Weekly Big Ten Football Betting Report: Expert Predictions and Analysis
It's Championship Weekend among the Power 5 Conferences, and it should bring casual fans and bettors some awesome football games. The action gets underway on Friday with two conference championships set to be contested. The first happens in the MAC as 10-2 Buffalo hosts 7-5 Northern Illinois. The Bulls are currently laying 3.5 points with the total set at 49.5. The nightcap sees No. 17 Utah taking on No. 16 Washington at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. for the Pac-12 Championship. As of writing this, the Huskies are laying five points .
As for Saturday, there are eight championship games taking place, with the biggest game of the day happening in the SEC between No. 1 Alabama and No. 5 Georgia. Georgia will be looking to repeat as SEC champions, but they will be in tough against a very good Crimson Tide team. The Crimson Tide are laying 13 points on the (neutral) field of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Elsewhere, No. 14 Texas hooks up with No. 6 Oklahoma (-7.5) for the Big 12 title, UL-Lafayette takes on Appalachian State (-17.5) for the Sun Belt title, UAB takes on Middle Tennessee (-2.5) for the Conference USA title, Memphis takes on No. 9 UCF (-3.5) for the AAC title, Fresno State gets a rematch with No. 23 Boise State (-2.5) for the MWC title, No. 2 Clemson (-26.5) takes on No. 24 Pittsburgh for the ACC title, and, lastly, No. 19 Northwestern takes on No. 10 Ohio State (-14) for the Big Ten title.
Big Ten Recap: Week 14
Who would have thought that the final spot in the Big Ten title game would come down to the winner of Michigan vs. Ohio State? I definitely knew that was going to happen, but what I didn't envision was the thorough butt-whooping that the Wolverines were about to endure at the hands of the Buckeyes. The game may have been 21-19 going into the half, but the Buckeyes were just the better team from start to finish, and the score (while a little lopsided) was definitely justified. That "vaunted" Wolverines defense was torn to shreds, giving up 567 yards of total offense. Because of that, the Buckeyes win the tie-breaker and find themselves in the Big Ten title game with a small chance of making the CFP. As for the rest of the schedule, Iowa slipped pasted Nebraska 31-28, Purdue beat Indiana 28-21, No. 12 Penn State handled Maryland 38-3, No. 19 Northwestern beat Illinois 24-16, Minnesota became bowl eligible by upsetting Wisconsin 37-15 and Michigan State and Rutgers made our eyes bleed to the tune of 14-10 in favor of the Spartans.
Big Ten Rundown: Big Ten Championship Game
There is only one Big Ten game this weekend, and that is the Big Ten title game between No.10 Ohio State and No.19 Northwestern. As of writing this, the Buckeyes are currently laying 14 points as neutral-site favorites, and the total is set 59. This will be the Buckeyes' fourth Big Ten title game appearance in six years, and they will be looking to repeat as champions for the second year in a row. For the Wildcats, this will mark their first Big Ten title game appearance, and they will be looking for their first Big Ten Championship since 2000 - when the title was awarded to the team with the best regular-season record. The last meeting between these two squads took place on Oct. 29, 2016. The Buckeyes escaped with a 24-20 win in Columbus.
If you want a full write up and analysis on the Big Ten Title game, you can check out Doc's website as one of my colleagues is sure to preview it.
As for me, I'll be recapping the Top 3 games of the Big Ten regular season.
No. 1 - Ohio State 52 - Maryland 51 - OT. - The Buckeyes came into this game knowing that anything other than a win would see their season ended and any shot at the Big Ten title or a spot in the CFP dashed. The Buckeyes rode the duo of Dwayne Haskins and J.K Dobbins to an overtime win. Haskins threw for 405 yards and three touchdowns, while Dobbins ran for 203 yards and a score. However, the biggest play of the game came in overtime when Maryland decided to go for two points and the win instead of kicking the extra point and playing another overtime period. Maryland had a wide-open receiver, but the throw was off, and just like that the rest is history. Ohio State survived and set up a winner-take-all showdown with Michigan -- and we all know how that went. Now, Ohio State has the inside track to a Big Ten title and a spot in the CFP. Football really is a game of inches.
No. 2 - Northwestern 34- Nebraska 31 - OT. - After losing several key pieces on offense, nobody would have predicted that Northwestern would be in the Big Ten title game. This Week 7 game against Nebraska really showed us how good the Wildcats could be when they played up to their ability. They scored 17 fourth-quarter points, including a game-tying touchdown with just 12 seconds left in the game to force OT before winning it on a 37-yard field goal. Sometimes, games like this can propel teams to higher heights, and I feel like this game was one of those for Northwestern.
No. 3 - Wisconsin 28- Iowa 17 - Week 4 - This game essentially had no bearing on the conference standings, but it was a great game to watch early on in the season. The Badgers scored two touchdowns with under a minute left in the fourth quarter to take a lead that they wouldn't relinquish. The Badgers finished the season with seven wins, and this game could be credited with saving their season as they could have been 2-2 with losses to BYU and Iowa on their early resume. Instead, the Badgers overcame Kinnick Stadium (it's a tough place to play) and helped any bettors who had Wisconsin -3 tickets in their hands.
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