In Week 5, Rutgers covered the 40-point spread despite the Ohio State punters’ best efforts. Illinois more than covered, it won outright. Are the Illini actually good? Of course by good, I’m speaking relatively to the Big Ten West standard. On the down side, Penn State forgot how to handle the rain, and I might have been a bit too ambitious going with Indiana moneyline.
Overall we went 3-4 last week on Betting the Big Ten. While it’s our first week this season going under .500, all things considered, it could have been a lot worse. Let’s keep it going in Week 6.
Here’s what we have to look forward to this week. All lines are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Nebraska (-3) at Rutgers, O/U 49, 7 p.m. Friday
Prior to last weekend, Nebraska hadn’t covered the spread once this season. Now that the Cornhuskers have and they’ve got a little bit of momentum going their way for the first time this season, I have a hard time picking against them. The night game environment isn’t exactly intimidating in Piscataway.
The pick: Nebraska -3
Michigan (-22.5) at Indiana, O/U 59, Noon Saturday
A whopping 86% of the money is on Michigan in this one, according to The Action Network. If the spread were at 20.5, I would take Michigan in a heartbeat. However, 22.5 makes me too nervous given the chaos that typically ensues between these two teams. Four of Michigan’s five games this year have stayed under the total, so look for this one to follow the trend.
The pick: Under 59
Purdue at Maryland (-3), O/U 58.5, Noon
I don’t know what to make of Purdue this year. How can you go from falling to Syracuse and barely squeaking out a win at home vs. FAU to defeating Minnesota? What I do know is Maryland is a win or two away from being ranked. The Terrapins have covered the spread in their last four games and only missed it in their season opener by three points.
The pick: Maryland -3
Wisconsin (-10) at Northwestern, O/U 44.5, 3:30 p.m.
Wisconsin has hit the over in three consecutive games. However, Northwestern has stayed under the total in four consecutive games. Ryan Field basically has no home field advantage and Wisconsin will be looking to play for pride, dignity and Jim Leonhard. Give me the Badgers to cover.
The pick: Wisconsin -10
Ohio State (-27) at Michigan State, O/U 65, 4 p.m.
Before the season started, this spread was 11.5. It has now exploded up to 27 with no end in sight. When Michigan State struggles on the field, the Spartan fan base tends to not show up. Look for a predominantly scarlet and gray stadium in East Lansing this weekend as C.J. Stroud has his way with the Michigan State secondary. Jump on this one now before the spread slides into the 30s.
The pick: Ohio State -27
Iowa at Illinois (-3.5), O/U 36.5, 7:30 p.m.
This is the most fascinating game of the Big Ten slate this weekend in my opinion. We don’t truly know how legitimate Illinois is at this point. We also don’t know where the Hawkeyes will settle in the conference hierarchy, as they’ve beaten who they’re supposed to beat and lost to those they’re supposed to lose to in conference play.
Head-to-head, these teams have hit the over in four of the last five years, and all five of those over/unders were higher than this year’s 36.5. As Michigan saw this past weekend, the Iowa offense isn’t good, but it’s much better than the national media has made it out to be. I believe both teams can put up a decent amount of points against each other.
The pick: Over 36.5
As always, please bet responsibly.