Welcome to Week 1 of college football, and to the first week of Betting the Big Ten for the 2022 season! Despite the Big Ten having already started conference play, this is when the real action begins (sorry, Scott Frost). Let’s take a look at our first installment of betting the Big Ten.
Penn State (-3.5) at Purdue, O/U 53, 8 p.m. Thursday
Purdue has been a trendy pick lately thanks to Aidan O’Connell, and only Aidan O’Connell. He may well be the second-best quarterback in the conference, but I struggle to see the rest of the Purdue offense getting much of anything done against Penn State’s defense.
The pick: Penn State -3.5
New Mexico State at Minnesota (-36.5), O/U 52.5, 9 p.m. Thursday
New Mexico State is a very bad football team. This line alone tells you all you need to know about them. However, I doubt PJ Fleck keeps his starters in very long in what could be a pivotal year for the Golden Gophers. Minnesota lacks depth so late in the game I could see both teams try to kill clock.
The pick: U 52.5
Western Michigan at Michigan State (-22), O/U 54.5, 7 p.m. Friday
Michigan State begins its post-Kenneth Walker world against an overmatched Western Michigan team. If the line was 20.5, I’d easily take the Spartans, but 22 makes me nervous. WMU undoubtedly knows the scouting report on MSU and will likely try to air it out against a vulnerable secondary. MSU will win but give me the over.
The pick: O 54.5
Illinois at Indiana (-2), O/U 46, 8 p.m. Friday
This line makes no sense to me. Indiana is coming off one of the worst seasons in program history. Illinois on the other hand has one of the best tailbacks in the conference. Why Illinois isn’t favored makes no sense to me; maybe Vegas knows something but I’ll take the money line here.
The pick: Illinois ML (+110)
Colorado State at Michigan (-30.5), O/U 61.5, Noon Saturday
I’ll be the first to admit I jumped on this line earlier in the week when it was 27.5. I feel much better about that than 30.5, but I still believe in Michigan to get it done. Assuming Michigan pulls away and Harbaugh puts in J.J. McCarthy (rather than Davis Warren since McCarthy will already be starting the following week), you won’t see a backup quarterback as motivated to show out as McCarthy.
The pick: Michigan -30.5
South Dakota State at Iowa, No lines available, Noon Saturday
Iowa should cruise to an easy victory.
Buffalo at Maryland (-24), O/U 64.5, Noon Saturday
The Maryland offense has been the talk of the town this offseason. I fully believe in the Terrapin receiving core and that Taulia Tagovailoa will take a least a moderate step forward. However, 64.5 is a monstrous O/U. Give me Maryland to cover even though I’m tempted by the over.
The pick: Maryland -24
Rutgers at Boston College (-7), O/U 48, Noon Saturday
It seems doubtful Rutgers can recapture the magic it had early in the season last year. I like Boston College to win the game but Rutgers to keep it a one-possession game.
The pick: Rutgers +7
North Dakota at Nebraska, No lines available, 3:30 pm Saturday
If Nebraska can’t rebound from last week, it could be in major trouble.
Illinois State at Wisconsin, No lines available, 7 p.m. Saturday
Wisconsin should have no trouble with Illinois State.
Notre Dame at Ohio State (-17), O/U 59, 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Most people believe Ohio State will take care of Notre Dame with relative ease; I am one of those people. Notre Dame has a talented defense, but I just don’t see a new starting quarterback keeping pace with a CJ Stroud-led offense in the Horseshoe. This could get ugly in primetime.
The pick: Ohio State -17
All lines are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.