Hey guys and gals, and welcome to the Week 11 Betting Lines for the Big 10.
Last week, yours truly went 3-4 with some picks gone horribly wrong (Penn State, Ohio State), so now I am 44-37 on the season. I’m ready to get into these picks, so let’s not waste another moment.
Purdue at No. 25 Northwestern
Line: Northwestern -4.5; O/U: 47
Northwestern is...ranked? I’m confused. They just beat Nebraska in overtime...
...AND THEY ARE FAVORED BY JUST 4.5 AT HOME AGAINST PURDUE?!
This makes zero sense, but dammit I am still picking these Wildcats. Purdue has fallen off the deep end. The Boilermakers’ last victory against a team not named Illinois was a month ago, losing to Nebraska and Rutgers in the process. Yup, this seems like an easy one, guys.
Pick: Northwestern -4.5
No. 20 Iowa at No. 8 Wisconsin
Line: Wisconsin -12.5; O/U: 46
Woah. Iowa is also ranked? During the same week that Northwestern is ranked?
As Professor Farnsworth once said: “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore!”
But in all seriousness, I actually expect this to be a pretty competitive game. I don’t see Iowa winning, but I am still going to take them with the points. Their defense looked pretty damn good last weekend against Ohio State, and their offense looked even better. These two teams don’t historically put up a ton of points (except for last weekend, of course), so I think 12.5 is a bit too high.
Pick: Iowa +12.5
Nebraska at Minnesota
Line: Minnesota -2.5; O/U: 47.5
I have a weird feeling this could be a really strange game. I don’t know quite why, but I just have that gut feeling.
I don’t have a ton of analysis on either of these teams. Minnesota has one Big 10 win this season (Illinois) and Nebraska hasn’t been all that much better. It has been a really strange season for the conference, but at the end of the day I see Minnesota defeating Nebraska by a field goal or more simply because Minnesota’s defense is better than Nebraska’s.
Pick: Minnesota -2.5
Indiana at Illinois
Line: Indiana -9; O/U: 49
No doubt about it. This is the (explicit) show of the week.
Indiana has not won a conference game all season...but the Hoosiers will finally get it done this week! They have been so close week in and week out. They gave Michigan, Michigan State and Maryland a run for their money, but came up just short in all three of those games. Indiana should be able to win this one, and if not....things are terribly wrong for the boys in Bloomington.
Despite me thinking the Hoosiers win, I am going to take the under. I don’t think this will be that high scoring of a game, and I also don’t know whether Indiana will win by 9.5 or more being on the road and not having won a conference game yet this season. So for those reasons...I’m taking the under.
Pick: Under 49
Rutgers at No. 14 Penn State
Line: Penn State -31; O/U: 52.5
Penn State just endured its hardest stretch of its schedule for the season. Its final three games are home against Rutgers and Nebraska and at Maryland. The Nittany Lions have it much easier after the three-game stretch it just went through.
If they want a chance at the Big 10 Championship, Penn State has to start winning and hope for some chaos. I think the Nittany Lions will be fired up for their first home game in what feels like an eternity after their last two weeks. 31 is a lot, but I feel confident McSorely, Barkley and the rest of them will get back on track in a big way.
Pick: Penn State -31
No. 12 Michigan State at No. 13 Ohio State
Line: Ohio State -14.5; O/U: 55
I’m going to make this real simple. Mark Dantonio has proven to be one of the best coaches in the conference with the way he turned around a 3-9 team into what it is now. I’ve seen MSU fans all week on Twitter saying “never doubt us!”
Well, I am not doubting the Spartans this week. J.T. Barrett is coming off arguably his worst performance in his collegiate career, so I certainly expect a better game out of him and the offense. But I also expect MSU to come out swinging, especially on defense. I am still concerned with MSU’s running game, but I think this will be a relatively close one. I’ll take MSU.
Pick: Michigan State +14.5
Michigan at Maryland
Line: Michigan -16.5; O/U: 45.5
Michigan’s run game was extremely impressive last weekend against a pretty good Minnesota defense. Now the Wolverines’ 3rd ranked rushing attack in the Big 10 goes up against the 11th ranked run defense in the conference this weekend at Maryland.
I expect a lot of the same out of Michigan. Karan Higdon has been amazing this year, as he is ranked fourth in the Big 10 in rushing yards (804) and second in rushing touchdowns (10). Pair him up with speedster Chris Evans, the youngster Kareem Walker and the veteran Ty Isaac, you’ve got yourself a real nice backfield. Along with Maryland being on its 40th quarterback this season, I am heavily picking Michigan in this one.
Pick: Michigan -16.5