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Picking the score and the line -- like a NitWit

September 8, 2009 - Neil Rudel

Penn State opened as a 29-point favorite to beat Syracuse.

The line is about a touchdown higher than I thought it would be.

We tape the NitWits on Sundays, usually before a line is posted for the next week's game. That makes predicting the score tougher because you're not only predicting the score, you're also predicting the line because some people pick the game on the basis of whether the line will be covered or not.

And once you make your pick (unless you're Mark Brennan and alter it during the week) you pretty much have to stick with it. At least I do.

I figured after the Lions gave Akron 27 and didn't cover and Syracuse played Minnesota tough, even in defeat, this week's odds would be less than last week. I figured about 21-22. Mike Irwin even agreed.

And since I'm anticipating a more complete performance by Penn State this week, I picked them to win, 42-13.

I awoke Monday to learn the odds -- 29.

Or maybe the psychology works this way: I had made up my mind the Nits would cover and therefore wanted the line to be lower.

Anyway, since I refuse to sit on the fence, I've adjusted my pick accordingly -- to 43-13.

I am looking for: