Hello, Walk the Line fans! Dan Krier here. Thanks to this cold/flu/whatever it is I’ve picked up, our Walk the Line podcast will be taking a week off while my voice recovers.
Nonetheless, Brooks Laimbeer and I wanted to give our picks for this week’s great games like Saturday night’s MSU (-6.5) vs Nebraska matchup here in East Lansing. Can the Spartans cover the spread in what’s sure to be cold and rainy conditions? Here we go…
NCAA Week 6:
Saturday, October 4th
Nebraska @ Michigan St. -6.5
Dan Krier – MSU 27-17
DK Comment: The Spartans defense will contain Ameer Abdullah enough to cover the spread in a game that will be lower scoring than usual (for these two teams) due to cold weather and rain storms. This is where MSU’s push to the Championship Playoff truly begins.
Brooks Laimbeer – MSU 24-21
BL Comment: Weather will play a huge factor in this game because it is supposed to be rainy and cold on Saturday. Nebraska’s defense is very physical and has only given up an average 19 points per game. Ameer Abdullah is a hard runner and is a game-changer for the Cornhuskers, so the MSU defense will have a challenge. This contest will be won in the trenches because MSU needs to establish the run in order to set up their passing game.
Michigan @ Rutgers -1.5
Dan Krier – Rutgers 24-13
DK Comment: How this game went from -4 to -1.5 is a mystery to me. Who in the world thinks Michigan will bounce back after two consecutive atrocious weeks at home? Rutgers is a solid team this season and the Wolverines are on the brink…whether they want to admit it or not.
Brooks Laimbeer – Rutgers 28-14
BL Comment: Very few people were giving Rutgers a chance to succeed in their inaugural Big Ten season. They beat the heavy passing attack of Washington State and gave Penn State a run for their money. They are 43rd overall in points allowed with an average of 21.2 given up per game, and that is not a good sign for a Michigan offense that can’t string together consistent drives offensively. I just don’t see how the Wolverines can win.
Ohio St. -7 @ Maryland
Dan Krier – Ohio St. 34-29
DK Comment: Maryland showed it can play well in a road win against Syracuse. They don’t have what it takes to beat the Buckeyes, but they can stay within a TD in a high-scoring affair that goes over.
Brooks Laimbeer – Maryland 31-28
BL Comment: Maryland has played a lot of offensive teams that like to spread you out. Their defense only gives up an average 19.8 points per game, which is 32nd in the country. I know Ohio State is coming off a week where they just crushed Cincinnati, but this Maryland team is dangerous and better than people think. The Terps defense will not be the main reason why they win this game. They need that explosive passing offense to work against a good Buckeye defense that only gives up an average 20 points per game.
Wisconsin -7 @ Northwestern
Dan Krier – Northwestern 24-23
DK Comment: The Cats are back! After a dominating win on the road last week against Penn State, Pat Fitzgerald’s team will show that they have righted the ship against a Badger squad that failed to impress last week versus South Florida. Northwestern has a history of giving the Badgers problems, so that’s another reason to take the 7-points (regardless of any upset predictions).
Brooks Laimbeer – Wisconsin 35-21
BL Comment: Krier may like his alma mater to cover, but I don’t. The Wildcats are going up against a Badger defense that only gives up 14.5 points per game on average. The Badger rushing attack is way too good for the Wildcat defense, and Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon will run all over them.
Stanford -2.5 @ Notre Dame
Dan Krier – Notre Dame 21-17
DK Comment: The presence of Notre Dame QB Everett Golson will have Irish fans partying like it’s 2012 all over again. Though turnover prone against Syracuse (2 INT’s, 2 fumbles), Golson is a winner who will lead ND to a home victory in a low-scoring affair. Stanford seems like a team that will come up short on numerous occasions this season.
Brooks Laimbeer – Notre Dame 17-14
BL Comment: This is definitely a defensive battle for the most part. Stanford has the toughest defense in the nation and they only give up an average 6.5 points per game. Notre Dame’s defense gives up an average 11.5 points per game, which ranks fourth overall in the FBS. The one advantage that Notre Dame has is their quarterback, Everett Golson, who has a strong arm and can make plays. Golson will be the difference maker in this game.
Texas A&M @ Mississippi St. -2.5
Dan Krier – Texas A&M 48-42
DK Comment: Do you like points? These two teams do. Perfect weather conditions means a track meet, and I have zero reason to doubt A&M and wunderkind Kenny Hill. Yes the Bulldogs are good, but only as dogs. A&M loves playing spoilers, and they have shown they are a force to be reckoned with this season.
Brooks Laimbeer – Mississippi State 38-35
BL Comment: A couple weeks ago, I told Krier that I liked Mississippi State to upset LSU, and what do you know, it happened! There is something different about this Bulldog team. Dan Mullen has this program where he wants it and their defense is only giving up 16.5 points per game on average. This the first tough stretch of their schedule and they know it and are up to the challenge. The Aggies have done well, but they beat an overrated South Carolina team, and an underrated Arkansas team hung with them last week. Kenny Hill has been great so far, but this week he may struggle.
Alabama -5 @ Ole Miss
Dan Krier – Alabama 34-21
DK Comment: There was a moment when I doubted the Crimson Tide, but after their 20-point destruction of Florida two weeks ago, there is very little question that Nick Saban will have his team in the Championship Playoff come January. Ole Miss is okay, but not top tier. The Tide have had two weeks to prepare. Time to roll.
Brooks Laimbeer – Alabama 31-21
BL Comment: Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace was the only returning SEC quarterback with comprehensive game experience. That has really been a plus for the Rebels this season, but this is their first real test of the season against the Crimson Tide. Boise State is not the team a lot of us once knew. Nick Saban is a great coach and he is at his best getting his players prepared for big games. The Alabama defense may not be the same as many of us knew in the past, but they are still just as fast and talented and good in the trenches where football games are won.
NFL Week 5:
Sunday, October 5th
Buffalo @ Detroit -7
Dan Krier – Detroit 24-13
DK Comment: Yes, Lions fans, your team is about to go to 4-1 on the season, with a cover to top it off. The Bills have lost two in a row and looked anemic on offense last week on the road in Houston. No reason to think this game will be any different, so it will stay under.
Brooks Laimbeer – Detroit 28-14
BL Comment: The Bills have Kyle Orton playing this week and like Krier said, they are coming off two straight losses. Matthew Stafford has been playing well so far this season and the Lions have so many weapons on offense.
Kansas City @ San Francisco -6
Dan Krier – San Francisco 28-24
DK Comment: KC will cover, and it wouldn’t shock me if they win. Seems like San Fran has some inner turmoil going on week after week with Harbaugh catching bad press, but his team has the talent to persevere (though not enough to cover 6). I like this game to go over because of Jamal Charles and Knile Davis for the Chiefs. They add enough firepower to get the scoreboard jumping.
Brooks Laimbeer –San Francisco 28-21
BL Comment: The 49ers are too good of a defensive team even though they have not been as solid this year. The Chiefs did destroy the Patriots on Monday Night Football, but can they contain the tough running game of San Francisco? I don’t think it happens.
Baltimore @ Indianapolis -3.5
Dan Krier – Indianapolis 38-21
DK Comment: Indy has won its last two games by a combined total of 85-34, and while Baltimore dismantled a decent Carolina Panthers team last week 38-10, they will soon find out why Andrew Luck is one of the best team leaders in football in 2014. His offensive prowess inspires the defense to play beyond their talents, and the Colts are now on their way to a very successful season.
Brooks Laimbeer –Indianapolis 35-21
BL Comment: Andrew Luck has shown everyone why he deserved to be the No. 1 draft pick three years ago. This Baltimore team is not the same as they were last year and the year before that. Yes, the Ravens did crush a good Carolina team with a solid defense last week, but now they face a good Colts team who plays well at home.
Monday, October 6th
Seattle -7.5 @ Washington
Dan Krier – Seattle 37-17
DK Comment: It’s really hard to like the Redskins’ chances after a 45-14 home loss to the woeful Giants last Thursday night. Seattle and Russell Wilson will bully their way to a convincing victory as they march towards the NFC’s best record again in 2014. Beast mode!
Brooks Laimbeer – Seattle 34-17
BL Comment: Kirk Cousins plays well off the bench, but he struggles in the starting role. Washington has offensive threats in the wide receiver position with DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, but this Seattle defense is always tough. Russell Wilson is coming into his own and showing the rest of the NFL why he is an elite quarterback in the NFL.
Dan Krier is the host of Walk the Line for Impact Sports
Brooks Laimbeer is the host of Corner Kick for Impact Sports