the year goes on. Before oddsmakers catch on, let’s take advantage of the Michigan critics.
Pick: Michigan -4
Iowa State enters off a tough loss to Baylor, in which the Cyclones were down 20-0 and came all the way back to take a 21-20, only to lose on a last-minute field goal.
This roller coaster of emotions will no doubt leave a lasting impact the Cyclones. Can they bounce back?
After a dominating 51-14 effort over Kansas, TCU’s defense will be too much for Iowa State to handle. The Horned Frogs let up fewer than 200 yards against Kansas, but there was that loss against SMU, where the Mustangs scored 41 points and racked up more than 400 yards.
Iowa State almost lost to Northern Iowa at home, so I don’t believe its advantage is that great.
Pick: TCU +3.5
This total (49) is an extremely low number. I realize both teams have quality defenses, but the results thus far show a dominant Ohio State offense led by quarterback Justin Fields, and the Michigan State offense has turned to more of a spread attack under QB Brian Lewerke.
The spread suggests Ohio State should win big, but can Michigan State slow down the fourth-ranked scoring offense in the country? If we give Michigan State 14 points, Ohio State can only score up to 35 to push. Michigan State’s defense can hold Ohio State, even with its dynamic offense, to fewer than five touchdowns.
Pick: Under 49
Duke impressed last week in a lopsided win over Virginia Tech, but this spread is overestimating the Blue Devils. Virginia Tech isn’t what it once was, and Duke has yet to prove it can win two consecutive big games in the ACC.
Pittsburgh has played very well, particularly in a close loss to Penn State and a huge upset win against Central Florida.
Pittsburgh’s defense should keep the Panthers in contention throughout, and I believe they’ll win outright.
Pick: Pittsburgh +5
Washington is a big road favorite and rightfully so. Stanford has three losses this early in the season for the first time in years and coach David Shaw is struggling to figure his own team out. A narrow win at Oregon State last week helps a bit, but a monster is coming to town.
Washington and potential top-five draft pick Jacob Eason are ready to roll this week, and the Huskies will have no problem dropping 40 points on the Cardinal.