Friday Forecast: Week Seven
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Friday Forecast: Week Eight

October 21, 2016

Here we go, folks. Another week of college football and things continue to get more and more interesting. How will it all shake out by the time it is all said and done? Hail Varsity’s Brandon Vogel, Erin Sorensen, Mike Babcock and Chris Schmidt are back, alongside Opendorse’s Blake Lawrence, to hedge their bets once again on another weekend of college football games.

Our weekly Friday Forecast is presented by the Gamblers Assistance Program, the Nebraska Council on Compulsive Gambling and Choices Treatment Center. If you or someone you love has a problem with gambling, call the state-wide help line at 1-800-522-4700.

Wisconsin (-3.5) at Iowa

BV: The Badgers running game looks to be coming around and that’s trouble for the Hawkeyes. Nebraska would be happy with a Hawkeyes win here, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. PICK: Wisconsin 21, Iowa 10

ES: It would be great for Nebraska if Iowa won this game, but I’m not sure it happens. The Hawkeyes will put up a fight mostly because that’s what they do when teams absolutely don’t need it. Wisconsin’s won’t let Iowa win, though. PICK: Wisconsin 24, Iowa 17

CS: This game could flip Iowa’s season around and the Hawkeyes looked much
better against Purdue. Wisconsin enters into a rivalry game coming off of
an emotional slug fest against Ohio State. I like Wisconsin by a little. PICK: Wisconsin 24, Iowa 20

MB: An Iowa victory would probably benefit Nebraska, but the Hawkeyes’ most impressive victory is which one? PICK: Wisconsin 28, Iowa 13

BL: Wisconsin has suffered two back-to-back down-to-the-wire gut-wrenching losses (that’s a lot of dashes) at the hands of the best two teams in the league. They’re beat up, and they’re on the road. Iowa has a lot to prove, and they’ll start with a big home win on Saturday. PICK: Iowa 20, Wisconsin 17

Texas A&M at Alabama (-17.5)

BV: I don’t think Ag. & Mech. quite has enough to get a win on the road here, but it should be able to cover three scores. PICK: Alabama 37, Texas A&M 21

ES: Alabama is just going to be too much for A&M over the course of this game. It’ll be close for awhile but the Tide will pull away. PICK: Alabama 41, Texas A&M 20

CS: One of two team to have success against Nick Saban has been the Aggies. The other is Ole Miss. Trevor Knight has good history against Alabama and the defense will be the best Alabama has seen. Can A&M keep the Tide special teams and defense out of the end zone? That’s my question. It’s close but Alabama wins and A&M covers. PICK: Alabama 42, Texas A&M 31

MB: No one has had much luck slowing down the Crimson Tide. PICK: Alabama 49, Texas A&M 20

BL: This is a crazy spread. Alabama almost covers, but I’ll give A&M a little more credit. If they’re healthy, they’ll challenge the Tide… but not for four quarters. PICK: Alabama 41, Texas A&M 24

Ole Miss at LSU (-5.5)

BV: Truthfully, I could see giving LSU the classic home-field advantage edge of -3 or so, but nearly a touchdown? No, no, no. I’ll take the Rebels outright. PICK: Ole Miss 27, LSU 24

ES: It’s nice for LSU to be at home but I don’t know if home-field advantage will give the Tigers the win. I’m leaning toward Ole Miss on this one. PICK: Ole Miss 31, LSU 28

CS: Another chance for Easy Ed to make his case for the Tiger brass. Ole Miss is talented and still one of the best teams in the country. Give me a road win and cover for the Rebels. Ole Miss is battle tested and LSU hasn’t beaten anybody of note this year. PICK: Ole Miss 31, LSU 27

MB: Wouldn’t have figured .500 for Ole Miss at this point, or that Les Miles wouldn’t be LSU’s coach. PICK: Ole Miss 31, LSU 28

BL: If Ole Miss being ranked No. 23 with a 3-3 record isn’t blatant evidence of SEC bias, I don’t know what is. This game will be close, but the Les Miles-Less Tigers will survive in Death Valley. PICK: LSU 24, Ole Miss 21

Ohio State (-19.5) at Penn State

BV: Here we find out just how great the gulf is between the top two teams in the East and everyone else. I’ll take the Buckeyes to win comfortably, but if you’re playing the line you might be sweating it. PICK: Ohio State 35, Penn State 14

ES: Oh, the Buckeyes. Penn State might keep things interesting for a little bit but Ohio State is just too tough. PICK: Ohio State 45, Penn State 21

CS: Tough atmosphere, confidence boosting opportunity, second of two extremely tough night venues… Ohio State doesn’t care. They are too complete in all three phases to blink. Barkley will get his, but that’s about it for PSU Saturday night. PICK: Ohio State 42, Penn State 21

MB: The Buckeyes will be tested again, but they wore down Wisconsin in the second half and they won’t need that long this week. PICK: Ohio State 42, Penn State 17

BL: Penn State has lost to the mighty Michigan Wolverines and the pretty powerful Pittsburgh Panthers (whose only losses are to Oklahoma State and an improving UNC squad). The Buckeyes won’t be upset in happy valley, but they won’t run cover this mad spread. PICK: Ohio State 45, Penn State 34

Purdue at Nebraska (-24)

BV: Maybe the coaching change, in combination with Nebraska’s injuries, will be enough of a wild card to keep things close for a while. I’ll still take the Huskers to cover. PICK: Nebraska 35, Purdue 10

ES: Nebraska has a lot of injuries to worry about, especially on the offensive line. I think that will prove to be a little problematic, but not too much. Nebraska is the better pick here and I’ll even take the Huskers to cover the spread. PICK: Nebraska 48, Purdue 17

CS: This game will be a little closer that expected. I think Nebraska’s health will affect the offense early and then the Husker rushing attack will settle in. Blough is slippery and will come in and chuck it around for a few points. Ultimately, Nebraska is too much. PICK: Nebraska 38, Purdue 21

MB: The Huskers are banged up. A less-than-healthy offensive line is of particular concern. But the firing of a head coach halfway through the season? PICK: Nebraska 51, Purdue 23

BL: The post-Hazell era for Purdue begins Saturday against a banged up Nebraska, who may have their sights set on back to back dog fights coming up on the schedule. While the Boilermakers seek to make it two in a row against the ‘skers, Newby and his hodgepodge blocking crew have a different plan in mind. Nebraska gets up big and lets Blough run around too much in the 4th quarter. PICK: Nebraska 42, Purdue 27

***

Our picks today are for entertainment purposes only. Between 6 and 8 million Americans meet the criteria for gambling addiction, and many more are affected by another individual’s gambling problem. Don’t gamble more than you can afford and if it stops being fun seek help.

Problem gambling is not a bad habit or a moral weakness. It’s a serious condition. But with help, problem gamblers can put the game in perspective and make decisions to improve their lives.

If you or someone you love has a gambling problem, in Lincoln call Choices treatment center 24/7 at 402-476-2300 or statewide call The Nebraska Council on Problem Gambling 24/7 at 1-800-522-4700. Help is free so call today.

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