Michigan takes on Michigan State under the lights in East Lansing for the first time, looking to add to the Spartans misery in 2023. Will the Wolverines retain the Paul Bunyan Axe Trophy? Plus a couple of NFL games worth considering, do the Giants have any shot to score points against the Commanders? And will the Chargers find a way to get it done against division rival KC?
Best Bets of the Weekend Oct.21-22
Michigan at Michigan State Best Bet:
It’s like Michigan has flipped a switch. The Wolverines are 7-0 and have torched their last three opponents by 45, 42, and 38 points. Now they get a showcase game on NBC against a rival that just wants the season to end.
You feel bad for interim Michigan State coach Harlon Barnett, who is left picking up the pieces after the Mel Tucker mess. The Spartans lost an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter to Rutgers last week. Rutgers! Freshman quarterback Katin Houser made his debut and was fine, but the Spartans vibes are all bad.
This one is for the famous Paul Bunyan Trophy. State has won the last 10 of 15 meetings, but Michigan will jump out to a big lead and win going away.
Washington Commanders at New York Giants Best Bet:
This spread is also 2 points on some Michigan sportsbooks. The Commanders looked bad in a Thursday night loss to the Bears, but played better on the road last week in a win over Atlanta. New quarterback Sam Howell has been adequate, throwing nine TD passes.
But this one is more about how bad the Giants have been. They will probably be without starting quarterback Daniel Jones again, the offensive line has become a punchline. Saquon Barkley came back last week and was good, running for 93 yards, but the Giants can’t score.
The Commanders may not score a lot either, but they win this game by at least a touchdown.
LA Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs Best Bet:
Chargers +5.5 at DraftKings
Hear me out on this one. The Chargers do seem to be jinxed. They probably move on from coach Brandon Staley after this season just to change their identity some, but LA always gives Kansas City trouble.
Six of the last 10 games between these two teams have been decided by six points or less. The Chiefs offense isn’t quite scoring at the clip we have been used to, and there is reason to be concerned about Travis Kelce’s ankle. The Chiefs are 4-2 against the spread this season, 5-1 straight up.
Kansas City will probably prevail on a last-minute Charger mistake, but the points for the Chargers are good enough to cover.
Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.