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Betting the Big Ten Week 2: Welcome to ‘prove it’ Saturday

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Week 2 has already started off with chaos.

Dustin Johnston / Maize n Brew

Welcome back to Betting the Big Ten. We started off mostly positive last week, but in this line of work you’re just trying to win more than you lose. There’s a major change to this week’s slate of games in that Wisconsin and Nebraska will not play due to a COVID-19 outbreak with the Badgers.

With that in mind, let’s keep the positive momentum and try and make you a little extra pocket change this week. Given what I do for a living, I don’t bet college games, but this piece reflects what I would do in your situation.

Record last week: 5-3

Record so far this year: 5-3

All times Eastern, odds via Vegas Insider Consensus

Minnesota (-19.5) at Maryland, o/u 61.5 — 7:30 p.m. ET (Friday)

Same deal as last week. This game is played on Friday night and this article posts on Saturday morning. Here’s your receipt of the pick.

I am either the dumbest or smartest person alive.

Pick: Over 61.5

Purdue (-9) at Illinois, o/u 58.5 — 12 p.m. ET

I don’t think Illinois is as bad as it looked against Wisconsin last week and believe that is more a testament to how good the Badgers looked. Purdue also had a bit of a flukey win at home over Iowa. I will still take the Boilers to win, but think this could be a close game.

UPDATE: Nevermind.

Pick: Purdue -9

Michigan State at No. 13 Michigan (-23.5), o/u 52 — 12 p.m. ET

We’ve talked about this game all week here and there’s plenty of preview coverage explaining why I’m going the route I am. This is the week to prove the Minnesota game was not a fluke and beat up on a bad team.

Pick: Michigan -23.5

Northwestern at Iowa (-2.5), o/u 46 — 3:30 p.m. ET

Northwestern was favored last week, but nobody really expected them to explode offensively the way that they did. Water finds its level this week and we return to the age-old Big Ten tradition of low-scoring slobberknockers that make us question why we’re watching in the first place.

Pick: Under 46

No. 17 Indiana (-11.5) at Rutgers, o/u 54 — 3:30 p.m. ET

Indiana won by the skin of its teeth last week and Rutgers used seven turnovers from Michigan State to ride itself to its first Big Ten victory since 2017. I don’t see how Rutgers puts up 38 points again, or maybe even half that.

Pick: Under 54

No. 3 Ohio State (-11.5) at No. 18 Penn State, o/u 64 — 7:30 p.m. ET

The way that Penn State responds after last week’s heartbreaker is going to be worth watching here, but OSU is a death machine that is not going to come to an empty Happy Valley and feel sorry for them. I have a feeling this will be another rough week for the Nittany Lions

Pick: OSU (-11.5)