If you've been following the world of Daily Fantasy Sports you've seen the scandal. Allegedly an employee at DraftKings took data from his job and used it to make $350,000 on FanDuel according to Esquire and others. Basically insider trading if this was a regulated industry. The companies were forced to publish apologies and ESPN pulled their sponsored segments from the air. The entire DFS industry is under fire.
The old-fashioned betting system is alive and well, and we're here to bring you some more picks. After a week off, we have USC analyzed once again as well as our pick of the week. This week's pick comes out of the Midwest as two teams that normally get no media coverage face off. Illinois and 22 Iowa have a a combined record of 9-1 and should be in for a competitive game. More on that to come...
Washington at 17 USC (-17)
Washington: 2-2 (3-1 ATS)
USC: 3-1 (3-1 ATS)
Key Stat: Washington ranks 107th in rushing offense. If you want to beat USC, you pound the rock and keep the ball out of Kessler's hands.
Happy Sark Bowl everyone! It is Steve Sarkisian vs Chris Peterson in a battle that potentially sees the Huskies coming in with the stronger coach (another article needed for that debate). Each team had a bye week and presumably used that extra time to prep for this showdown. The Huskies are a young team that matches up poorly with USC. Jake Browning is a true freshman QB playing his first Pac 12 road game. Expect Coach Peterson to try to work the running game early against the Trojans to help ease Browning's stress.
The USC defense has struggled against the run, but Washington is not formidable on the ground. This is where the spread will be won/lost. If Washington can run the ball they can stay within 17. If they struggle on the ground USC will dominate from start to finish and obliterate the Huskies. Everything points to USC covering, but I think the extra time leads to a closer than normal game.
Verdict: Washington +17
Washington at USC +/- 56
Washington: 1-3 +/-
USC: 2-2 +/-
Key Stat: Washington averages 29.8 points per game having played two FCS/Group of Five schools.
Similar to the Arizona State game, success in USC's over under comes down to Washington. USC is going to put up points. They have too many weapons on offense and a quarterback who is in the zone. Quite honestly, it's hard not to be when throwing to the likes of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steven Mitchell, and Adoree' Jackson while having an incredible running game behind you. Expect USC to put up anywhere from 34-48 points, meaning you need about 23 on the high end from Washington to hit the over. Is it possible? Yes. Is it likely? Probably not.
Verdict: Under 56 points
PICK OF THE WEEK: Illinois at 22 Iowa (-11)
Illinois: 4-1 (3-2 ATS)
Iowa: 5-0 (4-1 ATS)
Key Stat: Illinois RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn is making his first collegiate start as a freshman. His high school numbers were prolific, running for 2600 yards and 45 touchdowns his senior year.
Who wants to throw down on some Big Ten action?!?! Middle America has a showdown that the oddsters seem to be struggling with. Iowa comes in as a hot Big 10 team. They just took down Wisconsin in Madison and have yet to lose, but when we break down their matchup, they have had close wins over a weak Wisconsin team, a close win over a weak Pitt, and a victory over a bad Iowa State team. They are 5-0 but haven't done anything impressive.
On the other side, Illinois has looked good outside of their horrendous loss at North Carolina. Quarterback Wes Lunt is way too good to be at Illinois (former 4-star recruit) and has a plethora of solid running backs.The Illini have learned how to tackle this season, which is the true upset of this young season. Neither team is a world-beater, but Illinois is stronger than their reputation and Iowa is worse than theirs. Take the 11 points and root for a close game.
Verdict: Illinois +11