Friday, October 14, 2011

Iowa State-Missouri, Michigan-Michigan State Spread Winners

Free pick winners in college football abound for Saturday, October 15.  The anchor of GodsTips starts out with a big underdog:

IOWA STATE +15.5 Missouri

It's a perfect sandwich game as Mizzou had a tough loss last week at Kansas State and plays very dangerous Oklahoma State next week. Also Missouri is a big favorite that would actually like to regain confidence in their kicking game for the long run. They may actually be less likely to pile up touchdowns and settle for field goal attempts.

After missing only three of 46 attempts the past two seasons, Ressel is just 7 for 13 this year. This week, coach Gary Pinkel opened competition between Ressel and punter Trey Barrow.

Will the Blue have you in black or red? The article answers

Sophomore QB James Franklin has been erratic since taking over for Blaine Gabbert, last year's starter now in the NFL.  So we love taking underdogs in a game with such box of chocolates. Missouri is also going to run more this week, making the large point spread more ominous.

Scheduling dynamics, the likelihood of a less aggressive game plan and the big number are tough to pass up.

Offensively, the Cyclones have shown they can generate big plays. Running back James White and wide receiver Darius Reynolds make most of them. No matter the score, situation, or how poorly the team's executed up to that point, the offense always seems to be one play a way this year from breaking off a big touchdown.

Defensively, the Cyclones have come up big time and again when their backs are against the wall. Last week at Baylor they forced two turnovers in the first half when the Bears were driving deep in ISU territory. Also, the Cyclones held Connecticut to just three points off three first half turnovers, all of which came in ISU's end of the field.

They have the talent, they just have to cut down on turnovers, but again that is correctable. Lack of talent is not, but that is not ISU's issue.

Now to the wunderkinds of The Canadian Crew:

(11) Michigan @ (23) Michigan State

Saturday, October 15, 12:00 pm. ET

NCAAF betting line: Michigan State -2.5

Michigan State is 4-1 but could conceivably end up .500 three weeks from now, as it gets Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska in consecutive devastating matchups. A win over the visiting Wolverines would be the Spartans' fourth straight over their bitter rivals and would give them a nice confidence boost entering the Wisconsin game.

This matchup comes down to Denard Robinson versus Michigan State's stellar defense. Robinson has been a special player, rushing for 720 yards and eight scores while also passing for 1,130 yards and 10 scores. However, Robinson also makes his share of mistakes. Even in a win last week, he threw three interceptions against an atrocious Northwestern defense.

Do we know, then, that Robinson can handle a "D like Michigan State's? The Spartans have truly been the country's best, first in total defense, second against the pass, third against the run and third in points allowed. That said, I'm not so impressed with the Spartans' offense. Kirk Cousins is supposed to be one of the nation's better quarterbacks but he's looked ordinary in MSU's tougher matchups. Michigan's defense is no slouch, either, and should contain him.

I'd expect a surprisingly low-scoring game and for Robinson to outplay Cousins just enough to keep the Wolverines undefeated.

The pick: Michigan +2.5

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