Big Ten Week 2 Overview: Sparty a Road Fave at Arizona State

Monday, September 3, 2018 2:45 PM UTC

Monday, Sep. 3, 2018 2:45 PM UTC

Michigan State is laying a touchdown plus the hook on the college football odds board as it travels to Arizona State on Saturday night. Penn State and Maryland are other vulnerable Big Ten road favorites.

Big Ten Spotlight: No. 11 Michigan State (-7.5) at Arizona StateSaturday, 10:45 p.m. ET (ESPN)Free NCAAF Pick: OverBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Michigan State (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) needed a 13-yard touchdown rush by RB Connor Heyward with two minutes to play to dispose of Utah State 38-31 on Saturday, despite going off a 23.5-point favorite. The Spartans slowed the Aggies for 25 rushing yards on 25 carries, but surprisingly struggled on pass defense. Utah State picked up 7.3 yards per attempt. To put this in perspective, only eight unranked visitors have generated as much efficiency through the air at Spartan Stadium in the last decade.

Arizona State (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) christened new coach Herm Edwards with a 49-7 romp over Texas-San Antonio. The Sun Devils tallied 503 total yards with senior QB Manny Wilkins tossing for 237 yards, 4 TDs, and no picks on 16-of-24 passing. The only blemish in the win proved 11 penalties for 95 yards, despite Arizona State owning a speed and strength advantage. This lack of discipline will have to improve if it hopes to stun the Spartans catching points.

Advanced lines pitted the Sun Devils catching as many as 10 points at some online shops over the summer. Adjustments following Week 1 have dropped the number to -7.5. The Spartans are just 2-7 SU and 1-8 ATS in true road games against non-Big Ten, Power 5 programs over the last four decades. They kicked off chalk just twice in this scenario, winning each by a field goal.

Arizona State has pulled off an upset as a home single-digit underdog three times in its last 15 attempts. The defense allows 35.1 points per game in this spot. The Spartans will give Edwards’ unit its first real test. Michigan State will not have enough time to patch its passing defense holes. Wilkins keeps the Sun Devils close, as the two squads match each other on the scoreboard tit for tat. The Spartans will prevail late in a penalty-riddled contest, and "over" the total will hold plenty of value.

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BIG TIME DUB LAST NIGHT 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/A9jguO7HJa

— Sun Devil Football (@ASUFootball) September 2, 2018
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Around the Big Ten (All Games Saturday)

Duke at Northwestern (-2), noon ET, on ESPNU: This marks the fifth matchup between Duke (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) and Northwestern (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) under head coaches David Cutcliffe and Pat Fitzgerald. Outside of the Blue Devils’ scoring outburst in a 41-17 home win last season, neither team as put up more than 24 points in any meeting. The "under" has hit in three of four.

Western Michigan at No. 14 Michigan (-26.5), noon ET, on FS1: The "under" has hit in 10 of the last 12 Western Michigan (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) road games against Big Ten teams with a 48.4 average final score. The Power 5 representatives have failed to reach their projected team total in each. Michigan (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) averages 38.9 per game at home against unranked opponents under head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Eastern Michigan at Purdue (-14), noon ET, BTN: The "over" has hit 15 of the last 19 Purdue (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) contests facing MAC opponents. Eastern Michigan (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS), meanwhile, has covered the spread in 10 straight since Week 2 of 2016 catching points on the road.

New Mexico at No. 4 Wisconsin (-34.5), noon ET, on BTN: Wisconsin (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) stuffs the run. Period. This matchup is bad news for triple-option New Mexico (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS). Under head coach Paul Chryst, the Badgers yield 3.4 yards per carry to teams averaging more than 40 carries per game. The Lobos tally 49.6 carries per contest since 2012. When the betting favorite, Wisconsin surrenders 11.9 points per game against similar. The "under" has hit in six of seven, the final score staying a healthy 11.4 points below a 44.1 average line.

Colorado at Nebraska (-5), 3:30 p.m. ET, on ABC: Nebraska (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) canceled its opener against Akron after a two-hour, 40-minute weather delay, the first time in program history Mother Nature caused abandonment. Colorado (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS), meanwhile, trounced Colorado State 45-13 in the Rocky Mountain Showdown, holding the Rams to just 181 total yards. The Colorado-Nebraska rivalry hasn’t played since 2010. Since 1980, the Cornhuskers own a 23-7-1 SU lead, but the Buffs are winning in the betting market battle, going 18-13 ATS.

Rutgers at No. 5 Ohio State (-33), 3:30 p.m. ET, on BTN: Rutgers (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) romped 35-7 in its season opener against Texas State. Expect way less success on offense this week. The Scarlet Knights average 9.6 points per game in their last 19 contests as double-digit underdogs, scoring more than 17 just twice. Ohio State (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) is shooting for its third shutout in a row in the lopsided series.

Iowa State at Iowa (-4.5), 5 p.m. ET, on Fox: The season opener for Iowa State (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) never happened. Just four minutes and five seconds into its home tilt against South Dakota State, officials canceled the event after a two-hour delay due to lightning with no plans for rescheduling. Iowa (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS), meanwhile, coasted to a 33-7 win over Northern Illinois. The battle for the Cy-Hawk trophy has seen the "under" cash in seven straight at Kinnick Stadium. The average combined score is 34.2 points.

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And all is right with the CFB world: The Iowa wave is back. 👋pic.twitter.com/3hC2XRu4bf

— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 1, 2018
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Maryland (-15) at Bowling Green, 6 p.m. ET: Maryland (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS), despite turmoil surrounding the program, pulled off another season-opening stunner on Saturday, beating Texas 34-29 as 12-point pups. The Terps shocked the Longhorns (51-41) to begin 2017 catching 17.5 points. Maryland needs to be careful here. The program has dropped its last two outright as home favorites hosting MAC opponents, including a 48-27 defeat to Bowling Green (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) last time out (2015). The Terps have covered just one of their last six in this situation.

Western Illinois at Illinois (OFF), 7:30 p.m. ET, on BTN: Illinois (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) has outscored Western Illinois (0-1 SU, 0-0 ATS) 65-0 in the last two meetings (2007, 2015). Even Lovie Smith cannot mess this mismatch up.

Virginia at Indiana (-6), 7:30 p.m. ET, on BTN: Since 1980, Indiana (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) is 27-47-1 SU and 29-44-2 ATS (39.7 percent) kicking off at home with a single-digit line against an opponent that accrued more wins the prior season. This includes a 1-2 SU and ATS record under head coach Tom Allen. Virginia (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) heads to Memorial Stadium on Saturday catching 6 points.

Fresno State at Minnesota (-3), 7:30 p.m. ET, on FS1: Minnesota (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) is just 6-18 ATS as the betting favorite coming off a cover in the last 10 years. The defense has allowed opponents to score more than projected in 18 of the 24 contests. Fresno State (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS), meanwhile, put more than 70 points for the first time since 1991 (94) in a 79-13 rout of Idaho. The Bulldogs benefitted from seven Vandals turnovers.

No. 10 Penn State (-10.5) at Pitt, 8 p.m. ET, ABC: Oddsmakers listed Penn State (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) a 14-point favorite for The Keystone Classic in advanced Game of the Year lines. Pitt (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) has not put up more than 20 points as a double-digit underdog in the rivalry since 1980, averaging 15.6 per game.

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