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Ohio State is a hefty favorite over Michigan State in Week 6’s Big Ten betting lines

The Buckeyes are three touchdown favorites over Michigan State in primetime at Ohio Stadium, while the week kicks off with a ranked showdown between Iowa and Michigan.

Ohio State v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

Last week ATS: 7-5 (3-2 National, 4-3 B1G)

Season ATS: 39-33-2 (17-11-1 National, 22-22-1 B1G)

Don’t feel bad if you missed yesterday’s national edition of MC&J, you still have time before tonight’s UCF-Cincinnati kickoff to get a pick for that game, plus five other games scheduled for Saturday.


B1G games:

No. 14 Iowa v. No. 19 Michigan (-3.5) - 12:00 PM EST - FOX

Michigan has to be feeling pretty good about themselves right now after a 52-0 win last week. The bad news for the Wolverines is the win came against Rutgers, so there is no reason they shouldn’t have destroyed the Scarlet Knights. Shea Patterson did at least create some chemistry with his talented group of wide receivers, which could be huge going forward.

Aside from the scare against Iowa State earlier this year, Iowa has gone through their opponents like a hot knife through butter. The Hawkeyes have only allowed 34 points this season, so expect A.J. Epenesa and the Iowa defense to make things miserable for the Wolverines. Quarterback Nate Stanley brings veteran leadership to the Hawkeyes, which should help with this trip to Ann Arbor.

I feel like last week was a bit of a mirage for Michigan. I think the Wolverines lose a couple more games this year, and one of those losses comes this week. Iowa is too solid on both sides of the football for Michigan to handle. In a way the Hawkeyes are like a Dollar General Wisconsin. Iowa has won five of the last six against Michigan, and will add to their recent winning ways against the Wolverines on Saturday.

Iowa 24, Michigan 20


Purdue v. No. 12 Penn State (-29) - 12:00 PM EST - ESPN

This spread is wild. I know Purdue will be without quarterback Elijah Sindelar and wide receiver Rondale Moore, but the Boilermakers being nearly 30-point underdogs seems a little insane to me. Although it could be justified when you see the defense is giving up nearly 450 yards per game.

Take away the 17-10 win over Pittsburgh, and Penn State has beaten all their opponents by at least 30 points this year. Last week Sean Clifford made me eat my words of saying he wasn’t much at quarterback by throwing for nearly 400 yards in a 59-0 spanking of Maryland. The Nittany Lions have a strong defense which should be able to hold a depleted Purdue offense in check.

Even though Penn State looks better than I thought they’d be, I still think this is a few too many points. The Nittany Lions have a trip to Iowa on tap next week, followed by a game against Michigan the following week. I could see Penn State taking their foot off the gas a little earlier with those two tough games coming up. The Nittany Lions win easily but not by more than four touchdowns.

Penn State 44, Purdue 21


Kent State v. No. 8 Wisconsin (-35) - 12:00 PM EST - ESPNU

Last month Auburn ran for 467 yards on Kent State. The Golden Flashes are giving up over 260 yards per game on the ground to opponents. Jonathan Taylor might rush for 1,000 yards in this game alone. Wisconsin knows they didn’t play their best game last week, so I think we’ll see the Badgers dominate Kent State in Wisconsin’s final non-conference game of the regular season.

Wisconsin 54, Kent State 7


Maryland (-13) v. Rutgers - 12:00 PM EST - Big Ten Network

Both these teams are a mess right now, but Rutgers is on a whole different level of dumpster fire. The Scarlet Knights just fired Chris Ash and moved their tight ends coach whose name is Nunzio to head coach. Nunzio is exactly how many points Rutgers has scored so far in Big Ten play this year.

Even though Maryland was demolished by Penn State last week, I feel like the Terrapins have enough talent to put a hurting on bad teams. Rutgers is one of those teams. Josh Jackson regains some confidence with a solid day against Rutgers, while Anthony McFarland goes over 100 yards on the ground. Rutgers finally gets a point in conference play, but they don’t score anywhere close to what Maryland puts on the board.

Maryland 41, Rutgers 14


Illinois v. Minnesota (-14) - 3:30 PM EST - Big Ten Network

Minnesota is 4-0 but those four wins have come by a combined 20 points. Tanner Morgan completed 21 of his 22 passes last week for nearly 400 yards, yet the Golden Gophers still only beat a Purdue team that lost Elijah Sindelar and Rondale Moore by a touchdown.

Last year Illinois beat Minnesota 55-31 and ran for over 400 yards against the Golden Gophers. Minnesota gets a little bit of revenge this year, but in true Minnesota fashion they’ll make things a lot more difficult than what they have to be. The Golden Gophers winning by 7-10 points sounds about right here.

Minnesota 38, Illinois 28


Northwestern v. Nebraska (-7) - 4:00 PM EST - FOX

I’m not exactly sure how Northwestern kept things close with Wisconsin, but the Wildcats only lost to the Badgers by nine points last week. A lot of that I think had to do with Wisconsin making mistakes rather than Northwestern having the right game plane. Northwestern still has Hunter Johnson at quarterback, who has been terrible this year. Things somehow are even worse now for Johnson since he won’t have leading receiver Bennett Skrowronek, who is out because of injury.

It’s always scary picking a team after they were decimated by Ohio State, because you never know how much damage was really done by a loss to the Buckeyes. One thing we do knows is the Cornhuskers will be without defensive lineman Khalil Davis, who is suspended this game for striking a Buckeye during last week’s game.

If Nebraska was playing pretty much any opponent besides Northwestern I’d probably pick against the Cornhuskers, but the Wildcats have no pulse right now. Adrian Martinez regains a little confidence with a bounce-back performance this week. Even without Davis, the Nebraska defense makes some plays against a beaten up Northwestern offense.

Nebraska 34, Northwestern 20


No. 25 Michigan State v. No. 4 Ohio State (-21) - 7:30 PM EST - ABC

Ohio State is being talked about as one of the best teams in the country right now, and for good reason. Not has the offense not missed a beat from last year even though the Buckeyes have a new quarterback, but this year’s defense is light years better than last year’s squad.

Not only is Justin Fields the only quarterback in the country with a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown in each of the first five games this year, but J.K. Dobbins is second in the country with 654 yards rushing. Dobbins will have a tough time on Saturday night against a Michigan State defense that is allowing less than 60 yards per game on the ground, but Fields’ versatility will keep the aggressive Spartan defense on their heels.

Where the game will change will be with the Ohio State defense. Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke has been so much better this year than he was in 2018, but he hasn’t faced anyone like Chase Young this year. Young has eight sacks and three forced fumbles through five games, but his impact extends far beyond those numbers. The attention he demands opens things up for others on the defense to make plays. One of the beneficiaries has been Jeff Okudah, who has picked off three passes over the last two games.

It’s always scary picking against Michigan State when they come to Columbus to take on a ranked Ohio State teams. While 2015 is firmly in the memory of Buckeye fans, I think we see a performance from Ohio State more like 2017, when the Buckeyes won 48-3. I’m not saying the result will be quite that lopsided, but this Ohio State team is so good and so well coached that I’m not all that scared of laying this many points against a solid Michigan State team.

Ohio State 41, Michigan State 17