Who would have thought that the Big Ten game listed by the college football predictions as the one most likely to be decided by less than a touchdown would not only be one involving struggling Nebraska, but one in which the Huskers were favored?
There are four contests with double-digit lines and that is led by Ohio State being nearly a 40-point favorite against Rutgers.
Ohio State (-250) remains the heavy favorite to win the Big Ten championship according to the college football odds. The Buckeyes are followed by Michigan (+450), Minnesota (+900), Penn State (+1000), Wisconsin (+2200).
According to the college football playoff odds, Ohio State (+280) is third to win the national title followed by Michigan (+2500) and Penn State (+6000).
Game of the Week
Michigan Wolverines vs Iowa Hawkeyes
- Date, time, TV: Saturday, Noon ET (FOX)
- Line: Michigan -11
One has to hope this game will be more competitive than the 2021 Big Ten title game was when the Wolverines rolled to a 42-3 win.
Iowa’s defense is something else and so is the offense for the Hawkeyes – for all the wrong reasons.
Will the Hawkeyes be able to slow down Michigan running back Blake Corum, who is coming off a 243-yard effort, or force a couple of incompletions out of quarterback J.J. McCarthy?
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) September 28, 2022
Iowa is sixth nationally in total defense, but the 235.5 yards per game on offense is the worst mark in the country. Iowa could have something to prove after being run off the field by Michigan the last time these teams met.
Michigan has covered in four of the last five meetings with Iowa.
Purdue Boilermakers vs Minnesota Golden Gophers
- Date, time, TV: Saturday, Noon ET (ESPN2)
- Line: Minnesota -12½
This will be fun to watch with the pass-happy Boilermakers taking on a Minnesota team that is second at the Football Bowl Subdivision level in rushing offense.
The Gophers are six passing yards shy of joining Florida Atlantic as the only team with at least 1,000 yards rushing and passing. FAU has the advantage of having played five games to hit that mark.
After being limited to one game a season ago, Minnesota’s Mohamed Ibrahim has literally hit the ground running with 567 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.
Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell is at 1,000 passing yards while Charlie Jones has 41 catches for 533 yards and seven TDs.
Minnesota has won the last four contests against Purdue and covered against the college football odds each time.
Illinois Fighting Illini vs Wisconsin Badgers
- Date, time, TV: Saturday, Noon ET (Big Ten Network)
- Line: Wisconsin -7
Wisconsin is looking to bounce back after a forgettable effort in a showdown with Ohio State last week.
One of the top defensive teams in the country a season ago, Wisconsin allowed more than 500 yards in the regular season for the first time since a 2018 matchup with Nebraska as Ohio State averaged 7.7 yards per play. Expect the Badgers to offer more resistance against Illinois and Chase Brown, the national leader with 604 rushing yards.
There are seven Big Ten players with at least three sacks and three of them are in this game. Nick Herbig leads Wisconsin with four sacks while the Illinois duo of Gabe Jacas and Jez’Zhan Newton each have three sacks.
This is just the second time in the last 12 meetings that Illinois was a single-digit underdog against Wisconsin.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs Ohio State Buckeyes
- Date, time, TV: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
- Line: Ohio State -39½
It isn’t every day that a 3-1 team in the Power-5 Conference is a 39½-point underdog. That is the situation Rutgers is in as the Scarlet Knights hit the road to face an Ohio State team listed by the college football betting lines as the Big Ten favorite.
After allowing opponents to average nearly six yards per play a season ago, that number has dropped to 4.2 through the first game. It would be quite the accomplishment to limit Heisman Trophy favorite CJ Stroud and the star-studded Ohio State offense to 4.2 yards per play on Saturday afternoon.
Rutgers has covered the last two times when listed by the sportsbook as an underdog of at least 35 points against the Buckeyes.
Northwestern Wildcats vs Penn State Nittany Lions
- Date, time, TV: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- Line: Penn State -25
Yet another game the college football picks isn’t expected to be too competitive.
Northwestern is last in the Big Ten with a minus-five turnover margin and is facing a Penn State team with nine takeaways and just one giveaway.
Penn State freshman Nicholas Singleton is averaging 8.95 yards per carry and the Wildcats’ defense could have some issues slowing him down.
Northwestern has some experience on defense with 12 of its top 13 tacklers being juniors or seniors. Will that be enough for the Wildcats to hang around in this one?
Something to consider for those who bet online: The winner in the last seven games in the series also covered against the college football picks. Five times that team has been Penn State.
Michigan State Spartans vs Maryland Terrapins
- Date, time, TV: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (FS1)
- Line: Maryland -8½
Michigan State’s Jacoby Windmon is off to an impressive start with eight tackles for loss and 5½ sacks. He will need to be a disruptive force against Taulia Tagovailoa and the talented Maryland offense.
The Terrapins have points in all 14 drives reaching the red zone, coming up with 12 touchdowns and two field goals during that stretch. Michigan State has limited opponents to touchdowns on 8 of 16 red-zone visits.
The Spartans have won the last four meetings and six of the last seven in the series. Six of the last seven meetings went under the total.
Indiana Hoosiers vs Nebraska Cornhuskers
- Date, time, TV: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (FOX)
- Line: Nebraska -5
This could be all about tempo. Indiana has run more plays than any other team in the conference except Northwestern.
Nebraska has been favored twice this season and lost both games. The Huskers have failed to cover in each of the last five games.
Quarterbacks Casey Thompson of Nebraska and Connor Bazelak of Indiana rank eighth and 13th in the Big Ten in passing efficiency.
This is the first meeting between the teams since visiting Indiana won 38-31 as a 2½-point underdog in 2019.