Just three weeks remain in the Big Ten season, and if last week was any indication, the chaos is beginning to ramp up. Six games line the Saturday slate, with Illinois and Nebraska getting the week off thanks to their Week 0 contest. Though it might be late in the year to be taking over for Jacob Shames, I hopefully can offer a little credibility at least.
All times listed are Eastern. Odds brought to you by DraftKings Sportsbook.
No. 6 Michigan (-1) at Penn State, O/U 48.5 — 12:00 pm, ABC
ESPN SP+ Projection: Michigan 25-23, 54 percent win probability
After opening as favorites, the Nittany Lions are now home underdogs, though Happy Valley has not been a great place for the Wolverines as of late. Penn State has bounced back a little with Sean Clifford healthy, but a Michigan win would not really be that surprising. Either way, this one probably ends up as a defensive battle with the team who makes the fewest mistakes coming out victorious.
Pick: UNDER 48.5
Northwestern at No. 18 Wisconsin (-24), O/U 41.5 — 12:00 pm, ESPN2
ESPN SP+ Projection: Wisconsin 34-7, 94 percent win probability
Just like the 2016 Penn State squad ran the table after an early Michigan beatdown, the Badgers have completely 180ed after losing three of their first four games and control their own fate. The Big Ten West is anyone’s to grab, but Wisconsin looks both the best on paper and the team with the most generous schedule. That path continues against the slumping Wildcats.
Pick: WISCONSIN -24
Rutgers at Indiana (-7), O/U 42.5 — 12:00 pm, BTN
ESPN SP+ Projection: Indiana 26-22, 60 percent win probability
No offense but...who cares? Both teams have been pretty poor this season, especially on offense. The under is definitely in play here, but what jumps out most is the spread. The Scarlet Knights have been as bad as expected, but the Hoosiers have hardly impressed either. This just seems like an ugly game that is won in some sort of dramatic fashion.
Pick: RUTGERS +7
No. 19 Purdue at No. 4 Ohio State (-20.5), O/U 62 — 3:30 pm, ABC
ESPN SP+ Projection: Ohio State 41-17, 92 percent win probability
So often in life the most obvious thing in the world fails to happen, but thankfully the Spoilermakers lived up to their reputation against Michigan State last week. Now Purdue gets a chance to go 3-0 against top-five opponents this year, which is absolutely wild. Will lightning strike three times? Enough to cover, sure, but probably a little short of another massive upset.
Pick: PURDUE +20.5
Minnesota at No. 20 Iowa (-5.5), O/U 37.5 — 3:30 pm, BTN
ESPN SP+ Projection: Iowa 24-20, 59 percent win probability
The Hawkeyes stopped their two-game slide by escaping Evanston with a narrow win. It would seem like a prime opportunity for the Gophers to get a huge victory in the Big Ten West race, but last weekend’s embarrassing defeat to Illinois evaporates any sort of confidence. If Iowa escapes here, a 10-2 record is highly possible.
Pick: IOWA -5.5
Maryland at No. 7 Michigan State (-13), O/U 61.5 — 4:00 pm, FOX
ESPN SP+ Projection: Michigan State 32-23, 70 percent win probability
The Spartans secondary has officially been exposed, but it does remain unlikely for Taulia Tagovailoa and company to truly take advantage. The Terrapins have been pretty terrible against non-Indiana conference opponents, and Michigan State will be looking to bounce back well. Still, not sure this one is the shootout that some expect.
Pick: MARYLAND +13