Michigan State tries to overcome some off-the-field turmoil and upset No. 8 Washington at home. College football also gives us the latest “Backyard Brawl” between Pitt and West Virginia, while Week 2 in the NFL is highlighted by a pair of young quarterbacks meeting up in Atlanta.
Best Bets of the Weekend Sept. 15-17
Washington at Michigan State Best Bet:
Washington -16 (-110) DraftKings
It has been one of the worst weeks in Michigan State football history with the suspension of coach Mel Tucker on charges of an improper relationship and Harlon Barnett is now the Spartans acting head coach.
On the field, the Spartans are 2-0. New quarterback Noah Kim has been solid. He hasn’t thrown a pick and transfer running back Nathan Carter is averaging over six yards a carry.
Washington is No. 8 in the nation and features an offense led by DraftKings Heisman candidate Michael Penix Jr. who has thrown for 8 touchdowns already. Weirdly though, the Huskies are 9-12 on natural grass fields since 2014. Spartan Stadium is natural grass.
It’s hard to like the Spartans emotional state heading into this game, however, Washington will score a lot and the Spartans may be too dispirited to put up a fight.
Pitt Panthers at West Virginia Best Bet:
This is the “Backyard Brawl” one of college football’s best rivalries on the East Coast, and one of the longest. This series started in 1895.
Both teams are 1-1. Pitt couldn’t complete a big rally against Cincinnati last week and fell 27-21, and their passing game struggled. Quarterback Phil Jurkovec was 10 for 32, but did throw for three scores.
West Virginia bounced back after a season-opening loss to Penn State to beat Duquesne. Mountaineers QB Garrett Greene threw for a career high four touchdowns.
Last year’s game featured seven lead changes before Pitt won 38-31, but Pitt hasn’t won at Mountaineer Field since 2011.
This is one of the marquee games on the college schedule this week and the homefield advantage for the Mountaineers and the points from FanDuel (it started as West Virginia -1) are too much to pass up.
Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons Best Bet:
A pair of unbeaten teams with new quarterbacks meet in Week 2. Jordan Love debut as the Packers starter was brilliant as he threw three TD passes against the woeful Bears. But again, it’s the Bears.
Falcons second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder only had to throw 18 passes in a 24-10 win over Carolina. The Falcons took advantage of three Panther turnovers and 131 combined yards from the running back combo of Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier.
Atlanta hasn’t beaten Green Bay since 2017. Look for the Packers defense to shut down the Falcons running game, and while Love still has a ways to go, his team is better than the Falcons. They should win by at least a field goal.
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.