Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 9:30 AM EST.
5:15 PM EST. The press machine may be running out of ink with all the hype surrounding the Trojans in the off-season. Whether it be the explosive run they concocted to finish their 2016 season, their dramatic Rose Bowl victory or the play of Sam Darnold, the Trojans come in to 2017 with expectations through the roof. To further embellish this principle, Sam Darnold has emerged as a pre-season favorite for the Heisman and NFL scouts are already drooling over the prodigal signal caller by dubbing him the next big thing. Such pandemonium has generated a lot of buzz. The Trojans are the trendy and popular choice for many distinctions in the early going. What that essentially does is provide us with opportunities to take back inflated points, which is something we’re always on the lookout for.
Western Michigan comes in off the heels of what has to be classified as a dream season. Despite the fact they fell in the Cotton Bowl against Wisconsin, the Broncos fielded their greatest team in school history when they ran the table in the regular season and followed it up with a MAC Championship. With the architect behind the storied run, P.J Fleck moving onto Minnesota, along with Corey Davis and Zach Terrell also heading onward from Mount Pleasant, the Broncos are expected to come crashing down to Earth in their 2017 follow-up. Opening against the Men of Troy in the Coliseum seems like a prime scenario to expedite that process.
While this may seem like a keen situation to swallow the heavy glass of juice, the Broncos return two key ingredients that helped make that special sauce that powered them to greatness in 2016. Their names: Jamauri Bogan and Jarvion Franklin. Franklin emerged on the scene in 2014 as a prolific running back that went onto earn honors, including Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year. Bogan came into the fold to join Franklin as an effective 1-2 punch, which the Broncos wielded all throughout 2016 on opponents that had no answer for the dynamic duo. When taking back big lumber, we want our side to have some cover abilities and WMU has that in spades. They have the ability to run the ball and use up some clock and they also have the ability to score points to come in through the back door. Both those traits combined should provide more than enough firepower to get WMU in under the number here.
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#181 Western Michigan +27½ -102 (Risking 2.04 units - To Win: 2.00)