Big Ten Games
#14 Michigan at Maryland
Point Spread: Michigan -21
Rooting Interest: Michigan. While I wouldn’t hold it against you if you weren’t rooting for Michigan, the Wolverines winning make that loss look a lot better.
Point Spread Pick: Michigan -21. I worry that picking Michigan to win big on the road is not the most prudent bet to make, but they are finding their stride. Michigan, like Penn State, is a bad matchup for a team like Maryland, even in College Park. I expect this to be unwatchable by the third quarter.
Nebraska at Purdue
Point Spread: Nebraska -3
Rooting Interest: Purdue. I know that it probably benefits Iowa for Nebraska to be bowl eligible when we play them. Realistically speaking, however, Iowa has virtually no chance at the playoff with two losses. With that in mind, I’m rooting for a third consecutive 4-8 season for Nebraska.
Point Spread Pick: Nebraska -3. I don’t think Nebraska is actually that bad of a team. Purdue, on the other side, is that bad of a team. I see Nebraska winning this by more than one score.
Rutgers at Illinois
Point Spread: Illinois -20
Rooting Interest: Illinois. I am a little worried about Illinois now, fans. I know that’s an odd thing to say, but they have looked like a decent team in the last few weeks. Still, more wins over bowl-eligible teams equals a stronger strength of schedule for Iowa football.
They are in the West with three losses, so they shouldn’t be a threat to Iowa. If they are, Iowa football probably isn’t very good.
Point Spread Pick: Illinois -20. I know that my “always bet against Rutgers” rule failed us last week, but I’m confident that last week was the exception that proves the rule.
Northwestern at Indiana
Point Spread: Indiana -11.5
Rooting Interest: Northwestern. Northwestern, with five losses in the Big Ten, is officially eliminated from the Big Ten West title. Additionally, the Wildcats winning out and gaining bowl eligibility means a win over Minnesota. We need Minnesota to lose, so let’s root for teams they play to have a reason to bring it that weekend.
Point Spread Pick: Northwestern +11.5. Here’s a fun fact. The only teams that beat Northwestern by more than 11 points this year are Michigan State, Ohio State and Iowa. Indiana is not joining that group this weekend.