Hello there, Big Ten family. My name is Dom and you might know me from that fun website called Twitter. I am a degenerate gambler based out of Seattle with a soft spot for my Spartans and a home dog. I co-host a podcast on the BroBible network called “Debate The Slate” where I take time to break down the weekend’s best gambling action — for entertainment purposes only, where necessary — but here on isportsweb I am going to be diving into each one of the Big Ten games of the weekend to hopefully make you some money (and give you an excuse to watch Illinois football).
Iowa at Nebraska +5 O/U 49
We start the last weekend of Big Ten football for the 2017 season in Lincoln, Nebraska with a game that does not really matter in the grand scheme of things. Iowa has clinched a bowl game and Nebraska coming in with 4 wins on the season doesn’t have a shot at one. This is going to be a game that might end up being sneaky entertaining but is not going to be a pretty one. Nebraska is one of 6 Big Ten home teams that are dogs this weekend, they have the best odds from Vegas to pull off the upset and somehow I am the least confident they will cover. The Cornhuskers are 0-6 ATS at home this year and I think it is going to be 0-7 as the cry for Scott Frost grows louder.
PICKS: Iowa-5 U49
#9 Ohio State at Michigan +11.5 O/U 50
Ohio State is a really good football team with some major talent on the offensive side. Even with losses to Oklahoma and Iowa (let’s be honest, crazy stuff happens at Iowa once a year) this Buckeye offense is averaging 540+ yards a game and that is too much for any defense (even a stout Michigan squad) to handle. I think the first half is close but J.T. Barrett is going to do what he has done 3 times in his career, Beat Michigan.
PICKS: OSU -11.5 O50
Indiana at Purdue -2.5 O/U 51
Finally! A game with some bowl implications. Not just any implications, mind you. The winner gets extra practices and a game in December, the loser’s season is over. While I feel like taking the home team here would be the smart play, I just do not have a lot of faith in the Purdue defense in the fourth quarter. Or the third quarter. Or the first half.
What I do know is that in the Big Ten this year ATS teams on the road have won 53% of the time and ATS underdogs have won 52% of the time so that is enough to have me feeling good about the Hoosiers chances.
PICKS: IU +2.5 U51
Maryland at #10 Penn State –22 O/U 58
Oh, Maryland. Such promise after a huge win over Texas at the beginning of the season and then injuries hit this team tougher than most and they are on the outside of bowl season. To add insult to injury, they are facing a Penn State team at home on senior day. 22 points is a lot of points though. This Penn State defense gave up 44 points to Nebraska one week ago and this Terp offense still has the ability to put up some points so I like Penn State to win, but 4 scores is a little excessive.
PICKS: Maryland +22 U58
#5 Wisconsin at Minnesota +17 O/U 43
I am a fan of P.J. Fleck and I thought that getting to a bowl game in his first year at Minnesota was not out of the question. The only issue with that now is his team is one win away with Wisconsin coming to town. While the Badgers have not been blowing teams out like I thought that should have been the last few weeks, they are still way too powerful for Minnesota to keep up. When Northwestern can hang 39 on you, I think that Wisconsin should be able to as well.
PICKS: Wisconsin -17 U43
#22 Northwestern at Illinois +16.5 O/U 46
This is not going to be pretty and I think it might end up being Lovie’s last game in Champaign. Not a lot to say about this one.
PICKS: NW -16.5 U46
#16 Michigan State at Rutgers +13.5 O/U 40
The Scarlet Knights are a surprising 7-3 ATS this year. Now that can have something to do with the fact they are getting some lines in the 2-3 score range but I think they are just a little bit better than most people think they are. That being said, you have a line in this game that I think is pretty fair with a line set at about 2 TDs.
This is going to be a game that is won on the ground. Looking at the way that LJ ran last week, I think he is going to be in for a heavy dose again this week. Look for the Spartans to get 200+ on the ground with LJ and Lewerke each getting into the endzone and a +2 turnover margin.
PICKS: MSU -13.5 O40