Welcome to another edition of Big 10 Betting Lines.
I went 4-3 last week to raise my season total to 48-40. I barely missed on a couple, but missed big time on Michigan State (as I’m sure a lot of people did). I can certainly do better this week. Let’s get right into it, folks.
Nebraska at No. 10 Penn State
Line: Penn State -26; O/U: 57
I’ll keep this one short and sweet: I think 57 points is a tad too much for this game. Nebraska has been uninspiring on all sides of the ball this year and Penn State’s offense, specifically Saquon Barkley, has been in a bit of a funk the last couple weeks. I will take the under, but Penn State should win this game quite easily.
Pick: Under 57
Purdue at Iowa
Line: Iowa -8.5; O/U: 41
It’s strange to see the over/under be so low, yet the Hawkeyes are favored by nearly 10 points. If you are a betting person, I would probably stay away from this game.
Purdue has been horrible since mid-October, losing to Rutgers, Wisconsin, Illinois and Northwestern while only beating Illinois at home. Iowa has been all over the board, putting up 55 on Ohio State two weeks ago while getting blown out at Wisconsin. I don’t really know what to think of this team...
...But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Iowa is a completely different team at home than it is on the road. Mix in the fact that Purdue fell off the map the last month or so and you’ve got a recipe for disaster for the Boilermakers.
Pick: Iowa -8.5
Minnesota at No. 23 Northwestern
Line: Northwestern -7; O/U: 46
Another interesting game in the conference this week is Minnesota traveling to the still-ranked Northwestern Wildcats. It’s so crazy to me to see Northwestern ranked this far into the year.
Minnesota has not done well on the road in the Big 10 this season, putting up scoring totals of 17, 10 and 10. Northwestern, meanwhile, is on a five-game winning streak and has lost just one home game all season, and that was to a well-oiled Penn State machine early in the year. I like Northwestern to cover here.
Pick: Northwestern -7
Rutgers at Indiana
Line: Indiana -11; O/U: 50
This is probably one of the least interesting Big 10 games of the weekend, but we are picking it nonetheless. Rutgers is coming off a 35-6 loss at Penn State last weekend while Indiana (FINALLY) got its first Big 10 win of the season last weekend against Illinois.
Indiana’s offense has been better the last few weeks now that QB Richard Lagow is back for the Hoosiers, throwing for 6 touchdowns and 3 interceptions in his last three games. Meanwhile for Rutgers, it has been all about its running game with Gus Edwards, who ran for more than 70 yards last weekend and 100 yards two weeks ago against Maryland.
This seems like a pretty big spread to cover for Indiana. I know it is Rutgers the Hoosiers are playing against, but Indiana has only won one conference game this entire year. Most of their conference losses have been close ones, and even their win against Illinois last week was only by 10 points. I’m going to predict Indiana wins, but not by 11.
Pick: Rutgers +11
Illinois at No. 9 Ohio State
Line: Ohio State -40; O/U: 56
This one gets the (explicit) show of the week simply because of how one-sided this game is going to be. Illinois = bad. Ohio State = good.
40 is a lot, but it’s gonna happen.
Pick: Ohio State -40
Maryland at No. 17 Michigan State
Line: Michigan State -17; O/U: 46.5
Maryland and Michigan State both got whooped last weekend, so one of them has to win this game, obviously. Maryland also has to win its final two games (at MSU, vs. PSU) to have a chance at making it into a bowl game (good luck, Terps).
I think this is a nice rebound game for Michigan State after that monumental ass kicking last weekend in Columbus. I think MSU’s defense will play much better this weekend, and could potentially shut out the Terrapins. I see this being a lower scoring game, so I am going to roll with the under here.
Pick: Under 46.5
No. 24 Michigan at No. 5 Wisconsin
Line: Wisconsin -7.5; O/U: 41
I would go deeper into this game, but I’ve already done that on Victors Valiant this week, and a few other posts that will be published later this week.
Let’s go through what each of these teams have. They both have top tier defenses. Michigan has a questionable offense right now with Brandon Peters since he has not played a quality defense yet. Wisconsin has a turnover machine at quarterback in Alex Hornibrook, who has a pick in all but two games this year.
Sounds like another 14-7 Michigan/Wisconsin game to me. I’ll take the under.
Pick: Under 41