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Betting the Big Ten: Week 2

It’s only Week 2, but is the conference actually any good?

NCAA Football: South Dakota State at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to our second installment of Betting the Big Ten. Before we jump into this week’s games, let’s take a quick look at how we fared last week.

About last week: 4-4

Penn State came through for me in a big way by covering in what could be the conference game of the year. Maryland came oh so close to covering against Buffalo, but just couldn’t slam the door. Rutgers not only covered, but won outright in somewhat of a surprise. Illinois, meanwhile, was so close to winning as an underdog but lost on the road to Indiana. Ohio State struggled a bit with Notre Dame, so it did not cover the 17-point spread.

Here’s what’s to come in the weekend ahead:

Arkansas State at Ohio State (-44), O/U 69, Saturday at Noon

Ohio State hasn’t covered in three consecutive games. Who could forget losing 42-27 when they were favored by 6.5 last November in Ann Arbor? I like the Buckeyes to win big, but just miss covering thanks to their new-found run game.

The pick: Arkansas State +44

Ohio at Penn State (-25.5), O/U 54, Saturday at Noon

Coming off a huge win against Purdue, this has all the makings of a let-down performance for Penn State. This 25.5-point spread seems odd against a MAC school, so I’m avoiding it as much as possible.

The pick: Under 54

Duke at Northwestern (-10), O/U 58.5, Saturday at Noon

Northwestern and Duke have played three times since 2017. In all three games, Northwestern was favored and Duke won the game outright. This year feels a bit different since the spread is 10 (as opposed to two in 2017, 2.5 in 2018 and 2.5 and 2021), but who am I to go against a trend?

The pick: Duke +10

Western Illinois at Minnesota, No lines available, Saturday at Noon

Another cupcake game with no spread for the Golden Gophers.

Maryland (-27) at Charlotte, O/U 65.5, Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Choosing Maryland with a large spread bit me in the butt last week. However, Charlotte hasn’t covered once in its last five games. Give me Maryland one more time.

The pick: Maryland -27

Washington State at Wisconsin (-17.5), O/U 49, Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Wisconsin looked awfully impressive last week, albeit against subpar competition. Washington State doesn’t seem like that much more of a threat.

The pick: Wisconsin -17.5

Virginia at Illinois (-4.5), O/U 57, Saturday at 4 p.m.

Illinois was on the wrong end of some questionable calls against Indiana last week. Last season, Virginia easily handled Illinois and covered the 10.5-point spread. All this points to a revenge game for a much-improved Illinois team.

The pick: Illinois -4.5

Iowa State at Iowa (-3.5), O/U 40, Saturday at 4 p.m.

There’s no doubt Iowa’s offense was horrendous last week. With that being said, 40 is an insanely low point total. I believe Vegas is using recency bias to underrate both offenses. I may kick myself for this but give me the over.

The pick: Over 40

Akron at Michigan State (-34.5), O/U 56, Saturday at 4 p.m.

The Spartans had an up-and-down performance last week against Western Michigan, but they’re still 4-1 against the spread in their last five while Akron hasn’t covered in their last three. The Zips may be among the worst teams in college football.

The pick: Michigan State -34.5

Indiana State at Purdue, No lines available, Saturday at 4 p.m.

This should be an easy in-state battle for Purdue.

Wagner at Rutgers, No lines available, Saturday at 4 p.m.

Hopefully Rutgers doesn’t fall into a trap against Wagner.

Georgia Southern at Nebraska (-23.5), O/U 62.5, Saturday at 7:30 pm

At this point, my optimism is completely gone with Nebraska. Even being at home didn’t seem to motivate the Huskers last week against North Dakota. I don’t expect them have it magically figured out this week.

The pick: Georgia Southern +23.5

Hawaii at Michigan (-51.5), O/U 67, Saturday at 8 p.m.

The spread is absolutely bonkers, but it’s hard to justify taking Hawaii here. The Rainbow Warriors have done basically nothing right in two games against Vanderbilt and Western Kentucky. I’m going to bank on Jim Harbaugh putting in the second-team and taking his foot off the gas early.

The pick: Under 67

Idaho at Indiana, No lines available, Saturday at 8 p.m.

Indiana shouldn’t have any issues here.

All lines are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. As always, remember to bet responsibly.