Weekly Big Ten Football Betting Report: Expert Predictions and Analysis
It's Week 10 in the Big Ten Conference, and we have two huge games on tap for you. The first game is No. 14 Penn State at No. 5 Michigan, and the second game is No. 3 Notre Dame at Big Ten West-leading Northwestern. These two games not only have serious conference implications but also College Football Playoff implications. As a neutral fan, these are the kind of games you love to watch. They will offer plenty of excitement and drama, and we should be treated to exceptional football.
Before we get to my Big Ten Power Rankings for Week 10, let's take a look at what happened last week in the Big Ten and look ahead to what's on deck for this week.
Big Ten Recap: Week 9
It was a rather light week in the Big Ten Conference with just six games on the schedule, but we were treated to a real doozy Saturday afternoon between No. 17 Iowa and No. 18 Penn State. The Nittany Lions prevailed by a scored of 30-24, covering the five-point spread and pushing the total "over" the number. With the win, Penn State is now bowl eligible, while Iowa fell even further behind the Big Ten West-leading Northwestern Wildcats. Elsewhere, Minnesota held on to beat Indiana 38-31, while Michigan State beat Purdue 23-13, Nebraska got its second win in a row vs Bethune-Cook, No. 20 Wisconsin fell to Northwestern, and Maryland trounced Illinois.
Big Ten Rundown: Week 10
There are seven games in the Big Ten this week, with Indiana the lone team on a bye. There are two massive games with conference and playoff implications, so it should be a very entertaining week. The first game is No. 14 Penn State at No. 5 Michigan. This game will have conference implications, especially for the Wolverines. As of writing this, Big Blue is 10-point favorites, with the total set at 52.5. The other game with major implications is No. 3 Notre Dame at Northwestern. The Fighting Irish are in the thick of the College Football Playoff discussion, so a loss here could crush them. However, The Wildcats are atop the Big Ten West and are looking to stay there and appear in their first ever Big Ten title game. The Irish are 9.5-point favorites with the total set at 53.5. The rest of the card looks like this; Rutgers at Wisconsin (-29), Michigan State (-1.5) at Maryland, Nebraska at No. 8 Ohio State (-20.5), Minnesota (-9.5) vs Illinois, and No. 19 Iowa at Purdue (-3).
Big Ten Power Rankings Through Week 10.
1. Michigan Wolverines -
Big Blue had a bye last week, so they should be well rested to take on a
Penn State team that's played four straight weeks and had to grind out two
wins and suffered a loss to MSU. The Wolverines are finally the team we
expected them to be. And as of the latest CFP rankings, they would be the
next team in the Top 4 should one of the teams above them falter and the
Wolverines handle their own business.
2. Ohio State Buckeyes -
The Buckeyes were also on a bye last week, but after falling to Purdue,
their playoff chances took a big hit. However, the Buckeyes still control
their own destiny in the Big Ten if they win out, and that scenario is
likely going to come down to the season finale vs Michigan on Nov. 24. The
Buckeyes are still the most talented and potent offense in the Big Ten, and
for that reason we have them at No .2.
3. Penn State Nittany Lions -
The Nittany Lions have won their last two games but are five points away
(arguably) from being undefeated and ranked in the Top 4. They have a solid
offensive attack, led by Trace McSorley. The only problem with this team is
that the receivers have a bad case of the drops. If they can get their act
together, Penn State could pull off the upset against Michigan this
4. Iowa Hawkeyes -
The Hawkeyes check in at No. 4 because I like how they played through the
entire month of October. Sure, they may have lost to Penn State last week,
but they were in that game right until the end. They have a solid defense
and an offense that has been consistent for the last four weeks. However,
they are in a tough spot this week as they travel to Purdue to take on a
pesky Boilermakers squad.
5. Northwestern Wildcats -
Don't look now, but the Wildcats have won four straight conference games
and sit atop the Big Ten West conference by two games over Wisconsin. The
Wildcats have been getting the job done in all ways, winning shootouts, or
squeaking out three-point victories. Up next is a game against No. 4 Notre
Dame that will tell us everything we need to know about what kind of team
the Wildcats are.
6. Michigan State Spartans -
The Spartans have been an inconsistent team all year, but they did turn in
a gutsy performance in last week's win over Purdue. They have alternated
wins and losses over the past month and may have a hard time defending
Maryland's high-scoring offense. Sparty needs one more win to become bowl
eligible, and if they don't get it this week, look for them to punch their
ticket on the second to last or last week of the regular season.
7. Purdue Boilermakers -
The Boilermakers very well could have won last week's game against MSU.
They were in position to do so, but timely turnovers were their undoing.
Now they face a ranked Iowa team at home and will be eager to get back in
the win column. Purdue has an offense that can wow you at times but also be
frustrating beyond belief. It's going to take a massive effort for Purdue
to win two games from the remaining schedule (vs Iowa, at Minnesota, vs
Wisconsin, at Indiana) to get to six wins.
8. Maryland Terrapins -
The Terrapins hung 63 on Illinois last week and sit just one game away from
being bowl eligible. They will likely need to win one of their next two
games - against Michigan State or Indiana -- if they want to go bowling,
because their last two games are against Ohio State and Penn State. The
Terps have shown us this year that they can put up a boatload of points,
but they also can't stop anyone.
9. Wisconsin Badgers -
Not too long ago the Badgers were a defensive juggernaut. Oh, how the
mighty have fallen. The Badgers have alternated wins and losses over their
last four games, but they haven't managed to keep an opponent under 20
points since a Week 5 win against Iowa. A home game against Rutgers may be
what the doctor ordered, but the Badgers are still a long way away from
where they once were.
10. Minnesota Golden Gophers -
The Gophers are ahead of Indiana based on last week's result. However, the
Gophers are still two wins shy of bowl eligibility. And with games against
Purdue, Northwestern and Wisconsin on deck (after this week's game against
Illinois) it'll be a minor miracle if Minnesota gets to six wins. The
defense has given up more than 30 points in five straight games.
11. Indiana Hoosiers -
The Hoosiers have lost four straight games, including last week's game
against Minnesota. That's part of the reason they are ranked as low as they
are, and the other reason is because they can't stop anyone on defense.
They've given up 38, 33, 42 and 49 points during the losing streak. That's
not going to cut it in the Big Ten.
12. Nebraska Cornhuskers -
Don't look now, but the Cornhuskers are rolling. Kind of. After beating
Minnesota, the Cornhuskers extender their win streak to two games by
beating Bethune-Cook. Their reward for winning two games in a row? A trip
to Ohio State, where they will lose by 40.
13. Illinois Fighting Illini -
Since beating Rutgers, Illinois has now lost three straight games by a
combined 158-60. I'm no math expert, but that's not a good average of
points for and against during that span. They are now nearly 10-point home
underdogs against Minnesota of all teams, which is why you'll find them
near the bottom of this list.
14. Rutgers Scarlett Knight - Rutgers is 1-7. They've lost seven straight games and haven't scored more than 17 points since their season-opening win. That's all you need to know.
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