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Betting the Big Ten Week 3: Picks, spreads and more

The Cornhuskers could be in for a rough outing in a game they tried to get out of.

NCAA Football: Fordham at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

It is hard to believe that we are into the third full week of the college football season, but time flies when you’re having fun. The Michigan Wolverines are out to a 2-0 start, the vibes are good and the bet slips continue to get filled out for people looking for a little extra incentive to follow games on Saturday.

Each week, we will go through every game in the Big Ten and give you the best bets from each game. These are for entertainment purposes only, of course. Though you made a little bit of money if you rode with my picks last week.

Record last week: 6-4

Record this season: 10-8

All times for games listed are Eastern.


Maryland (-7) at Illinois, O/U 61.5 — 9 p.m., Fox Sports 1

The point total here is pretty large, suggesting that some believe we are in for a bit of a show in the Friday night game this week. This is a tough pick because the total feels like a sucker bet, but 61.5 suggests Illinois is going to get in on the fun. I don’t have a ton of confidence in that.

Pick: Under 61.5


Michigan State at No. 24 Miami (-6), O/U 56.5 — 12 p.m., ABC

This is going to be a fascinating game between two teams feeling very different about how their seasons have started. MSU is off to a 2-0 start with a much-improved offense, while Miami has left a lot to be desired after narrowly escaping Appalachian State last week. I’m not sold on MSU’s defense and think the ‘Canes are in for a get-right game.

Pick: Miami (-6)

Northern Illinois at No. 25 Michigan (-27.5), O/U 54 — 12 p.m., Big Ten Network

This is a tricky spread given the Wolverines could be due for a hangover game. They simply do not have the luxury of those right now. While fans want to see Michigan throw the ball more, I think they can win, and win big, by doing what they have been. And as they’ve shown, they want to run it until you stop them.

Pick: Michigan (-27.5)

Nebraska at No. 3 Oklahoma (-22.5), O/U 62 — 12 p.m., FOX

This is going to be a bloodbath. Nebraska tried to get out of this game earlier this offseason to no avail. It would not be stunning to be if Oklahoma doubled this spread.

Pick: Oklahoma (-22.5)

No. 8 Cincinnati (-3.5) at Indiana. O/U 49.5 — 12 p.m., ESPN

Indiana has a lot of work to do to get back to the type of team it has been the last two years. The talent is there, but Michael Penix has not looked right to start the season. Luke Fickell’s team comes in and grabs an impressive road win.

Pick: Cincinnati (-3.5)

Minnesota at Colorado (-2.5), O/U 48.5 — 1 p.m., Pac-12 Network

Here’s a weird matchup this week. Something about it just screams “under.” Maybe it’s the names. I don’t have a football reason for this one. Just a hunch this one is a bit of a rock fight.

Pick: Under 48.5

Purdue at No. 12 Notre Dame (-7), O/U 58 — 2:30 p.m., NBC

Notre Dame has narrowly escaped disaster in its first two games of the season despite Jack Coan playing much better football than I thought he was capable of. David Bell could be a problem for the ND defense, but I like Notre Dame to take care of business and cover this week.

Pick: Notre Dame (-7)

Kent State at No. 5 Iowa (-23), O/U 56 — 3:30 p.m., Big Ten Network

The Iowa defense has been outstanding so far this year and I would expect that to continue on Saturday. I think it can do enough to keep this point total under 56.

Pick: Under 56

Tulsa at No. 9 Ohio State (-24.5), O/U 61 — 3:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1

There’s some weird stuff going on with Ohio State right now, which does not mean much long-term given that they always seem to figure it out. The defense is a disaster and it does not seem like even they know what to do to fix it. Things are shaky enough to where I could see frustrations boiling over a bit here and making it too close for comfort in Columbus.

Pick: Tulsa (+24.5)

Delaware at Rutgers (-23.5), O/U 47 — 3:30 p.m., Big Ten Network

How crazy is it that Rutgers is a team we feel fairly good about covering the spread? They are 2-0 so far this year. It will be 3-0 after Saturday.

Pick: Rutgers (-23.5)

Northwestern (-2.5) at Duke, O/U 49.5 — 4 p.m., ACC Network

This feels like a matchup with the potential to set offensive football back to the stone age. Enough said.

Pick: Under 49.5

No. 22 Auburn at No. 10 Penn State (-5), O/U 53 — 7:30 p.m., ABC

Saturday night’s game in Happy Valley is the most exciting as far as the Big Ten slate goes. It Is one of the toughest environments in the conference, but Auburn goes to a raucous road crowd just about wherever it plays in the SEC West. Both teams will be ready and this could be the game of the week.

Pick: Over 53