Week Four was a ‘burn the tapes’ type of week on Betting the Big Ten. We missed on a few overs before having our hearts ripped out by Minnesota choking away a 21-point fourth quarter lead. Luckily, we hit on Maryland covering against Michigan State to ease the pain. Michigan pushed in what should have been an easy win if not for the new clock rules this year.
2-6-1 was the final tally. Burn the tapes. It’s time to get back in the winning column.
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Penn State (-27) at Northwestern, O/U 46, Noon
Penn State is 4-0 against the spread (ATS) to start the year. Northwestern, on the other hand, is 2-2 ATS and 1-2 ATS as an underdog. This spread has been shifting more and more towards Penn State as the week has progressed. It just feels like Northwestern used all of their magic last week in a shocking win over Minnesota. I like the Nittany Lions to bring Northwestern crashing back to reality.
The pick: Penn State -27
Louisiana at Minnesota (-11), O/U 48.5, Noon
Both of these teams have been horrible ATS this year as Louisiana is 1-3 while Minnesota is 0-4. The Ragin’ Cajuns have hit the over three times, but the Golden Gophers have been the exact opposite, hitting the under three times so far this year. According to The Action Network, the public money on this game is essentially 50/50. What a ho-hum game to have to pick. I’ll go with Minnesota here, solely because of P.J. Fleck’s ability to rally the troops after two tough losses.
The pick: Minnesota -11
Michigan (-17) at Nebraska, O/U 39, 3:30 p.m.
A common theme among Michigan games this year is opponents packing it in, running the clock, and trying to make the game a rock fight. Michigan has, for the most part, obliged as the Wolverine roster is well suited for a rock fight. I expect Nebraska to follow suit. The strength of this Cornhusker team is the front seven of their defense. My guess is that Matt Rhule will have his defense try to keep everything in front of them and force Michigan to dink and dunk down the field.
This game screams “under” to me. 39 seems like a very low total, but keep in mind that in Michigan’s four games this year the game total has only eclipsed 39 once against UNLV.
The pick: Under 39
Indiana at Maryland (-14), O/U 50.5, 3:30 p.m.
Maryland has had a good start to the year. They are one of only four Big Ten teams that remain undefeated, along with the power trio of Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State. Against the spread the Terrapins are 2-2. They are also 2-2 against the total. There’s one key trend that I want to highlight in this matchup: points. In the last five matchups between these two teams, the total has not only eclipsed the 50.5 that it is this year, but it’s eclipsed 62 points in four of them.
The pick: Over 50.5
Illinois at Purdue (-1), O/U 53.5, 3:30 p.m.
In the only real competitive Big Ten game this week from a moneyline perspective, Purdue and Illinois will look to get back into the wide open Big Ten West race. Historically, Purdue has won four of the last five matchups with the under also hitting in four of five. However, both teams look radically different this year than they did last. Neither has been good against the spread as Illinois is 0-4 and Purdue is 1-3. However, I’ll go with the Boilermakers. Hudson Card has already passed for 1,000 yards and they get to play at home.
The pick: Purdue -1
Wagner at Rutgers, 3:30 p.m.
No lines available.
Michigan State at Iowa (-12.5), O/U 36.5, 7:30 p.m.
If you sadistically enjoy watching car crashes over and over again, do we have a football game for you. Iowa’s offense was held to 76 total yards last week against Penn State. Cade McNamara was benched mid-game in favor of Deacon Hill. On the flip side, in the past two weeks Michigan State has scored a combined total of 16 points. The Spartans turned the ball over five times against Maryland at home last week. The under is the play.