Hello, everyone, and welcome to this week’s Big 10 betting lines.
We have some pretty interesting games in the conference this week, including Michigan State at Northwestern, Minnesota at Iowa at night, and Penn State on the road against Ohio State. Should be a great weekend for college football in the Big 10.
I went 2-4 last week. I am now 37-30 on the year, which isn’t too shabby. Had Michigan State just ran out the clock I would’ve went .500. Oh well, time to move on to this week’s picks.
Nebraska at Purdue
Line: Purdue -6; O/U: 49.5
Based on the performance of these two teams in recent weeks, let’s write this one off as the (explicit) show of the week.
Purdue lost to Rutgers (!) last week while Nebraska took some time to heal up after taking a beating against Ohio State the week previously. Purdue looks like a much different team than what they did the first few weeks of the season. Nebraska, meanwhile, is exactly who we thought they were.
Both teams have struggled to put up points lately, but both defenses have practically been giving away points like its the Oprah show. I’m not confident in picking either of these teams, but I will take the over because of what can be done against both defenses.
Pick: Over 49.5
Minnesota at Iowa
Line: Iowa -7.5; O/U: 43
Night games at Iowa mean two things. 1) Be afraid if you are the visiting team, and 2) Get ready for a low-scoring game. I could explain more, but I think you already know what I am picking at this point.
Pick: Under 43
Indiana at Maryland
Line: Indiana -4; O/U: 51
Both Indiana and Maryland are coming off road losses. Neither school has defeated an FBS school in more than a month. Yikes. This has the potential to be a very rough watch.
This game has a feel for a very different game than the one we just went through. I think this game is going to be a pretty high scoring game. I’m not comfortable picking the spread here, so I will roll with the over.
Pick: Over 51
No. 5 Wisconsin at Illinois
Line: Wisconsin -26; O/U: 49
Illinois has been weird the last few weeks. Losing to Rutgers by more points than Minnesota? And the Rutgers game was at home while the Minnesota game was on the road? What kind of tomfoolery is that?
Meanwhile, Wisconsin has been one of the more consistent teams in the conference this season, scoring more than 30 points in all but one game and giving up more than 20 points in only one game.
It took Wisconsin a while to make the Maryland game a blowout last week, but this week’s blowout shouldn’t take all that long. Even though it is at Illinois....it’s GD Illinois. Give me those Badgers all day.
Pick: Wisconsin -26
No. 18 Michigan State at Northwestern
Line: Michigan State -1.5; O/U: 40.5
Northwestern won in OT last weekend against Iowa while Michigan State managed to score twice late against Indiana to take the W. Both were very unconvincing wins, which I can imagine is why MSU is favored by just 1.5 points.
MSU’s defense is nothing to joke about, as they have the No. 3 ranked total defense in the country. Northwestern’s offense isn’t fantastic (74th total offense in the country) but they do have running back Justin Jackson at its disposal, who has 603 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns. Northwestern also has the 46th ranked total defense in the country, and have given up 68 points in four home games, which isn’t bad at all.
I think this is the week Michigan State gets upset. This should be an extremely low scoring game given the way these two defenses have played over the past few weeks, but I believe the Wildcats pull off the upset and win by a field goal.
Pick: Northwestern +1.5
No. 2 Penn State at No. 6 Ohio State
Line: Ohio State -6; O/U: 56.5
I am honestly quite surprised Ohio State is favored in this game. I know they have the home field advantage, but Penn State is the best team in the conference right now after last week’s throttling of Michigan. Regardless, this is clearly the game of the week of any conference.
After last year’s heartbreaking loss at Penn State, I think Ohio State is going to be well prepared for this game and will take the Nittany Lions to the wire. I don’t know how this game will exactly play out, but I do believe they will cover this spread. However, if Penn State wins in the fashion it did last week, I vow that I will NOT pick against them any more this season.
Pick: Ohio State -6
Rutgers at Michigan
Line: Michigan -24; O/U: 43.5
Look. Until Michigan blows out a team, I am not picking them to win by more than three touchdowns. I just cannot do it.
I am picking Rutgers cautiously, and hoping Michigan can finally get stuff going on offense. If I’m wrong, then I will be ecstatic about it. At this point, it’s a win-win.
Pick: Rutgers +24