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Betting the Big Ten: A look at Week 2’s spreads

There are a lot of close games on the slate this week. Michigan’s won’t be one of them.

Western Michigan v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The picks are back this week after looking over the Week 2 slate of games as we still come down from opening weekend. It was not a banner stretch for yours truly by any means, but I was right more than I was wrong, but boy was I ever wrong about a few, including the Michigan Wolverines.

No need to waste time. Let’s get to what you came here for.

Last week’s record: 8-7 (Nebraska did not play)

Overall: 8-7

Not a great week overall, but would have likely been 9-7 if Nebraska had played. I whiffed on a few, but feel like I hit on the most intriguing ones with Utah State, Appalachian State and Virginia Tech. Onward this Week 2.

Saturday, Sept. 8

All times listed as Eastern.

New Mexico at No. 6 Wisconsin (-35), 12 p.m., Big Ten Network

Wisconsin just barely missed a cover last week, but there’s no reason they shouldn’t get it done in Week 2. Badgers will roll once again against a team that went 3-9 last season.

Pick: Wisconsin (-35)

Western Michigan at No. 22 Michigan (-27.5), 12 p.m., Fox Sports 1

People are falling off of the Michigan bandwagon after the loss to Notre Dame, but there were some good things to come out of the game and this offense is not completely hapless, at least talent-wise and at quarterback. They need to get the winning taste in their mouths again and beat the brakes off of a team, and the Broncos will be that team on Saturday.

Pick: Michigan (-27.5)

Duke at Northwestern (-3), 12 p.m., ESPNU

I picked against Northwestern last week and Duke is a tough opponent, but this time we’ll go with the Wildcats at home.

Pick: Northwestern (-3)

Eastern Michigan at Purdue (-16), 12 p.m., Big Ten Network

Purdue is not a doormat anymore in the Big Ten (hello, Rutgers and Illinois!) and they’ve got some star power on the offense in freshman Rondale Moore, who went off against Northwestern last week. EMU is not quite the hopeless program they used to be, but they’ll have a hard time stopping the Purdue offense.

Pick: Purdue (-16)

Rutgers at No. 4 Ohio State (-35), 3:30 p.m., Big Ten Network

At some point, Rutgers has to prove it isn’t a complete and utter embarrassment to the conference. Even if it means they only lose by 34, OSU comes back down a bit after scoring 77 points in their season opener.

Pick: Rutgers (+35)

Colorado at Nebraska (-5), 3:30 p.m., ABC

This is the one I’m least comfortable with because I still do not know what Nebraska is, seeing as their game over the weekend was cancelled. Wouldn’t shock me if the Buffs win this one outright, but they will cover.

Pick: Colorado (+5)

Iowa State at Iowa (-3.5), 5 p.m., FOX

Full disclosure, I am a big Matt Campbell fan and have loved what he’s done at Iowa State. Kinnick is a house of horrors, but give me the Cyclones in this game.

Pick: Iowa State (+3.5)

Maryland (-16) at Bowling Green, 6 p.m., ESPN+

Maryland went out and won an emotional game against Texas over the weekend and now go on the road to take on a MAC opponent. I’m shocked that the Terrapins are only 16-point favorites here because BGSU has been one of the worst teams in the MAC for the last few years. Maryland wins big.

Pick: Maryland (-16)

Virginia at Indiana (-6.5), 7:30 p.m., Big Ten Network

Said it last week and I’ll repeat it: I do not like Indiana this year and picked Florida International to cover last week and they did not disappoint. I’ll keep going against them and think the Cavaliers at least cover the spread.

Pick: Virginia (+6.5)

Western Illinois at Illinois, 7:30 p.m., Big Ten Network (no line posted yet, will update)

Fresno State at Minnesota (-2.5), 7:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1

This should be an interesting football game and the Gophers are favored against a group that won 10 games in Jeff Tedford’s first season at Fresno State. P.J. Fleck was brought in to win games like this and I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt here.

Pick: Minnesota (-2.5)

No. 10 Penn State (-8.5) at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m., ABC

Everybody is down on Penn State after almost losing to Appalachian State, but that’s a good football team they went up against and Trace McSorely showed the stones to get it done with his back against the wall, which is something that people questioned him being able to do after losing his playmakers. I think PSU goes into Pittsburgh and smacks the Panthers around after a so-so opening game.

Pick: Penn State (-8.5)

No. 13 Michigan State (-6.5) at Arizona State, 10:45 p.m., ESPN

I have no idea what to expect out of this game. MSU is better than what they showed last week, but now they go out west and take on Herm Edwards’ and his crew. Weird stuff happens when teams travel across the country. The Spartans should win this one and will come out with a backdoor cover.

Pick: Michigan State (-6.5)

National Games

UCLA at No. 5 Oklahoma (-30), 1 p.m., FOX

So there really is not a whole lot of intrigue here because Oklahoma is going to spank Chip Kelly, but 30-points is a big spread against a Power-5 team. Wilton Speight was injured last week and that made this thing go from 25-to-30 points. Somehow, UCLA finds a way to cover, but it won’t be pretty.

Pick: UCLA (+30)

Kansas at Central Michigan (-4.5), 3 p.m., ESPN+

This section is usually reserved for big national games, but this intrigues me not only because it features my alma mater, but because they are favored against a Big 12 team. Mind you, Kansas is one of the worst football programs in America, but they are going up against someone who is projected to be a middle of the road team in the MAC. Fire Up, Chips, baby.

Pick: Central Michigan (-4.5)

No. 12 USC at No. 9 Stanford (-4.5), 8:30 p.m., FOX

This is the game of the weekend to me. Personally, I think Stanford is a bit overrated, but USC is a program that is perpetually overrated until they get smacked around. However, I like the Trojans and freshman QB J.T. Daniels with the upset on the road.

Pick: USC (+4.5)