Last week ATS: 7-5 (4-2 National, 3-3 B1G)
Season ATS: 47-38-1 (18-13 National, 29-25-1 B1G)
In case you missed yesterday’s national picks for six games, including the Red River Showdown, you can find them here.
No. 17 Michigan (-7) v. Indiana - 12:00 PM EST - ABC
Another big game, and another big loss for Jim Harbaugh. It is becoming all too familiar for Michigan fans, and it is glorious. Last week Michigan couldn’t muster much of anything against Michigan State, turning the ball over five times on their way to a 14-10 loss to the Spartans.
Last week Peyton Ramsey got his first start at quarterback for Indiana against Charleston Southern, throwing for 321 yards and two touchdowns. The freshman won’t have things so easy this week against a very tough Michigan defense. It’ll be interesting to see if Ramsey lasts the whole game if he struggles to find traction against the Michigan defense, or if the Hoosiers turn back to Richard Lagow.
Indiana isn’t Michigan State on defense, but they still won’t give up much to the Wolverines. John O’Korn is going to be under pressure for much of the game since Michigan’s offensive line is so bad. The Hoosiers keep it close, but fall short of their first victory against Michigan since 1987.
Michigan 17, Indiana 14
Rutgers v. Illinois (-2) - 12:00 PM EST - Big Ten Network
I’m trying to imagine just how bad this game is going to be and I know I’m not even scratching the surface of the levels of terrible it will approach.
Illinois 13, Rutgers 7
Purdue v. No. 7 Wisconsin (-16) - 3:30 PM EST - Big Ten Network
The Boilermakers have turned things around a lot faster than many expected under Jeff Brohm, and it’s very likely Purdue ends the season in a bowl game. Last week the Boilermakers scored with just over a minute to go to take a 24-17 lead over Minnesota. Elijah Sindelar threw for 248 yards and a touchdown after David Blough was ineffective and tossed two picks.
Wisconsin had little trouble in Lincoln against the Cornhuskers last week, scoring 21 unanswered points in the third and fourth quarters on their way to a 38-17 win. Freshman running back Jonathan Taylor was a beast for the Badgers, rushing for 249 yards and two touchdowns.
Purdue has made significant strides this year, but they are still pretty poor against the run. Last week Minnesota ran for over 220 yards against the Boilermakers, so who knows what kind of numbers Wisconsin will be able to rack up. Purdue may keep things tight for a bit, but much like their game against Michigan, they’ll wear down and the Badgers will be able to bust some big runs as the game goes on.
Wisconsin 41, Purdue 17
Northwestern (-3) v. Maryland - 3:30 PM EST - ESPN2
It is possible Max Bortenschlager might not be able to play after suffering a head injury last week, which could leave fourth-string junior quarterback Caleb Henderson as the starter. That’s all I need to know when taking Northwestern here. The Wildcats feast on a wounded Maryland team.
Northwestern 30, Maryland 20
No. 21 Michigan State (-5) v. Minnesota - 8:00 PM EST - Big Ten Network
P.J. Fleck’s boat is taking on a bit of water in Minneapolis. That doesn’t mean the Golden Gophers are going to can their new coach or anything, but Minnesota has now dropped two games in a row after a 3-0 start. There are questions at quarterback for the Golden Gophers, but at least they still have a strong run game to lean on.
Michigan State got their biggest win in a couple years last week with a 14-10 victory over rival Michigan. I’m still not exactly sure how the Spartans are doing it, but they are 4-1 so far this year. Brian Lewerke has thrown for nine touchdowns, and added another three rushing touchdowns.
This game screams letdown for the Spartans. Even though they are struggling of late, Minnesota is still a tough team to beat, and they’ll be even more fired up with this game being under the lights. Last week, Michigan State feasted on five Michigan turnovers. This week the Golden Gophers are careful with the football and grind out an upset win.
Minnesota 24, Michigan State 21
No. 9 Ohio State (-24.5) v. Nebraska - 7:30 PM EST - FS1
This will be just the second trip ever to Lincoln for the Buckeyes. In 2011, Ohio State jumped out to a huge first half lead over the Cornhuskers, only to see Joe Bauserman personally toss a football to every single fan in the crowd as Nebraska rallied for a 34-27 win. At least this year the quarterback position is in J.T. Barrett’s hands, so Ohio State fans won’t have to worry about seeing so many footballs sent into the seats.
Nebraska put together a decent effort against Wisconsin for about two and a half quarters, but the Badgers eventually wore the Cornhuskers down. Quarterback Tanner Lee has been erratic this year, throwing 10 interceptions, which has to have Ohio State defenders ready to make some plays to help their offense. At least Lee won’t have to deal with Damon Arnette for the first half, after the cornerback was called for targeting in the second half against Maryland last week.
Last year Ohio State threw 62 points on the board against Nebraska in Columbus, and it might not be too crazy to think they might approach that number again this week. Nebraska’s defense has improved of late, but they haven’t exactly been playing offenses that can move the football like Ohio State.
I know Lincoln can be a tough environment to play, but I really do think Ohio State puts together another complete game on Saturday night. With the bye week coming up before a showdown with Penn State at the end of the month, Urban Meyer is going to want a strong performance from his team heading into the bye. Meanwhile, Nebraska shows the effects of playing Wisconsin last week and the Buckeyes this week.
Ohio State 49, Nebraska 20