While there are some Big Ten matchups of note in Week 4, the game sure to attract the most attention among those making college football predictions is the Saturday night clash in South Bend between top-10 Ohio State and Notre Dame teams.
The return of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh to the sidelines is another storyline to keep an eye on. The Michigan-Rutgers is one of three games this week involving a Big Ten team featuring a pair of undefeated squads. The Ohio State-Notre Dame is the only one of the three with a single-digit point spread.
Illinois, Indiana, and Nebraska join Ohio State as Big Ten teams favored in non-conference matchups this weekend.
The Week 4 schedule begins with Friday’s Wisconsin-Purdue game. The matchup opened with Wisconsin favored by seven points and it is now a six-point spread.
When looking at the college football rankings, Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State are all ranked in the Top 10 in the national polls and are also among the top candidates in the odds to win the national title.
Can Harrison Break Free vs Notre Dame?
This is the type of game that can make or break a player’s Heisman Trophy hopes.
Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. is being touted as the best receiver in college football and perhaps the non-quarterback with the best chance to win the Heisman Trophy.
He is facing a Notre Dame defense that is allowing opponents to complete just 44% of their passes so far this season. Notre Dame leads the nation in passing efficiency defense so it will be strength against strength on Saturday night.
Harrison has 286 receiving yards and three touchdowns in the last two games. Three of his seven 100-yard receiving games in 2022 came against top 10-ranked teams and that is enough for us to want to roll with Harrison and then watch the college football betting lines adjust his Heisman Trophy odds.
College Football Pick: Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. to go over 99 receiving yards (+108)
Burks to Burn Wisconsin
Other Big Ten receivers might garner more attention, but it is hard to overlook the big-play ability of Purdue sophomore Deione Burks.
Four of Burks’ nine catches have gone for at least 20 yards this season. He is facing a Wisconsin defense that has allowed the second most pass plays of 30 yards or more so there will be opportunities for Burks to make plays in this matchup.
Burks already has more receiving yards in his first three games this season than he had all of 2022 and he is ready to add to those numbers.
College Football Pick: Purdue’s Deion Burks to go over 61 receiving yards +108
Maryland’s Jones Ready to Grab the Spotlight
The last time Maryland’s Jeshaun Jones faced Michigan State, he had six catches and 60 receiving yards.
Jones fell four yards shy of his third career 100-yard receiving game in last week’s win over Virginia, so the connection between Jones and Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa is hard to miss.
No Big Ten team allows a higher completion percentage or more yards per attempt than Michigan State so this is setting up as a game for Jones to thrive.
College Football Pick: Maryland’s Jeshaun Jones to have at least 64 receiving yards (+108)
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Go With Michigan to Roll
Michigan has outscored its opponents 38-10 in the second half in the first three games of the season, so the Wolverines get better as the game moves along.
The last time Rutgers came to Ann Arbor, things were closer than anticipated before the Wolverines won 20-13. Jim Harbaugh, back on the sidelines after serving an in-house three-game suspension, is sure to remind his players of that.
The other games between the teams since 2016 saw Michigan score 78, 35, 42, 52, 48, and 52 points, so look for the Wolverines to get rolling in this matchup as well.
College Football Pick: There will be at least three straight scores by a team in the Rutgers-Michigan game (-228)
Kesich Ready Getting His Kicks?
Minnesota‘s Dragan Kesich leads the Big Ten with seven field goals made and eight FG attempts.
While eight of the 10 times that a team scored against Northwestern on a drive into the red zone resulted in touchdowns, why not take a chance on the first points of the Minnesota-Northwestern matchup coming via the field goal?
Keep in mind that three of the six red-zone scores by opponents against Minnesota this season have been field goals.
College Football Pick: A touchdown will not be the first points in the Minnesota-Northwestern game (+143)