clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Week 12 Big Ten Odds: Expect Defenses to Rise in Happy Valley

If anyone has a sportsbook that offers weather conditions, it's safe to say "cold and cloudy" is a lock when Michigan travels to Happy Valley.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Just days after videos of UFOs breezing over the night’s sky burst onto the scene and talk of aliens slipped into social media, I correctly picked an Ohio State game, while Michigan nearly lost outright as a 13-point favorite.

I’m about as right as Shaquille O’Neal’s career free throw percentage, but the world may be coming to a screeching halt. Find shelter underground, stockpile a batch of canned goods, and make sure you have plenty of water your favorite Little Debbie products, and make sure your 14" portable television gets the Big Ten Network.

Week 11 Results

Ohio State -16.5-W

Michigan -12.5-L

Maryland-Michigan State Under-W

Purdue +14.5-W

Nebraska-Rutgers Under-W

Iowa-Minnesota Under-L

Big Ten Record: 52-47

Illinois at Minnesota (-4.5, 47)

The Golden Gophers opened up as 7.5-point favorites, but much of the touchdown-plus spread evaporated in less than 12 hours. The Fighting Illini seeks one more win to spring them to bowl eligibility, while Minnesota needs this Saturday and the following versus Wisconsin to strike gold into the postseason.

With now-permanent head coach Tracy Claeys, Minnesota has shown grit in the last three games versus Ohio State, Michigan, and Iowa. Coming back home and needing this win versus an Illinois team that looked lost in sheer disarray last week has me sipping Pinot Grigio out of my own Little Brown Jug replica.

Pick: Minnesota -4.5

Indiana at Maryland (-2.5, 64)

If I'm even partially affiliated with the Indiana Hoosiers program, then I'm aghast and merely embarrassed. No, your eyes do not deceive you. The Maryland Terrapins will be 2.5-point favorites over a team that nearly took care of both Ohio State and Michigan in the same season.

The consistent lyric over the weekend was "Indiana's record doesn't display the true efficiency of this team," yet my cuticles are waning as I'm scratching my head at this line.

I'll go bold.

Pick: Maryland -2.5

Rutgers at Army (+4.5, 54.5)

This was once my favorite game to bet in my adolescence, a.k.a. four years ago. I always marveled at Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova and his zany attempts to consistently screw over my bets.

This game would normally have me salivating at the 'over,' but Army realized last weekend versus Tulane that the shootout isn't exactly its forte. I see Army churning the clock and keeping the Scarlet Knights offense glued to the sideline.

Pick: Under 54.5

Michigan at Penn State (+5, 42)

Upon reviewing last week's contest in its entirety, it's evident that the Michigan Wolverines are gassed on the defensive side of the ball. With injuries looming and somewhat of a reality check hovering in Ann Arbor, that once-dominant defense has been moderately exposed by the likes of Michigan State and Indiana, while Minnesota was more 'luck' than anything.

Penn State's far from an offensive juggernaut and may have witnessed the Hoosiers' success on the ground last Saturday. With that being said, Hackenberg may attempt to keep an improved Wolverines offense on the sideline and try to find holes to keep the chains moving.

Rudock showcased some dazzling stats last weekend, but I expect nothing even close to it in Happy Valley. Bold prediction: it'll be 35 degrees and cloudy. Is that place ever sunny? Wolverines win, 20-16.

Pick: Under 42

Northwestern at Wisconsin (-11, 40)

Which Northwestern team do we get here: the one that was once ranked smack dab in the AP top 25, or the one that nearly watched the Purdue Boilermakers storm out of Evanston with a win?

On the other hand, Wisconsin's served as the middle child of the Big Ten with a constant state of being left out and forgotten. Double digits are surely a ton of points to give on the road.

This matchup would be a prototypical 'under' look on paper, but I've been stabbed in the back by both teams this season. Northwestern can dice you up when it wants, and Wisconsin is quietly tallying decent numbers on offense.

Pick: Over 40

Purdue at Iowa (-21, 57.5)

Don't look now, but the Iowa Hawkeyes are undefeated at 10-0. What a feat for Kirk Ferentz and his squad for rumbling through the schedule blemish-free and creeping into the upper echelon in the nation.

A big night game versus Minnesota that held a ton of emotions was huge in itself, but I banked on Purdue last weekend as 14.5-point underdogs at Northwestern. The Boilermakers are now 5-0 against the spread as double-digit road underdogs in conference.

Pick: Purdue +21

Michigan State at Ohio State (-13, 52.5)

This is a prime spot for an over, in my opinion.

Whether Cook goes for Michigan State or not, the Dantonio-Meyer clash has already seen its share of points. With both clubs sailing under the total last weekend, I'll look for a plethora of points on Saturday, as Michigan State's been rather kind with barn burners on the road.

Pick: Over 52.5