No. 10 Wisconsin has secured a share of the Big Ten regular-season title. A win on Sunday against cellar-dwelling Nebraska or an Illinois loss to Iowa would give the Badgers their first outright conference title since 2015. Wisconsin came into the season with the eighth-best odds to win the Big Ten championship.
Wisconsin, No. 8 Purdue and No. 20 Illinois are fighting to secure top 16 seeds in the March Madness bracket.
Purdue, Illinois and Iowa rank 14, 15 and 16 in the NCAA NET rankings which is one of the tools the NCAA Selection Committee uses to put together the field of 64.
NCAA NET rankings
Here’s a look at this weekend’s games in the Big Ten with some information for those who bet online.
Indiana Hoosiers vs Purdue Boilermakers
- Date, time, TV: Saturday, March 5, 2:00 p.m. ET, ESPN
Purdue didn’t pick the best time to drop back-to-back games for the first time.
The Boilermakers (24-6, 13-6) were favored on the road against Michigan State and Wisconsin but lost both games by three points to fall to a No. 3 seed in many of the March Madness predictions. Purdue is 0-5-1 against the spread in its last six games with five of those contests finishing under the total.
Indiana (18-11, 9-10) has dropped six of its last eight games and failed to cover in each of the six losses. Five of the Hoosiers’ last six games went over the total.
Indiana snapped a nine-game losing streak to Purdue with a three-point win at home on January 20 when listed as a 3½-point underdog according to the college basketball spreads. It was just the third time in the last eight meetings that the Hoosiers covered against the Boilermakers. Six of the last eight games in the series finished under the total.
Purdue is second in the Big Ten in scoring offense while Indiana is No. 1 in scoring defense.
Penn State Nittany Lions vs Rutgers Scarlet Knights
- Date, time, TV: Sunday, March 6, 12 p.m. ET Big Ten Network
Rutgers got a much-needed win the last time out as a three-point win at Indiana brought an end to a three-game losing streak. The victory put Rutgers into sixth in the Big Ten standings. The Scarlet Knights (17-12, 11-8) have covered in five of their last seven games while the last three games all went under the total.
Penn State (12-15, 7-12) has dropped three of its last four games including a five-point loss at Illinois on Thursday. The Nittany Lions have covered in four of their last six games with five of those games going under the total.
Penn State has won the last three matchups with Rutgers including the 66-49 home win on January 11 as a two-point favorite. The Nittany Lions have covered against the college basketball spreads in the last two games after failing to cover in the previous four contests. Each of the last seven games in the series went under the total.
Penn State has attempted and made the fewest foul shots in the Big Ten. Rutgers is 12th in foul shots attempted.
Michigan Wolverines vs Ohio State Buckeyes
- Date, time, TV: Sunday, March 6, 12:30 p.m. ET FOX
The Ohio State-Michigan basketball matchups don’t generate the buzz that the football showdowns do but this is a pretty important game for both teams.
Ohio State (19-9, 12-7) rebounded after losing back-to-back games including a stunner against last-place Nebraska by topping Michigan State by 11 points on Thursday as five-point favorites according to the Las Vegas odds at home. Six of the previous Ohio State games went under the total before Thursday’s contest went well over the 139½-point total.
Michigan (16-13, 10-9) saw its hopes for an NCAA bid take a hit with Thursday’s loss to Iowa. Hunter Dickinson finished with 21 points in the loss.
Ohio State has won four of the last five games in the series including the last two. The Buckeyes won 68-57 at Michigan on February 12 as a 2.5-point underdog. They also covered in each of those victories.
Ohio State and Michigan rank second and third in the Big Ten in field-goal percentage.
Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Wisconsin Badgers
- Date, time, TV: Sunday, March 6, 2 p.m. ET Big Ten Network
There aren’t many people leaving Wisconsin games early this season. Wisconsin is 12-0 this season in games decided by five points or less and the Badgers’ last three wins came by a total of nine points. Still, wins are wins and with each victory, the March Madness odds of the Badgers continue to improve.
Wisconsin (24-5, 15-4) has won five straight games to move into first place in the Big Ten standings. The Badgers have covered in four of those games.
Nebraska (9-21, 3-16) has won back-to-back contests for the first time since late November. That included a win over nationally ranked Ohio State the last time out as a 15-point underdog. The Cornhuskers have covered in each of their last three games while four of their last six contests went over the total.
Wisconsin has won the last seven games against Nebraska including a 73-65 win on the road as a nine-point favorite on January 27. The Badgers are just 3-8 against the spread in the last 11 contests in the series.
Nebraska is third in the Big Ten in steals per game, Wisconsin is third in turnover margin.
Maryland Terrapins vs Michigan State Spartans
- Date, time, TV: Sunday, March 6, 4:30 p.m. ET CBS
This is a game featuring the slumping Michigan State Spartans meeting up with the streaking Maryland Terrapins.
Michigan State (19-11, 10-9) has dropped five of its last six games and failed to cover in each of those losses. The Spartans went from challenging for the Big Ten lead to putting themselves squarely on the March Madness bracket bubble.
Maryland (15-15, 7-12) has won four of its last five games and covered in five of the last six.
Maryland had won three of the last matchups with Michigan State before the Spartans’ 65-63 road win on February 1 as 3½-point favorites. Maryland has covered in four of the last five meetings with five of the last six games in the series going under the total.
Michigan State leads the conference with an average of 5.2 blocked shots per game. Maryland is fifth with 6.2 steals per contest.
Iowa Hawkeyes vs Illinois Fighting Illini
- Date, time, TV: Sunday, March 6, 7:30 p.m. ET FS1
Big Ten leading scorer Keegan Murray leading Iowa against Illinois’ double-double machine Kofi Cockburn, this could be a fun one.
Illinois (21-8, 14-5) had to work for wins against Michigan and Penn State to remain a game out of first place in the Big Ten standings. Three of the Fighting Illini’s last four games went over the total.
Keegan Murray and his brother Kris were a combined 16 of 20 from the field in Thursday’s win against Michigan for Iowa (22-8, 12-7).
Keegan Murray currently has a Player Efficiency Rating of 38.6, per Sports Reference.
Second-highest PER since Sports Ref. started tracking it back in 2009 behind only Zion (40.84).
— Cooper Watson (@coopertwatson) March 4, 2022
Illinois has won four games in a row against Iowa although three of those came by five points or less which is something to consider for those who bet online. The Fighting Illini have covered in each of the last three games while four of the last six contests went under the total.
Iowa and Illinois rank first and third in the Big Ten in points per game.
Minnesota Golden Gophers vs Northwestern Wildcats
- Date, time, TV: Sunday, March 6, 7:30 p.m. ET Big Ten Network
Minnesota looking to continue its dominance against Northwestern after winning six of the last seven meetings including a 77-60 home win as a 4½-point underdog on February 19. The Golden Gophers have covered in five of those contests.
Minnesota (13-15, 4-15) has lost three in a row and five of the last six. The Golden Gophers have failed to cover in four of their last six games with three of the last four going over the total.
Northwestern (13-15, 6-13) has also lost five of six and is 2-3-1 against the spread in those contests. Six of the Wildcats’ last seven games have gone under the total.
Minnesota and Northwestern rank 12th and 13th in the conference in rebounding margin.