Observer Roundtable College Picks: Can Ohio State keep rolling?
Aidan Thomas | Thursday, November 21, 2019
Minnesota has really kicked us in the teeth the last two weeks. After all but David Kramer picked the Gophers to fall to Penn State, every one of us except Nate Moller picked Minnesota to beat Iowa. Overall regarding Minnesota games, we’re a combined 2-10, so to make ourselves feel better we’re not putting them in our slate of games this week. We also will be looking for more luck in our upset picks, where we are 2-16 in the last three weeks. Maybe hold off on taking our picks to Vegas, but we’ll get there. Here’s this week’s college picks — tune in tomorrow for NFL and upset picks!
David – 47 pts
Dominic – 41 pts
Liam – 38 pts
Aidan – 37 pts
Patrick – 36 pts
Nate – 35 pts
#8 Penn State @ #2 Ohio State (-18)
#13 Michigan @ Indiana (+8.5)
Texas @ #14 Baylor (-5.5)
The Nittany Lions’ performance against Indiana last week should cause immediate concern. Their defense looks exhausted, as evidenced by the poor tackling that began in Minneapolis. Granted, Penn State may slightly compensate with their above-average offensive output, but I don’t expect a close game against the best team in college football. Ohio State wins and covers.
Speaking of Indiana, their quiet relevance in the Big Ten East makes for a great contender against Michigan in Bloomington. I deserve expulsion for picking Michigan in any matchup, no matter the spread, but hopefully readers will forgive my criminality this weekend as Michigan squeezes out a victory on the road. Michigan wins but doesn’t cover.
My condolences to the Bears after a stunning collapse against Oklahoma last weekend. Ouch. With playoff hopes dashed, an instant recovery feels far-fetched. Look for an offensive relapse in Waco this weekend as Texas kicks the Bears when they’re down. Texas upsets.
Ohio State has been a force to be reckoned with all year, with dominant showings week-in and week-out. Penn State has been on a downward trend as of late and that will not bode well heading into this matchup. I expect Ohio State to win and cover.
Some can view this as a trap game for the Wolverines as they head down to Bloomington to do battle with Indiana. Michigan has looked good as of late with a stout defense and a big threat on offense if they can establish the run. Indiana will come to play but it will not be enough. Michigan wins and covers.
I think I speak for all Longhorn fans, this year has been quite a disappointment. Texas has gone from picked to win the Big 12 to now 6-4 and out of contention. The Longhorns have been full of holes on defense lately, but they looked improved against Iowa State. It was the stagnant offense that cost them. If Texas finds a way to get Sam Ehlinger and the offensive unit going again, I like their chances. Texas upsets on the road.
Ohio State has looked unbeatable at times this year, and Penn State hasn’t looked great as of late, but I think this will be a closer game than many predict. Penn State lost to a very good Minnesota team, and then barely beat an unranked Indiana team, but Indiana has 7 wins, so it was actually a good win for Penn State. Still, though, they don’t have the offensive firepower to keep up with Ohio State, but it won’t be a blowout. Ohio State wins but doesn’t cover.
As many of us have discussed already, Indiana is a sneaky-good team. However, Michigan has been one of the best teams in college football over the last three weeks, and it’s hard to pick against their defense. I think it will be close in the first half, but the size and strength of Michigan will prove too much for Indiana. Michigan wins and covers.
Bet against Tom Herman as an underdog if you dare. He is 16-3 against the spread as an underdog, with 11 outright wins. Texas will undoubtedly keep this game close. It is also a trap game for Baylor. With any playoffs hopes gone after the 25-point collapse last week, it’s hard to imagine their players will be as motivated. Texas wins outright.
You can’t make me bet against the Buckeyes right now. Penn State has a solid offense, but their previously elite defense has struggled the past two games. Ohio State is too explosive — covering the 18-point spread might be tough, but the game is in Columbus, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on that. Ohio State wins and covers.
Who knew Indiana was 7-3? Maybe people did, but I absolutely did not, and I consider myself a decent fan of college football. The surprisingly relevant Hoosiers impressed last week in pushing Penn State to the limit, and they have a chance for a statement upset against Michigan. However, since almost rallying from 21-0 down against Penn State, the Wolverines have been sizzling, and I won’t bet against them. Michigan wins but does not cover.
I like the odds of a shootout in this one, and I’ll lean towards Baylor as they’ve shown a little more consistency, last week’s second-half collapse aside. Texas has lost two of three and will keep things close but not pull the upset in Waco. Baylor wins but does not cover.
The Penn State faithful are clinging to the small chance they will win out and make it to their first CFP. Ohio State has arguably performed better than any team this year and should dash this dream. The Buckeyes have not scored less than 34 points in a game so far and will cruise to victory but not quite cover the spread.
After a close loss to Penn State, the Hoosiers will return home to face Michigan, who have been red hot since crushing Notre Dame. The Wolverines have put up around 40 points in each of the last three contests, and I expect that this trend will continue in Indiana, as Michigan needs to carry this momentum into a fateful matchup against Ohio State. Expect the Wolverines to win big and cover.
The past few games have not been kind to Texas, who barely beat Kansas before losing to TCU and Iowa State. The Longhorns desperately need a win against Baylor to finish the season on a high note and to be in play for a high-profile bowl game. The Bears just suffered one of the most painful losses this season, surrendering 24-straight points in the second half against Oklahoma. Texas will come up short yet again as Baylor fails to cover the spread but avenges their first loss in a close contest.
Under James Franklin, the Nittany Lions have had a very hard time recording a win against a ranked team on the road. I think that streak will continue against the Buckeyes this Saturday. The Minnesota game two weeks ago showed the vulnerabilities in the Nittany Lion defense, and I expect Justin Fields and the Ohio State offense to continue to exploit these weaknesses. Buckeyes win easily but don’t cover the large spread.
Indiana gave Penn State a run for their money last week, but I expect Shea Patterson to lead the Wolverines to an easy victory in Bloomington. Since the second half of their game against Penn State, Jim Harbaugh has his offense rolling, and I expect Michigan’s plethora of playmakers to torch the Hoosier defense. Michigan wins and covers.
Both teams are coming off of demoralizing losses, so it will be interesting to see how they both bounce back. Despite the Longhorns terrible play as of late, something tells me they will play well against Baylor this Saturday. Sam Ehlinger will finally show why he received so much preseason hype. I like the Longhorns to win this one outright.