Overall Record: 11-15
It has been a tough non conference season for the Big 10. They have lost games to MAC teams and have not recorded an impressive win as a conference. Looking over the games, this may be the ugliest week of the 4. Let’s break these games down and see what we can find.
Iowa at Pittsburgh -7
Iowa travels to Pittsburgh coming off a loss to in-state rival Iowa St. Pittsburgh is looking for their first 4-0 start SU since 2000. I think this is a perfect buy low spot on Iowa. Ferentz and the Hawkeyes need this game for a boost going into conference play. These teams have similar personnel. Both like to control the ball and pound it with their jumbo running backs. Iowa actually has better ATS numbers on the road. They are 6-3 ATS over the last 2 seasons on the road. I’ll take the points here.
Play: Iowa +7
Eastern Michigan at Michigan State -45.5
Michigan State hosts Eastern Michigan in one of the more lob sided games of the weekend. Michigan State is coming off a bye after their loss to Oregon. All of the statistics and trends favor the Spartans, but 45.5 points is a lot of points to cover. Dantonio isn’t going to run up the score for style points. Based off the spread and total, the odds makers don’t think Eastern Michigan is going to score a touchdown. This game is a no play for me. The number is just too big to lay the chalk.
Bowling Green at Wisconsin -27
The most interesting thing about this Bowling Green and Wisconsin game is the heavy line movement. The game opened at Wisconsin -21 and steamed all the way up to -27. Bowling Green is going to have lots of problems stopping Wisconsin’s running game. They couldn’t stop Indiana last week, wait till they get a look at Melvin Gordon. Bowling Green may have been a little bit over valued at the start of the week, which may have caused this heavy line movement. I don’t see Bowling Green being able to hang with Big 10 opponents in back to back weeks. I think Wisconsin rolls in this one.
Play: Wisconsin -27
Maryland at Syracuse -2
Maryland is coming off a loss at West Virginia and traveling to play the 2-0 Syracuse Orange on Saturday. Syracuse barely beat Villanova and beat up a Central Michigan team in a let down spot after they beat a Big 10 opponent. Maryland also has the revenge factor after losing 20-3 last year.
Play: Maryland +2
Utah at Michigan -4
I think Michigan is still licking their wounds from the beat down Notre Dame put on them. They let Miami OH hang around for the first half last week. This week Devin Funchess is questionable with a leg injury. Utah is a high scoring team. They are averaging over 50 points a game, albeit against lesser competition. Michigan is 2-7 ATS in September over the last 3 seasons. Utah is 6-2 ATS in non conference games over the last 3 seasons. I look for this to be a close game throughout. Michigan hasn’t impressed me at all, but I will not be surprised if they win at home.
Play: Utah +4
Rutgers at Navy -6.5
Rutgers travels to Navy for their home opener after losing a heart breaker last week at home to Penn State. Gary Nova tossed 5 Interceptions and Rutgers only scored 10 points. Keenan Reynolds returns for Navy to run the triple option. Navy has not lost at home in 8 straight games. Both teams are 2-1 ATS this year. I think Navy gets a boost with their starting QB returning and Rutgers has a major let down after a disappointing defeat last week.
Play: Navy -6.5
Umass at Penn State -27
Umass travels to Penn State as a heavy underdog. The Nittany Lions are coming off a hard fought battle in their last game, a road win against Rutgers. Penn State will need to improve their running game and I believe this is the game they are really going to focus on it. I also see the potential for a little bit of a let down after last week’s win at Rutgers. I don’t like this spot at all for the Nittany Lions to cover 27 points. Penn State wins, but doesn’t cover on a backdoor TD in the 4th quarter.
Play: Umass +27
San Jose St. at Minnesota -10
Mitch Leidner is questionable at QB for Minnesota this week as they look to get back on track against San Jose St. They won and covered against the Spartans last year. Over the last 3 seasons Minnesota is 8-4 ATS as a home favorite. I think the Gophers bounce back after a tough loss last week at TCU. San Jose St. is only 1-3 ATS coming off a bye the last 3 years.
Play: Minnesota -10
Texas State at Illinois -14
Illinois got stomped at Washington last week. They return home to play Texas State. Texas State is 1-1 SU and ATS. They have a high octane offense capable of putting up points. They are 9-4 ATS the last 3 years out of conference. Illinois has really struggled in 1st halves this year, trailing at half time in each of their 3 games. With that in mind, it will be tough for them to cover double digits. I don’t like this spot for the Illini coming off a road blow out and with extensive travel time.
Play: Texas State +14
Indiana at Missouri -14
Indiana travels to Missouri in a Big Ten vs SEC match up Saturday afternoon. Indiana is coming off a disappointing loss to Bowling Green and Missouri is coming off an impressive beat down of UCF. Indiana is 0-2 ATS and Missouri is 2-1 ATS on the year. It is the same old story for Indiana this year. They can score points, but they cannot stop anybody. Missouri has QB Maty Mauk under center and a good duo of DE’s Shane Ray and Marcus Golden. I don’t like this match up for Indiana. Missouri is 12-6 ATS the last 3 seasons as a favorite. As a home favorite of 10.5-14 points over the last 3 years they are 4-0 ATS. Missouri is +6 in the turnover battle and Indiana is -1. I see a blowout coming in this one. My only concern in this game is Missouri looking past the Hoosiers going in to SEC play.
Play: Missouri -14
Miami (FL) at Nebraska -7.5
Miami travels to Nebraska for an evening kick off in the Big 10’s best match up of the week. Ameer Abdullah is cementing himself in the conversation as one of the best RB’s in the country. Duke Johnson of Miami has struggled this year at RB. The Cornhuskers should be fired up for this game. The crowd will make it tough on Miami’s freshman QB. Miami really struggled on the road against Louisville. Nebraska will be a tougher atmosphere to play in. As long as Nebraska can win the turnover battle, I think they win easily at home.
Play: Nebraska -7.5
There is no spread on these 2 Big 10 bottom feeders. Hopefully they can pull out wins against the directional schools of Illinois.
W. Illinois vs Northwestern
S. Illinois vs Purdue
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