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Cappin’ the B1G: Rutgers Football and Big Ten Week 13 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

NCAA Football: Penn State at Rutgers Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Last week we were a few points away from being damn close to a double digit unit week to bring us close to even for the season but alas we’re still down 15 units coming into the last week of the regular season. I will probably write an article about the Big Ten title game next week but for now lets focus on Week 13!

I was a little pressed for time this week due to traveling for holidays and such so the previews are a bit short. My apologies!

To recap Week 12:

  1. Wisconsin -28 (4 units) W
  2. Wisconsin/Purdue OVER 49 (3 units) W
  3. Ohio State -22 (3 units) L
  4. Iowa -10 (3 units) W
  5. Iowa/Illinois UNDER 44.5 (3 units) W
  6. Penn State/Rutgers OVER 57.5 (2 units) L
  7. Maryland +13 (1 unit) L
  8. Michigan -23.5 (1 unit) L
  9. Indiana/Michigan OVER 51.5 (1 unit) L
  10. Northwestern/Minnesota OVER 45.5 (1 unit) L

To recap the season:

  • Overall Record: 86-86-3
  • Wagered Games Record: 44-57-3
  • Season Units: -15

Time to finish strong! Been a fun season!

Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Maryland Terrapins

  • Saturday November 26th, 12 PM
  • TV: ESPN News
  • Point Spread: Maryland -14
  • Total: 51.5

I have to be honest and say that it’s really hard to get a grasp on how Rutgers will play on any given week. Some weeks we show signs of life and almost pull of a win and ultimately lose a close one or we come out completely flat and get blown out of the building. This week when we head into College Park, MD it seems as if we are facing a team that is reeling a bit in the Terrapins. Maryland enters this game scoring just 13 total points in their last 3 games. I don’t know what to expect here as it’s going to be a matter of Rutgers showing up mentally after a season of just getting destroyed by a brutal schedule. This reminds me of the Rutgers Maryland game last year when Maryland came to Piscataway without a conference win and ended up mounting a huge second half comeback to beat us. I’m gonna take Rutgers here and hope they show up and play spoiler on Maryland’s post season dreams.

  • Projected Score: Rutgers 17 – Maryland 14
  • Spread Pick: Rutgers +14 (2 units)
  • Total Pick: Under 51.5 (2 units)

Nebraska Cornhuskers at Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Friday November 25th, 3:30 PM
  • TV: ABC
  • Point Spread: Iowa -1
  • Total: 41.5

This one all boils down to whether or not Tommy Armstrong plays at QB for Nebraska. If Armstrong goes it will be a matchup of two veteran college QB’s facing off but if he doesn’t I have a hard time seeing Nebraska coming away with a win here. As of this writing, it looks like Armstrong will play but the problem for Nebraska will be whether they can shut down Iowa’s rushing attack. This is going to be a low scoring grind it out battle and I”ll side with the home team here.

  • Projected Score: Nebraska 17 – Iowa 20
  • Spread Pick: Iowa -1 (1 unit)
  • Total Pick: Under 41.5 (1 unit)

Purdue Boilermakers at Indiana Hoosiers

  • Saturday November 25th, 12 PM
  • TV: ESPNU
  • Point Spread: Indiana -20.5
  • Total: 63

Indiana, the king of the “almost upset” this season, is playing to become bowl eligible against the rival Purdue Boilermakers. Purdue limps into this one fresh off of six losses in a row including a 49-20 beatdown at the hands of Wisconsin last week. Indiana’s defense has been very solid this year and I think in this game they will force Purdue QB David Blough to throw multiple interceptions while the Hoosiers offense finds a good deal of success with their balanced attack.

  • Projected Score: Purdue 10 – Indiana 35
  • Spread Pick: Indiana -20.5 (1 unit)
  • Total: Under 63 (3 units)

Illinois Fighting Illini at Northwestern Wildcats

  • Saturday November 26th, 12 PM
  • TV: BTN
  • Point Spread: Northwestern -16
  • Total: 45.5

Northwestern is yet another team from the Big Ten seeking to get their sixth win to achieve bowl eligibility this weekend against their rival when they take on the Fighting Illini at home. In Lovie Smith’s first year at Illinois, the Fighting Illini had a decent first year considering expectations, grabbing 3 wins and having a couple other impressive showings in losses. The story in this game will be Northwestern RB Justin Jackson who absolutely steamrolled in Illini defense last season and he will look to do that again on Saturday. Illinois has the 11th ranked rushing defense in the Big Ten and have given up 30 rushing touchdowns so I think Jackson gets 3 of his own here en route to a big Wildcats win.

  • Projected Score: Illinois 14 – Northwestern 31
  • Spread Pick: Northwestern -16 (1 unit)
  • Total Pick: Under 45.5 (0 units)

Michigan Wolverines at Ohio State Buckeyes

  • Saturday November 26th, 12 PM
  • TV: ABC
  • Point Spread: Ohio State -6.5
  • Total: 45.5

In a contest simply known as “The Game”, these two teams will be playing for their playoff lives in what is sure to be one of if not the best game to watch on Saturday. Ohio State is on a sick 11-1 run against Michigan and have covered the spread in 7 out of the last 9 meetings including last year when the Buckeyes smoked Michigan 41-13 in the Big House. Urban Meyer hasn’t lost to Michigan in his Ohio State tenure and I want to take the 6.5 points and Michigan here but the QB situation has me worried and I’m sure there won’t be any information released as to who will play. This feels like a one score game to me so I’ll play Michigan for small potatoes.

  • Projected Score: Michigan 17 – Ohio State 21
  • Spread Pick: Michigan +6.5 (1 unit)
  • Total Pick: Under 45.5 (1 unit)

Michigan State Spartans at Penn State Nittany Lions

  • Saturday November 26th, 3:30 PM
  • TV: ESPN
  • Point Spread: Penn State -12
  • Total: 54.5

Wow. So for all the crap I talked about Penn State this season, here they are a win and a Michigan loss away from being in the Big Ten Title game with a legitimate shot at getting into the College Football Playoff. I for one wouldn’t mind seeing Penn State get in and then beaten by 60 by Alabama but I would much prefer Mark Dantonio pulls a rabbit out of his hat and disappoints the entirely of Beaver Stadium this Saturday. I have a feeling that after seeing how tough the Spartans played Ohio State last week, James Franklin’s team won’t be overlooking Michigan State at all this week. I’m hoping that by picking Penn State I’m jinxing the Nittany Lions and shatter their playoff dreams. Nittany Lions by 30!

  • Projected Score: Michigan State 10 – Penn State 40
  • Spread Pick: Penn State -12 (4 units)
  • Total Pick: Over 54.5 (2 units)

Minnesota Golden Gophers at Wisconsin Badgers

  • Saturday November 26th, 3:30 PM
  • TV: BTN
  • Point Spread: Wisconsin -14
  • Total: 44

Well for the Badgers the path to the Big Ten title game is very simple: beat Minnesota. If Wisconsin somehow loses to the Gophers this Saturday, it opens the door for Nebraska to get in with a win over Iowa so the Badgers are going to be extra hyped up for this one. Minnesota has eight wins so far this year but they haven’t beaten a single team with a winning record so it’s understandable that they are predicted to lose by two touchdowns on Saturday. Minnesota QB Mitch Leidner has one touchdown pass in his last six games so it will be tough for the Gophers to move the ball on Saturday against a very solid Wisconsin defense. If Minnesota can’t get Rodney Smith and their running game going, it’s going to be a long afternoon.

  • Projected Score: Minnesota 14 – Wisconsin 31
  • Spread Pick: Wisconsin -14 (1 unit)
  • Total Pick: Over 44 (0 units)

Weekly picks recap in order of units wagered:

  1. Penn State -12 (4 units)
  2. Purdue/Indiana UNDER 63 (3 units)
  3. Rutgers +14 (2 units)
  4. Rutgers/Maryland UNDER 51.5 (2 units)
  5. Michigan State/Penn State OVER 54.5 (2 units)
  6. Iowa -1 (1 unit)
  7. Nebraska/Iowa UNDER 41.5 (1 unit)
  8. Indiana -20.5 (1 unit)
  9. Northwestern -16 (1 unit)
  10. Michigan +6.5 (1 unit)
  11. Michigan/Ohio State UNDER 45.5 (1 unit)
  12. Wisconsin -14 (1 unit)

Well it’s been a fun season. I’m not going to go nuts in my last week in an attempt to get unstuck because I think that goes against the spirit of the article. I’m sure I will make a post about to Big Ten bowl games in a couple of weeks. Enjoy your holiday weekend!