The best week of the college football season is here, and plenty is at stake all across the Big Ten. The conference is full of strong rivalries and trophies, and there are even a couple interesting spreads. This should be a good one.
All times listed are Eastern. Odds brought to you by DraftKings Sportsbook.
No. 16 Iowa (-1.5) at Nebraska, O/U 41 — 1:30 pm Friday, BTN
ESPN SP+ Projection: Iowa 23-22, 53 percent win probability
The Cornhuskers might have been favored if Adrian Martinez had not injured his shoulder last weekend, but unfortunately this frustrating Nebraska season will have to end without its leader. The Hawkeyes have a realistic chance at reaching Indianapolis, so they are unlikely to let this one slip.
Pick: IOWA -1.5
No. 2 Ohio State (-8) at No. 5 Michigan, O/U 64.5 — 12:00 pm, ABC
ESPN SP+ Projection: Ohio State 32-26, 63 percent win probability
Look, obviously last weekend’s beatdown in Columbus was both hilarious and terrifying. The Buckeyes have the country’s best offense, and there will be opportunities against the Michigan secondary, even if it is miles better than the Spartans. However, points will be scored on the other side of the ball as well, and do not sleep on the Wolverines’ ability to keep pace in this one.
Pick: OVER 64.5
Maryland (-1.5) at Rutgers, O/U 53 — 12:00 pm, BTN
ESPN SP+ Projection: Maryland 27-25, 54 percent win probability
Normally a matchup of 5-6 teams is not that exciting, but both schools are fighting for the reward of a bowl game. The Terrapins were actually able to move the ball a bit against Michigan, and the Scarlet Knights are not exactly in the same class defensively. The game may be in New Jersey, but this line seems a little generous to the home team.
Pick: MARYLAND -1.5
Penn State (-2) at No. 12 Michigan State, O/U 52 — 3:30 pm, ABC
ESPN SP+ Projection: Penn State 26-23, 58 percent win probability
Supposedly this game is a rivalry, as neither school has anyone else to play this week and there is a trophy involved, so congrats? The Nittany Lions enter as road favorites and this is completely appropriate. Even though the Spartans have exceeded expectations, losing three of four to end the year would certainly sting.
Pick: PENN STATE -2
Indiana at Purdue (-15), O/U 50.5 — 3:30 pm, FS1
ESPN SP+ Projection: Purdue 32-19, 77 percent win probability
The Boilermakers are out of the division title hunt, but can still be part of a four-way tie should Wisconsin and Iowa both lose. With the Hoosiers down pretending to be a football school, this finale could get ugly. Still, this is a massive spread, which is dangerous in rivalry games.
Pick: INDIANA +15
Northwestern at Illinois (-6.5), O/U 43.5 — 3:30 pm, BTN
ESPN SP+ Projection: Illinois 28-17, 75 percent win probability
Tough year for both programs. The Wildcats have just one conference win (over Rutgers) this season, while the Illini have weirdly recorded a couple of upsets over ranked opponents. Not many eyes will watch this one, which is a fitting way for both teams to end the season.
Pick: ILLINOIS -6.5
No. 14 Wisconsin (-7) at Minnesota, O/U 39 — 4:00 pm, FOX
ESPN SP+ Projection: Wisconsin 27-19, 66 percent win probability
This should be a great matchup, with Michigan and Ohio State fans likely hoping the Gophers can sneak out a win to take the Badgers out of the Big Ten Championship Game. The betting markets find that unlikely, and it has been quite a turnaround for once 1-3 Wisconsin.
Pick: WISCONSIN -7