We’re approaching a big day in the college football offseason. Word around twitter and the internet is that on Monday the Golden Nugget Sportsbook in Downtown Las Vegas will be releasing upwards of 100 Games Of The Year lines for the upcoming college football season. Soon after, expect other books on the strip and online to follow suit. The upshot, we’ll all have lines to bet on shortly. That means the actual season is right around the corner.
Of course, we dont need to wait for the Nugget’s debut releases to talk about projected and possible lines. One of our favorite blogs, Beyond The Bets, have already crunched their own numbers in an attempt to set their own lines to compare with the actual books. They’ve taken a look at every league game in the 11 FBS conferences and projected a line for each contest. Obviously, this includes the Big 10. When actual lines come out, you know we’ll be breaking them all down here, with special looks at the Michigan lines over at MGoBlog. But why wait? Lets quickly list all the Michigan and Michigan State lines, as projected by Behind The Bets, for some discussion in advance of actual lines coming out. If both teams win the games they are favored in and lose the game they are projected as an underdog, both would tie atop their division standings with a 6-2 record with Nebraska.
UM -7 at Purdue
Illinois +18 at UM
MSU +6.5 at UM
UM +3.5 at Nebraska
UM -14.5 at Minnesota
NW +17.5 at UM
Iowa +14 at UM
UM +4 at OSU
Thoughts: Michigan is double digit chalk four times in league play. Things are getting back to normal in Ann Arbor. That said, I absolutely am loving MSU +6.5 at this point. I dont see how you cant. That D has some sort of Svengali hex on Denard and the Michigan offense. And I am always paranoid about a team that has to stop a losing streak against a certain team and the line has them favored by this many points. But I’m not all anti-Wolverine here. I am interested in taking those possible four points in the finale against Ohio State.
OSU +1.5 at MSU
MSU -18.5 at Indiana
Iowa +10.5 at MSU
MSU +6.5 at UM
MSU +7 at Wisco
Nebraska +2.5 at MSU
NW +16 at MSU
MSU -12.5 at Minnesota
Thoughts: Seeing MSU as near TD underdogs, albeit on the road, against Michigan, a program the current Spartans have owned and Wisconsin, a matchup thats given us thriller after thriller in recent seasons is attractive. Dont be surprised if MSU covers both and wins at least one of those outright. And since they havent lost at home in over two years, those short chalk lines against OSU and Nebraska in Spartan Stadium look appetizing too. And, sadly yes, the Spartans probably would cover the 18.5 against my alma mater Hoosiers.
A couple quick notes on the rest of the league:
In the opposite Division, the Badgers would pull in a 7-1 mark and sit atop the standings if they won all the games they were chalk in. They are projected to be +4 at Nebraska in the only Big 10 game they’re catching points in.
The Buckeyes are favored six times in league play. The short +1.5 at MSU and +4 at Wisconsin are the only league games that Urban Meyer’s first OSU team is projected as an underdog.
Based on BTB’s projections, expect a tough year for Penn State. They only see PSU as chalk twice during the Big 10 season. Only home games where they’re expected to be -8 vs Northwestern and -18 vs Indiana see the Nits as chalk. That’s a 2-6 mark should they fail to win outright any of the games they’re projected as the betting underdog.
Lastly, a word on Northwestern, since we broke the Cats down earlier in the in our team preview. One of the props we concocted was would the Wildcats become bowl eligible this season. According to BTB’s projected lines, they are going to be need a Big 10 upset or two along the way. They’re just chalk twice, -14 vs IU and -3 vs NW. They are a road pick ’em vs the Gophers and a tiny +1 dog at home vs Iowa. Nevertheless, they’d only pull in a 2-6 record if they won their chalk games and lost all their underdog games. Should that hold, they would need to sweep their non conference slate of at Syracuse, Vandy, BD, South Dakota St in order to hit the six win mark.
Oh, and, yes, IU is significant, double digit underdog in every game. When does basketball start again?
With actual lines on some of these games expected to be released by the Golden Nugget on Monday, we’ll have more in depth breakdowns here and at MGoBlog as we go along.