Michigan @ Wisconsin: This is the first big test for the Wolverines this season. After squeaking by Army, Michigan took a bye week to try and get their offense straightened out. To me, this is the second biggest game of Harbaugh’s tenure at Michigan. That offense the first two weeks looked putrid and, honestly, it looked like Harbaugh still had a lot of influence on the play calling. Run after run after run after run. No creativity and no speed in space. But, on Saturday they can dispel all the negativity with an offensive outburst. It wont be easy considering Wisco had the number one defense in all the land, but Michigan just needs to show us an ounce of offensive creativity and I think the majority of the Michigan faithful will be back in on Gattis. Defensively, it will be interesting to see how Michigan does upfront against this Badgers’ offensive line. Wisconsin always has and always will have a great line to run behind. Stopping them and Heisman hopeful running back Johnathan Taylor will be difficult to put it lightly. I really don’t like this match-up for Michigan considering they have a speedier defensive front. The size might be too much. Unless the offense can be all that we dreamed it could be at the beginning of the season, Wisconsin might roll. I think Wisconsin defends its home field by a field goal.
Michigan State @ Northwestern: Oof that was a rough one last week for the Spartans. Just when everyone thought that Dantonio and the offense had figured it out, they set football back by 15 years. I really dont know if its coaching or lack of talent but something is seriously, seriously wrong on the attacking side of the ball. At this point, you have to wonder if MSU would just be better off only playing defense all game and trying to score via pick six. The defense is still as advertised. Did they give up a game winning drive to Arizona State in the final minutes of the game? Yes, but they played so strongly throughout the whole game that the levy was going to eventually break at some point. The offense did them absolutely no favors. As for Northwestern, I have no clue what kind of team they have this year. I just know that Pat Fitzgerald at home is never any easy out. Just off of recency bias for MSU and a general perception of NU, I think both Michigan based colleges take a loss on the road this week.
Lions @ Eagles: What a sloppy but fun win for the Lions last week! Not often do we see the Lions snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Typically the other way around. Maybe, just maybe, the tie with Arizona was a wake up call for this team. While the game against the Chargers wasn’t the most inspiring of performances but there were a lot of positives to take from it. All that being said, I like the Lions this week against the Eagles. On paper, the Eagles are a better team. No doubt about it. But they have an injury report a mile long and this early in the season, I think it means even more when a team is injured. They say that in early season football, games are won in the 4th quarter. Which ever team makes the most plays in the final 15 minutes typically wins the game i.e. Lions vs Chargers. So with Philly having so many key players out, I am going to favor the Lions in this one. Having to rely on backups to make big plays is a dangerous game. All the Lions need to do is get a little pressure on Wentz and they can walk out of Philly unscathed.*
*record wise, any team or fan that goes to Philly is at risk of being beaten to death because they uttered the word “Detroit”.
NFL Gambling Picks:
Season Record (4-1)
Since gambling is all the rage online now, here are my picks for the weekend. Spreads are courtesy of Bovada:
Detroit +6 @ Philadelphia
Houston @ LA Chargers -3
LA Rams -3.5 @ Cleveland
Chicago @ Washington +4
Miami @ Dallas -23.5