Gould Standard Pick Six: Week 9

Herb Gould

This Week 2, Big Ten version, is not what Kevin Warren and the home office in Rosemont, Illinois, envisioned. Penn State got smacked in the mouth at Indiana. And Wisconsin’s trip to Nebraska was canceled by the Badgers’ Coronavirus woes.

That said, life goes on in the Big Ten, with Indiana-Rutgers stepping into the less-bright spotlight. Other questions: Will Jim Harbaugh show mercy on the struggling Spartans? Will Ohio State embarrass Penn State?

I am sort of feeling like I took one for the team last week, picking three Big Ten games right out of the pandemic-delayed gate. Paid for biting on the big points that Wisconsin and Ohio State were giving to Illinois and Nebraska.

And I underestimated how feeble Pitt had become, leaving it no match for Notre Dame, which had been slogging past ACC lightweights.

That said, I am proud to have seen that Michigan would roll at Minnesota. And that Alabama would do what Alabama does. Bottom line: A disappointing 2-4 leaves me a disappointing 19-22-1 against the spread despite a 32-10 record straight-up.

But enough about that. Here are some Week 9 picks for games that I am looking forward to seeing, picking or not.

THE GAMES

(Central Flyover Time)

Michigan State plus-21.5 at No. 13 Michigan, 11 a.m., FOX

Memphis minus-6.5 at Cincinnati, 11 a.m., ESPN

Notre Dame minus-19.5 at Georgia Tech, 2:30 p.m., ABC

Indiana minus-10.5 at Rutgers, 2:30 p.m., BTN

Mississippi State plus-30 at Alabama, 6 p.m., ESPN

Ohio State minus-11.5 at Penn State, 6:30 p.m., ABC

THE PICKS

(ATS winner in bold)

Michigan State plus-21.5 at No. 13 Michigan, 11 a.m., FOX

In the Great Lakes State, people are wondering if new Michigan QB Joe Milton is really that good. And if Michigan State is really this bad. I’m thinking Milton has a chance, because he can run. And Sparty doesn’t; because he can’t hide.

Michigan 42, Michigan State 10

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Memphis minus-6.5 at Cincinnati, 11 a.m., ESPN

Sneaky good game. Memphis (3-1) is one tough loss at SMU from being unbeaten. But Cincinnati (4-0), which was known for defense, is starting to show a pretty nifty offense. With another quality win, the Bearcats can enhance their playoff resume in case opportunity knocks.

Cincinnati 31, Memphis 20

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Notre Dame minus-19.5 at Georgia Tech, 2:30 p.m., ABC

Don’t expect Notre Dame to light up Georgia Tech 73-7 the way Clemson did. But the Irish will roll in their final tuneup before their big Clemson showdown.

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Indiana minus-10.5 at Rutgers, 2:30 p.m., BTN

Indiana’s upset of Penn State and Rutgers’ breakthrough win at Michigan State mean this game now is the battle of Big Ten East unbeaten, rather than Ohio State-Penn State. Kudos to Rutgers. But Indiana, with QB Michael Penix Jr. doing his thing, keeps the Hoosiers rolling.

Indiana 35, Rutgers 20

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Mississippi State plus-30 at Alabama, 6 p.m., ESPN

Only at Alabama: Receiver Jaylen Waddle, among the best players in the nation, is out for the season. And the Crimson Tide aren’t likely to miss a beat. Mississippi State, meanwhile, has been muzzled since that opening shocker at LSU.

Alabama 48, Mississippi State 14

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Ohio State minus-11.5 at Penn State, 6:30 p.m., ABC

Penn State’s wrenching loss at Indiana chop-blocks what would have been a top-10 showdown in which even the loser could have remained in the College Football Playoff discussion. The Nittany Lions’ injury woes at running back are not a good thing, either. Ohio State, meanwhile, looks like a juggernaut in every way.

Ohio State 38, Penn State 20

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LAST WEEK ATS: 2-4. . . THIS SEASON: 19-22-1

LAST WEEK STRAIGHT UP: 5-1. . . THIS SEASON: 32–10

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