Greetings, and welcome to this week’s Big 10 betting lines.
I went 4-3 last week, and I was actually ONE point away from hitting the over in the Purdue/Nebraska game. But nonetheless, I am 41-33 on the year, so I’m not doing too shabby. Let’s not waste another moment. Let’s get to the picks!
Northwestern at Nebraska
Line: Nebraska -1.5; O/U: 51.5
Our first game we have are the surprisingly hot Northwestern Wildcats and the not surprisingly not hot Nebraska Cornhuskers. Each team coming off a nice win, as the Wildcats upset MSU last weekend while Nebraska managed a 1-point win against Purdue.
I’m actually a little surprised Nebraska is favored in this game, albeit just by 1.5 points. I like the way Northwestern has been playing lately, as quarterback Clayton Thorson has been great while the running game with Justin Jackson has been average at best.
Tanner Lee for Nebraska last weekend was incredible: 431 passing yards and the only two offensive touchdowns of the game. However, Northwestern’s defense is quite better than Purdue’s and presents a much bigger challenge, especially coming off a big win. I’m taking the Wildcats.
Pick: Northwestern +1.5
Maryland at Rutgers
Line: Maryland -2; O/U: 48.5
Maryland won for the first time in a month last weekend, while Rutgers is coming off a 35-14 beat down at The Big House. Two teams coming off completely different games and outcomes, so this game should be interesting at the very least.
Look, I don’t have a whole lot to say about either of these schools. They both aren’t very good, so let me get to my analysis quickly. My pick was originally going to depend on if Rutgers’ Janarion Grant was slated to play in this one; he left the game pretty early on against Michigan last week and never returned. At the time of me writing this article no new information has been released on him, so I will simply take the over in this one because both of these defenses are not good.
Pick: Over 48.5
Illinois at Purdue
Line: Purdue -14; O/U: 46.5
There was potential for Maryland/Rutgers, but Illnois/Purdue is without question the (explicit) show of the week!
I think Vegas is being a little too lenient towards Purdue. They have defeated one Big Ten team all season (Minnesota at home) and lost to Rutgers and Nebraska the last two weeks. I know those losses were on the road, but with how well Purdue had been playing to begin the season I am a little surprised they dropped those two very winnable games.
With Illinois keeping it close against Minnesota and Wisconsin the last two weeks, I am going to roll with Lovie Smith and the boys in Champaign to cover this spread and maybe, just maybe....win outright.
Pick: Illinois +14
No. 3 Ohio State at Iowa
Line: Ohio State -16.5; O/U: 52
Ahh, Kinnick Stadium. Such an interesting place for teams to play at, at night. But this game isn’t a night game! It’s actually a 3:30 p.m. kick. In that case, this pick is incredibly easy.
Pick: Ohio State -16.5
No. 4 Wisconsin at Indiana
Line: Wisconsin -10.5; O/U: 49.5
Indiana has been putting up a fight in practically every Big Ten game this season, but the fact remains that the Hoosiers are 0-5 in conference play, and it isn’t looking any better for them against the No. 4 team in the country.
Yes, Wisconsin has had some problems on offense the past few weeks, but guess what? So has Indiana. Sure, the Hoosiers put up 39 points on Maryland last week and had an improved pass attack, but Wisconsin is No. 15 in the nation in passing yards given up per game (174.3) whereas Maryland is at No. 120 (277.9). And Maryland has given up more than 30 points in all but two games this season (Towson scored 17, Minnesota scored 24). So having a good offensive game against Maryland isn’t anything to be excited about.
I am confident Wisconsin gets back on track offensively in this one. Even though it’s on the road, I expect Jonathan Taylor and the rushing attack to lead the way in Bloomington, much like Karan Higdon did a few weeks prior. Give me them Badgers!
Pick: Wisconsin -10.5
No. 7 Penn State at No. 24 Michigan State
Line: Penn State -7.5; O/U: 48
The only ranked game of the weekend in the conference is Penn State and Michigan State. Both teams are coming off heartbreaking losses on the road. Penn State pulled an Atlanta Falcons in Columbus, while the Spartans came up just shy in triple overtime against Northwestern.
Michigan State’s offense has been its weakness all year long, and I don’t really see it coming to life against a Penn State defense that has played really well (up until last week against the No. 2 total offense in the nation). I think this has a chance to be another blowout in East Lansing. I’m taking the Nittany Lions all day in this one, as James Franklin will pull a classic James Franklin and run up the score just because he can.
Pick: Penn State -7.5
Minnesota at Michigan
Line: Michigan -15.5; O/U: 41.5
I just checked my weather app for what it’s supposed to be like in AA on Saturday. Looks like a really cold game with a potential for rain. Remember what happened last time there was rain at a night game at The Big House? Need I say more? Give me that under.
Pick: Under 41.5