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BOILERHONK’S PONKS FOR WEEK TWELVE

The week we go all in on Pat Fitzgerald

For those of you who may not know but ahead of this season, my lovely wife gave birth to our baby boy. He’s adorable. But he’ll need money for college assuming he doesn’t grow up to be a 6’4” point god or TikTok star and it still costs a pretty penny to attend.

So it’s time to open a 529 and what better way* to invest than college football picks.

Note: there are much better ways to invest money and neither I, nor BHGP, are liable for any losses you may endure as a result of any “advice.”


The ground rules:

  • No more than 20% wagered per week
  • No more than 5% on a single bet

Last week:

  • 220 units on Oregon -10 at Washington State (net +200)
  • 220 units on Boston College +13.5 v Notre Dame (net -220)
  • 330 units on NC State -9.5 v Florida State (net +300)
  • 200 units on Purdue ML v Northwestern (net -200)

Bankroll: 8.852 units


This Friday is just a little happier than last Friday and a big reason for that (only) is we picked the right team to over-index on with the NC State Wolfpack.

Honestly, it was more a bet against Florida State because the are a mess. Truly, I did not know things could be so bad! If only they could notch a couple wins in a row to make things feel great.

Oregon continued to do Oregon things, which is to say they let their opponent absolutely linger throughout all of the game before hamblasting them in the fourth quarter. Literally no clue how that happened but happy to see it up the bank account a smidge.

Boston College once again finds themselves on the “do not bet” list until they play another supremely talented team which reminds me how they will kinda maybe sorta linger around but also not really. I will begrudgingly admit Notre Dame is good. Doesn’t mean I like them in a rematch against Clemson...just that they’re good.

Pat Fitzgerald continues to do Pat Fitzgerald things which seems like I should be more ready for it every week of the season. I guess it’s just against Iowa I have my fitzy sensor going haywire. More on him later.

In exploring which games to bet this week, I very seriously considered throwing our beloved Iowa Hawkeyes into the mix against Penn State. The Nittany Lions have held Iowa at 24 points or less since 2003. 2003! I was 13 years old and hardly know what a gambling line was.

Anyways, Penn State has...not been as plugged up offensively but they’ve only gotten past that 24-point barrier four times in the last 11 meetings. The teams have averaged 38.6 points in those contests. I’m feeling the rock fight and the under 47 if I had to ponk this one.

To the betting machine! (all lines from William Hill at some point!)

I think I said I would eat a shoe if 9-windiana came to fruition this year:

Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio State Buckeyes (-20.5)

Indiana is a fun story. I’m not going to stop you from enjoying it. I mean, IU is thisclose to becoming a football school. Who am I to stop it?

But this OSU team has been a little underwhelming. It really isn’t their fault since an 11-point win against Penn State would look good in any other year. But the eye test hasn’t vaulted them in big wins against Nebraska & Rutgers. With Indiana being, very likely, the best team they face this season before the conference title game, they will come out guns blazing.

The pick: OSU -20.5, 240 units to return 460

That sound you hear is another 11:00a Big Ten game:

Illinois Fighting Illini (+15.5) at Nebraska Cornhuskers

What we have here, with Nebraska, is a classic trap game scenario. They’re coming off a big win against Penn State - the biggest and best seven-point win you’ve ever seen - with their Black Friday showdown with a maybe good Iowa team looming next week.

Lovie’s Illini are in the middle of it.

Is it a bold move to pick a team whose only win is an absolute squeak job against Rutgers? Yes. But Brandon Peters is back which is a lot sadder now that I type it out.

Plus, 15.5 points is just way too many for Nebraska to lay.

The pick: Illinois +15.5, 240 units to return 460

Wisconsin Badgers at Northwestern Wildcats (+7.5 | ML +240)

Patfitz Patfitz Patfitz.

What can be said which hasn’t already been said. With a win over Wisconsin, Northwestern would be the only program to have winning records against every other divisional opponent since the East and West were created in 2014.

This 2020 iteration of the Wildcats is a bit of a souped-up version of the 2018 squad which squeaked its way to a division title. They’re averaging 4 more points on offense (28) and giving up 9 less points on defense (13). Somehow the 3.6 yards/carry they’re averaging on offense is a half yard better than that 2018 team. And, oh yeah, they’re taking the air out of the ball with almost 48 carries per game.

Their schedule hasn’t been all that easy, either, with wins over Iowa, Purdue, and maybe-not-bad Maryland and Nebraska teams.

If Paddy Fisher is able to help the Wildcats keep the run game in check like they did against Iowa, it could force Graham Mertz to take the game into his own hands. He may be capable but this game feels much more 50/50 than the line is presenting.

The pick: Northwestern ML, 440 units to return 1496


And there you have it! A Big Ten only menu of items. Did I want to bet Kansas State? Absolutely. But COVID looks to have beaten them before Iowa State could.

Bankroll:
7,932 units

Outstanding bets:
Ohio State -20.5 v Indiana (returns 460 units)
Illinois +15.5 at Nebraska (returns 460 units)
Northwestern ML v Wisconsin (returns 1496 units)
Chelsea +800 to win Premier League (returns 4,005 units)