Season record: 0-3
Illinois +2 @ Indiana
The Big Ten hurt me last week, but I’m returning to the midwest for another best play. Illinois squashed a depleted Wyoming program in Week 0 but looked strong in the effort. I don’t understand why Indiana is getting any respect after an absolutely dreadful 2021 season. Sure, they have some returning offensive linemen, but that may not be a good thing, as the unit was 121st nationally in line yards last year. The rest of their offense is filled with transfers.
As expected, the Illinois line has come down from +3.5 to +2 since Sunday. I think they are the better team in this matchup. Additionally, the Illini play well on the road with a 6-3 record against the spread (ATS) in conference away games since 2020. Additionally, they are 10-7 ATS in conference play overall.
Texas State +100 (moneyline) @ Nevada
Fading Nevada did not pan out last week, but New Mexico State lost that game more than Nevada won it. Despite being gifted SIX turnovers, Nevada only won by 11 points and looked as bad as expected. New Mexico State was just somehow worse.
Texas State is also a tough team to support, as they have been bad for quite some time. Newcomer Layne Hatcher should provide a boost at the game’s most important position, quarterback. They have talent at receiver, and the Bobcats’ run game was effective last year. I am not worried about the Nevada offense challenging even the worst FBS defenses. This bet was more enticing when Texas State was +5.5, but I still like even money on the Bobcats.
Troy +21.5 @ Ole Miss
Ole Miss is probably getting too much credit for their transfer portal victories. Yes, Jaxon Dart and Michael Trigg came over from Southern Cal but have not quite dominated according to information coming out of Oxford. In the fantasy community, there was a lot of optimism about that duo taking off for the Rebels, but both “impact” transfers are listed as “ORs” on the initial depth chart. I think Ole Miss is a bit of a paper tiger at the moment.
Troy should be a feisty opponent, with a defense that returns tons of starters from a unit that ranked top 50 nationally a year ago. The offense leaves a lot to be desired but so does the Ole Miss defense. A three-touchdown spread feels worth a play, and I’m willing to risk it fading an Ole Miss team that seems more hype than substance.