clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Michigan and Wisconsin clash in College Football’s Week 12 Big Ten action, while Ohio State is a huge favorite

Ahead of The Game next week, Michigan looks to upset Wisconsin, while Ohio State should crush Illinois.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Last week ATS: 8-5-1 (4-2-1 National, 4-3 B1G)

Season ATS: 73-76-4 (32-32-2 National, 41-45-2 B1G)

Miss out on yesterday’s national game picks? You’re in luck since you’re still able to find them here.

B1G games:

No. 24 Michigan v. No. 5 Wisconsin (-7.5) - 12:00 PM EST - FOX

Michigan’s season hasn’t gone exactly the way they planned, but at least the Wolverines have rebounded with three straight wins after losses to Michigan State and Penn State earlier this season. Freshman quarterback Brandon Peters will be making his third straight start, but hasn’t been asked to do a whole lot yet since Michigan’s running game has been going crazy in wins over Minnesota and Maryland.

Karan Higdon, Chris Evans, and a returning Ty Issac will have their work cut out for them in cracking a Wisconsin rush defense that is allowing just 81.5 yards per game on the ground. Last week the Badgers held Iowa to just 66 total yards in a 38-14 victory.

Running back Jonathan Taylor continues his strong freshman campaign, as he ran for 153 yards against the Hawkeyes, bring his total to 1,525 rushing yards this year. Taylor has rushed for over 100 yards in all but three games this year, but he could have problems against a tough Wolverine defense. Michigan will put a scare into the Badgers, but Wisconsin finds a way to stay undefeated.

Wisconsin 23, Michigan 20

Minnesota v. No. 23 Northwestern (-7.5) - 12:00 PM EST - Big Ten Network

Minnesota has a tough task ahead of them if they want to become bowl eligible in P.J. Fleck’s first season in Minneapolis. The Golden Gophers either have to beat one of the hottest teams in college football this week, or take down Wisconsin in their regular season finale next Saturday.

The Golden Gophers showed some signs of life last week, as they smoked Nebraska. Quarterback Demry Croft rushed for 183 yards and three touchdowns, and Kobe McCrary added another three rushing touchdowns.

Since losing to Penn State earlier in the year, Northwestern has rattled off five straight wins. If the Wildcats can shut down Minnesota’s rushing attack they shouldn’t have too much trouble earning their sixth win in a row. I don’t really like either side here, but since I have to pick a side, I’m a little more confident in Northwestern.

Northwestern 31, Minnesota 21

Rutgers v. Indiana (-11) - 12:00 PM EST - Big Ten Network

After making some positive gains with three conference wins, I feel like Rutgers peaked with their win against Maryland. Indiana isn’t going to demolish Rutgers quite like Penn State did last week, but the Scarlet Knights won’t be able to keep Saturday’s game within 11 points.

Much like last week against Illinois, Indiana has just enough offense to cover the point spread. Tegray Scales and the rest of the Hoosier defense won’t give up more than 14 points to a Rutgers offense that is pretty limited.

Indiana 27, Rutgers 14

Purdue v. Iowa (-8) - 3:30 PM EST - Big Ten Network

How things can completely change in just one week. After throwing up 55 points against Ohio State two weeks ago, last week Iowa only was able to record 66 total yards in a 38-14 loss to Wisconsin. The only offense for the Hawkeyes came from cornerback Josh Jackson, who returned two interceptions for touchdowns. Over the past two weeks, Jackson has five interceptions.

Purdue has an outside shot at becoming bowl eligible, but somehow they’ll need to beat Iowa this week, and then Indiana next week. With the way the Boilermakers have been playing lately, winning those two games isn’t looking likely. It’s just hard to see Purdue getting much done on offense against an Iowa defense that is very tough to crack in Iowa City.

Iowa 30, Purdue 17

Maryland v. No. 17 Michigan State (-16) - 4:00 PM EST - FOX

Despite getting injured last week against Michigan, quarterback Max Bortenschlager is expected to make the start on Saturday afternoon against the Spartans. The third-string quarterback might want to ask to sit this one out, since Sparty is going to be mad after the beating they suffered at the hands of Ohio State last week.

After coming into last week’s game as one of the best rushing defenses in the country, Ohio State gashed Michigan State for 335 yards on the ground. The Terrapins have some good running backs in Lorenzo Harrison III and Ty Johnson, but they won’t have anywhere close to the success the Buckeyes had.

It’s hard to trust the Spartans to cover such a big spread when their offense can disappear at times, but I think Michigan State will respond after what happened to them last week. Brian Lewerke had found a rhythm at quarterback before the loss to the Buckeyes, and while he won’t throw for 400 yards like he did against Northwestern and Penn State, he has a strong performance.

Michigan State 34, Maryland 14

Nebraska v. No. 10 Penn State (-27) - 4:00 PM EST - FS1

How ready must Saquon Barkley be for this game? The junior running back will likely be playing his last game at Beaver Stadium on Saturday, and will get to carve up a defense that is allowing 200 yards per game rushing on the ground. Barkley has struggled mightily of late, and while he has likely lost the Heisman Trophy, a big performance could possibly earn him an invite to New York City.

Nebraska is a mess right now. It seems like only a matter of time before Mike Riley gets canned, and it looks unlikely the Cornhuskers will have enough wins at the end of the season to become bowl eligible. After watching Minnesota destroy Nebraska last week, it’s hard to see the Cornhuskers being competitive against the Nittany Lions on Saturday.

Penn State 48, Nebraska 17

Illinois v. No. 9 Ohio State (-41) - 3:30 PM EST - ABC

Ohio State can name their own score in this game. Forty-one points might seem like a lot, but just remember the Buckeyes just beat a pretty good Michigan State squad by 45 points last week. Add in that it’s Senior Day at Ohio Stadium, and Urban Meyer will likely want to see J.T. Barrett put up some big numbers in his final game in front of the home crowd.

It’s no secret just how bad Illinois is. Over the last four games the Fighting Illini haven’t scored more than 17 points in a game. It’s hard to see Illinois getting to even 10 points on Saturday afternoon. They just have no offense at all, and their defense is pretty terrible too, so expect another game with big rushing numbers from J.K. Dobbins, Mike Weber, and the rest of the Ohio State rushing attack.

With so many moving parts in the College Football Playoff ranking, Ohio State can’t even afford to let a terrible Illinois team hang around on Saturday. Juice Williams and Rashard Mendenhall aren’t walking through that door for the Fighting Illini. Ohio State covers and adds a few more points for good measure.

Ohio State 58, Illinois 7