Stanford Steve and The Bear: Week 6 picks


Senior Member
"Stanford Steve" Coughlin and Chris "The Bear" Fallica cover the college football season as only they can, offering their top picks.

The Bear (Last week: 2-5. Season: 11-15)
Stanford Steve (Last week: 0-5. Season: 14-13)
Note: All lines are from Caesars Sportsbook.

The Plays

No. 9 Michigan Wolverines (-3.5, 50.5 O/U) at Nebraska Cornhuskers
Stanford Steve: I know Michigan fans think I hate them because I picked against them last week, but I don't. It was about the situation and this week is about the situation. Nebraska comes off playing their best game in a blowout win over Northwestern, where they scored 50+ points in a Big Ten game for the 4th time in Scott Frost's tenure in Lincoln. Michigan comes in off an impressive win at Madison and looks to be playing their best ball of the year. But is this the scenario where we see "Good Michigan" in September and October and then ... you know. I just think Nebraska rises to the occasion here and covers the number.
The pick: Nebraska +3.5 (Michigan 20, Nebraska 19)
Fallica: Michigan is good, but the spot is tough. Second straight conference road game against a team whose defense has played very well this year. Nebraska is going to win one of the close games at some point, so why not this week? Remember, too, Scott Frost's first Big Ten game was a 56-10 loss in Ann Arbor, there was the split title in 1997 and the UCF game at the Big House as well. So hold your nose a little bit and hope the Huskers don't have another special teams meltdown.
The pick: Nebraska +3.5

No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners (-3.5, 63.5) at No. 21 Texas Longhorns
Stanford Steve: Well, well, well, what do we have here. Both teams ranked for this rivalry. Gotta love it. The Longhorns come in covering seven of the last nine in this matchup and some say they are currently the best team in the Big 12. I'm sure the Sooners don't need any extra motivation but there is plenty of talk about how they have only won four games by one score, including last week in which they played their first true road game. I think the Sooners learned a lot about themselves in that game and more importantly I think they will be focused on slowing down Texas's Heisman candidate, running back Bijon Robinson, as he comes in red hot (216 rush yards last week vs. TCU). The feeling here is that Oklahoma plays their best game of the year and the offense looks more like a Lincoln Riley Oklahoma offense. I'll lay the points.
The pick: Oklahoma -3.5 (Oklahoma 34, Texas 27)

No. 4 Penn State Nittany Lions at No. 3 Iowa Hawkeyes (-1.5, 41)
Stanford Steve: How good have the games been when these two teams have played?! Before last year, Penn State had won six in a row in this series with the last three wins being by one score. Now we get both of them ranked in the top four of the AP poll. Penn State's offense has looked a lot "cleaner" under new offensive coordinator Pete Yercich, committing only three turnovers this year and the defense (3rd in nation in scoring defense and 2nd in red zone defense) has been tremendous, thus giving Penn State a +6 in the turnovers this year. Then on the other side, you have the Hawkeyes, who are the epitome of "what you see is what you get." Their defense continues to shine, forcing seven turnovers last week in a game I was on the sidelines for. Probably have a little recency bias, but I'll take the home team and give the points.
The pick: Iowa -1.5 (Iowa 24, Penn State 18)

Michigan State Spartans (-5.5, 50) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Stanford Steve: This will not be pretty. but the thought here is that Rutgers has enough to hang around and frustrate the Spartans at home in Piscataway. Before last week, Rutgers had one turnover on the season and then last week they gave it away three times. They need to play better than they did last week in getting blown out vs. Ohio State. Michigan State has been great to start the season, the defense has accumulated 18 sacks, including two or more in every game, so there is that. To be honest the line smells pretty bad, too. We'll take the home team and the points.
The pick: Rutgers +5.5 (Michigan State 23, Rutgers 20)

No. 19 Wake Forest Demon Deacons (-6, 57) at Syracuse Orange
Fallica: Syracuse's defense has played very well at home this year, getting after the QB and not allowing big plays through the air. After a close call in Tallahassee last week, seems like a good spot to back the Orange, just as we did two weeks ago when they upset Liberty.
The pick: Syracuse +6.5

Florida State Seminoles at North Carolina Tar Heels (-17.5, 64.5)
Fallica: After being upset by FSU last year, I expect the UNC offense to put up a big number on the Noles. The fact UNC took care of an overmatched Duke team with ease booths well for the remainder of the season.
The pick: North Carolina -17.5

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