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We went 4-1 last week, and honestly, the only loss shocked a lot of folks.
What we got wrong:
Wisconsin (-11) @ Illinois - I'm not too torn up about this, most of the well-known prognosticators had Illinois playing within the spread. However, Wisconsin had other ideas as they held Illinois to 93 yards as the Orange started a 24-year-old QB transfer who once beat Wiscy with Michigan in 2017.
What we got right:
#11 Michigan State (-5.5) @ Rutgers - Sparty piled on Rutgers and their recent woes by pummeling the Scarlet Knights 31-13 to easily cover. With the help of touchdown passes of 63, 63, and 65 yards, Michigan State moves to 6-0 and cracks the Top 10.
Maryland @ #7 Ohio State (-21.5) - The Buckeyes have officially woken up, not that they have beaten anyone overly impressive, but 66 points against a Power 5 opponent is also nothing to sneeze at. We predicted a 30 point win, OSU said "hold my beer", winning 66-17.
#4 Penn State @ #3 Iowa (-1.5) - Not to get too cocky, but we predicted the final score to be 24-21 and the actual score was 23-20. You're welcome, America.
#9 Michigan (-3) @ Nebraska - We were reluctant to lay the 3, so we said take Michigan's Moneyline. That saved us from a push and helped our total take for the week.
*Lines on BetUS (Promo Code: 12OZ) as of 10/13/2021 @ 6 pm ET
#10 Michigan State (-5) @ Indiana - Trap game much? I would be leary of this game if it weren't for the fact Indiana has the worst scoring defense, and the 8th ranked total defense in the Big Ten. Somehow their opponents find a way to put up points. However, a deep dive into team stats you find this game should be close. Let's look at this like a gambler.
Now that gambling is out of the way, let's add the fact Michigan State has the worst pass defense in the conference (301.7 yards/game) while Indiana throws for 221 per game. The only glaring difference between these teams (other than record) is that Michigan State averages 150+ yards more per game. I am leary of the spread, this could be a last-minute FG-type game. While I am somewhat reluctant, I will take the Michigan State Moneyline at -200. Prediction: Michigan State 34 Indiana 30
Rutgers (-2) @ Northwestern - Both these teams lost to a similar opponent (Michigan State) by a similar margin (18 & 17). Let's look at the gambling tale of the tape.
On paper, Rutgers has slightly more firepower and a slim advantage on defense. Rutgers has scored 13 for three weeks in a row (Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State) while Nebraska held Northwestern to 7 last week. There is one stat that really jumps off the paper, Northwestern gives up a Big Ten worst 234.2 yards rushing per game, 75 yards more than the next worst rush defense. That's got to make a difference, right? The 'Cats are terrible ATS, I am laying the 2 points and going Rutgers all the way. Prediction: Rutgers 27 Northwestern 20
Nebraska (-4) @ Minnesota - Yet another close spread and likely a product of records. The Huskers showed us last week they can play with heavyweights and the Gophers lost to, um, Bowling Green (not last week). However, that is not a good gambling strategy, so let's look at the numbers.
So one thing I think everyone will notice is Nebraska is 0-3 on the road, however, those losses include 8 to Illinois (bad loss), 7 to Oklahoma, and 3 to Michigan State in OT. The Gophers have struggled on offense the past two games and now face an above-average defense. This game could come down to one thing, Nebraska's #2 Big Ten rushing offense (223.6/gm) versus Minnesota's #2 Big Ten rush defense (77/gm). Nebraska also boasts the #4 passing offense in the conference versus Minnesota's 10th defense, giving up 230.8 per game. In my eyes, it would take a great deal of luck for the Gophers to win this, as the Huskers are averaging way more yards so far against better defenses. Take Nebraksa's Moneyline to be safe (-180) and enjoy the win! Prediction: Nebraska 38 Minnesota 20
Purdue @ #2 Iowa (-11.5) - This is going to be painful as a Purdue guy. The Boilers are still without key offensive players, and despite playing some pretty impressive defense, it will not be enough to win this game. If you want to roll the dice, take the points with Purdue as Iowa should be primed for a letdown game. Purdue has the #2 pass offense and #1 pass defense in the conference, but on the flip side, they have the worst rush offense (desperately missing Horvath) and 7th in rush defense. Iowa is 3rd worst rushing but 3rd best against the run, while they are 9th in passing and 3rd against the pass, all in the Big Ten. That gives Iowa a slight advantage for home-field advantage, but I am feeling the points.
Double-digit spreads always catch my attention and Iowa could have some big game hangover. Prediction: Iowa 27 Purdue 17
Army @ Wisconsin (-14) - Well, isn't this a weird matchup? Look, Army is 4-1 with no signature wins with their best win being 38-35 over Western Kentucky. Meanwhile, Wisconsin only gives up 41.4 yards rushing per game and Army is all run. The Black Knights average 69.6 passing yards a game and a whopping 318.2 rushing per game. Their defense is the same, tough against the run, bad against the pass. Maybe add another 60 yards to Wisconsin's average for wishbone difficulty, but I don't see Army being able to slow down Wisconsin, the Badgers will finally get to eat. Lay the points for maximum payout. Prediction: Wisconsin 41 Army 20
~Michael Patrick Day, Irish Proud & 12oz Sports Writer