The Big Ten season rolls along Saturday with ten teams in action, including two games with huge Big Ten West standing implications.
Big Ten football continues on Saturday, and while many in the Chicagoland area and state of Illinois are feening for more Illinois football, viewers will have to wait another week to watch the Illini. For those of you that are interested in the Big Ten West division race, at least two games on Saturday’s slate will be worth watching, and could setup bigger and better matchups down the road. We’ve got two plays to give out this week, and after a successful first half of the year, we have no plans on slowing down the winners anytime soon! Best of luck this weekend and thank you for following along!!
2022 Big Ten Betting Record: 11-6-1
Iowa at Ohio State (-30): O/U 49.5 (11:00am CST)
To kick things off for us we head to the Big Noon Kickoff, a spot that has certainly seen more enticing games than this one these last few weeks. If you’ve been betting against Ohio State to this point in the season, you probably haven’t made too much money, and you certainly haven’t been making money if you’re betting Ohio State team total unders.
Following their lackluster performance to start the season against Notre Dame, the Buckeyes have gone over their team total each and every week, with their lowest output coming in a 45-12 win over Arkansas State. I am going to pass on this one Saturday because Ohio State could be peaking ahead to next week’s huge battle on the road at Penn State, but I have no interest in backing this Iowa team on the road.
RMags’ Pick: Pass
Indiana at Rutgers (-3.5): O/U 47.5 (11:00am CST)
I will assume most people will have little to no interest in betting this game, so I will keep things short and sweet. This Indiana defense has been abysmal all season long, and is currently on a five game stretch of allowing at least 30 points, covering the spread twice during that span. Rutgers offense has not been good this season by any measure, but it would not shock me if their offense is able to move the ball on an Indiana defense that is 108th in total yards allowed.
Rutgers defense should be the biggest edge in this game, but Indiana’s passing game has shown flashes, and if Connor Bazelak is playing well, could reasonably have success. I am throwing my hands up on this one, but gun to my head, I think Rutgers gets it done.
RMags’ Pick: Pass
Northwestern at Maryland (-14): O/U 51.5 (2:30pm CST)
This will be another game that probably won’t have too many eyes on it, but could at least have some offensive fireworks on one side, if not both.
Maryland’s offense has been very strong this season, scoring at least 27 points in all seven of their games and the case could actually be made that if a few bounces had gone their way, may be 6-1 or even 7-0. Their loss at Michigan opened with a botched kick return, followed by an immediate Wolverine touchdown, they would go on to lose that game by seven and gave Michigan their biggest test to date.
I completely expect Maryland to win this game, but their own defense has been shaky at times, and you could reasonably expect a Northwestern team off of a bye to have some relative offensive success as well. I will pass on this, but do lean toward the over, however anyone that is trying to play this game will have to keep an eye out for the quarterback injury report for both teams with both starters currently listed as questionable.
RMags’ Pick: Pass
Purdue at Wisconsin (-2.5): O/U 51 (2:30pm CST)
Now it’s time to get into the good stuff. I will be honest, I am genuinely concerned and puzzled to see this 5-2 Purdue team listed as an underdog to a vastly underachieving Wisconsin team. Normally this would trigger my radars for a trap spot as the public rushes to the team with the superior public perception, but in this rare case, I am calling hot BS on this line and am riding with my strong feelings that I have had towards this Boilermaker squad.
The concerns would be a Wisconsin team in a bounce back spot, heading home for what you would maybe consider a bit of a last stand on the season, in addition to a giant win streak over this Purdue program, dating back nearly 20 years. That twenty year stretch saw a lot of bad Purdue teams, along with a great stretch from Wisconsin, and I firmly believe that streak dies this weekend.
Offensively, Wisconsin has looked better these past two weeks overall, but I am truly not impressed after digging in deeper. The Badgers scored only 21 regulation points last week against a brutal Michigan State pass defense, and beat the doors off of a bad Northwestern team in the game prior.
Something that had been largely absent for Wisconsin’s offense was their rushing attack across the first five games of the season, but that was drastically improved in both of the two recent games against Northwestern and Michigan State with solid outings in both from Braelon Allen. This seems to be a reason for any positive belief in the Badgers, but this Purdue rush defense does not get enough respect and is head and shoulders better than those two previous opponents. The Boilermakers rank 28th in yards per carry allowed, and if that holds up on the road tomorrow, Purdue should have no problem outscoring this mediocre Badgers offense.
I am taking a stance and believing in this Purdue team on Saturday. If they win this, they will potentially setup a November 12th matchup at Illinois to be a winner take all for the Big Ten West. I do not see the Boilermakers faltering this week. Give me a 23-17 victory.
RMags’ Pick: Purdue ML
Minnesota at Penn State (-5): O/U 44.5 (6:30pm CST)
The nightcap out of the Big Ten pits two winning programs against each other, both looking for a bounce back in what stands as a massive setup for the rest of the season for either of these teams if they were to win. A win for Penn State sets up a massive game next week with Ohio State, and an upset win for Minnesota keeps their Big Ten West hopes alive with five unranked matchups remaining on the schedule.
I should mention that Penn State will be hosting their annual “White Out” in the stadium for this game, and if that’s all you need to back the Nittany Lions, then by all means take your swing. I for one, am at least very interested in taking the points with the underdog in this game, as I think this could be a really close and hard fought slugfest.
While Minnesota is currently reeling a bit, I do feel strongly that we will see a much more consistent performance from this offense, and I also have faith in their defense to keep the Gophers within range throughout this game. Of course, Penn State is looking to jump back into the win column after last week’s loss, but their is something to be said for college teams facing a bit of a hangover following an emotional loss in a massive game like last week.
I am not suggesting that Minnesota’s rush game has their way with Penn State to the degree that Michigan’s duo did last week, but it was an eye opening showing from that defense that could bleed into this matchup.
Looking back through Penn State’s schedule this season, up until last week’s Michigan game, this Nittany Lion rush defense really had not been tested, whether that’s because they faced weak rushing attacks, or because the team jumped out to a big lead over a small school, there really had not been any opportunities for exposure.
Entering this game, Penn State ranks 76th in yards per carry allowed and was dominated by Michigan’s now 7th ranking in that category offensively. Minnesota doesn’t have the two-headed monster like Michigan does, but Minnesota has a legitimate stud in Mohamed Ibrahim, who after an mid-season injury, appears to be getting healthier and healthier by the week. In last week’s loss to Illinois, the lone bright spot was Ibrahim who ran for 127 yards on 15 carries, including one touchdown scored. That Illinois rush defense now ranks fifth in the nation, allowing less than three yards per carry.
I really do not see any scenario where this Nittany Lion defense slows down Ibrahim, and that should cause this game to be a really tight contest. Give me the Golden Gophers and the points this time around, and don’t be surprised if we see an upset when it’s all said and done.
RMags’ Pick: Minnesota +5
Big Ten Week 8 Picks:
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