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Cappin’ the B1G: Week 7 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

Ohio State v Rutgers Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Alrighty folks, we’re about halfway through the season and I had another positive week, going 7-5 overall despite not picking up any “units.” Overall I’m doing very well this year despite by disaster of an opening week but I’m going to keep it consistent and churn out a nice profit this year in this article unit-wise. I can feel it.

For those that haven’t read my article before (tsk, tsk), I predict the outcome of each game and then I “wager” between 0-5 units based on how confident I am in the specific outcomes.

To recap Week 6’s picks:

  1. Northwestern +14.5 (2 units) L
  2. Michigan State/Michigan UNDER 40.5 (2 units) W
  3. Nebraska +11.5 (2 units) L
  4. Penn State/Northwestern UNDER 53 (1 unit) W
  5. Purdue -4 (1 unit) W

Season so far:

  • Overall Record: 59-49 (54.6%)
  • Wagered Games Record: 34-28 (54.8%)
  • Season Units: +12

Go ahead and follow me on Twitter @tjurk44 and I’ll throw out some non-Big Ten bets that I really like this weekend or just ask me an opinion on any game you’d like. On to the winners!

(NOTE: Iowa & Penn State are on BYE this week)

Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Illinois Fighting Illini

  • Saturday October 14th, 12 PM EST
  • TV: BTN
  • Point Spread: Illinois -2.5
  • Total: 48

It’s time to find out just which team is the actual worst in the entire Big Ten as the East’s Rutgers Scarlet Knights travel to take on the West’s Illinois Fighting Illini. This is like the reverse version of the Big Ten Championship game and I’ll be watching it on my phone while sitting in Lincoln Financial Field visiting my brother at Temple and watching them take on UConn. Puke. Illinois actually looked ok last week versus Iowa before the wheels fell off in the second half as the Illini outgained Iowa 446-441 on offense. The weakness for Illinois lies in their defense where they have given up 47, 28, and 45 in their past three games. Rutgers is fresh off of a bye and boast only a win versus Morgan State so this is by far our best chance at grabbing a Big Ten win. Rutgers will have the better defense here but a QB must emerge and take reigns of this offense to put some points on the board. The good news is that Janarion Grant is back which opens up the door for Jawuan Harris to defense to help out a depleted secondary unit. This game feels like a coin flip and if the line hits Rutgers +3 or better, I will probably be betting my own money on it. For the purposes of this article I will take the Scarlet Knights and the under small.

  • Projected Score: Rutgers 23 – Illinois 21
  • Spread Pick: Rutgers +2.5 (1 unit)
  • Total Pick: UNDER 48 (1 unit)

Michigan Wolverines at Indiana Hoosiers

  • Saturday October 14th, 12 PM EST
  • TV: ABC
  • Point Spread: Michigan -7.5
  • Total: 47

Michigan had a case of déjà vu as they dropped their second consecutive game in the Big House to their “little brother’ in-state rival Michigan State Spartans in an ugly game last week. It’s time for Harbaugh to rally the troops now as they travel to Bloomington to take on a secretly good Indiana team. Michigan can still sneak into the College Football Playoff but it will take wins over Penn State, Ohio State, and Wisconsin. Gulp. Indiana has lost 21 straight games in this series and will be looking to shock the world on Saturday in front of the home crowd. The Michigan offense has to be at an all-time low confidence wise after committing five turnovers against Sparty last week. Indiana has a sneakily good defense so if they shut down the Michigan rushing attack it could be a long afternoon for the Wolverines unless their defense can set them up with some short fields. The Hoosiers have made a QB change to RS Freshman Peyton Ramsey who is a legitimate dual threat but he will have his hands full against the vaunted Michigan defense this Saturday. Indiana absolutely must do a better job of taking care of the football if they want to win this game as they come into this contest ranked 122nd in the country in turnover margin. Indiana has fared well in this matchup recently, losing by 10 last season and by 7 in double overtime in 2015. I think this is going to be another typical low scoring Michigan game and the line is just a bit too high for me although I would like Michigan at -6.5.

  • Projected Score: Michigan 24 – Indiana 14
  • Spread Pick: Michigan -7.5 (0 units)
  • Total Pick: UNDER 47 (2 units)

Purdue Boilermakers at Wisconsin Badgers

  • Saturday October 14th, 3:30 PM EST
  • TV: BTN
  • Point Spread: Wisconsin -17.5
  • Total: 51

Can anybody slow down the Badgers this season? Wisconsin has been destroying everyone in their path and they will welcome in a very solid Purdue team to Madison this Saturday. If you look closely at the Badgers schedule, the wins are over Utah St, FAU, BYU, Northwestern, and Nebraska which means Purdue might be the best team they have faced yet this season. Purdue is already over their season win total but take a big step up Saturday to face the Badgers. Wisconsin has a major edge in this game in both the running game and on defense so while the Boilermakers could keep this thing interesting in the first half, I have to say the upset won’t happen here but the line looks about right to me.

  • Projected Score: Purdue 17 – Wisconsin 35
  • Spread Pick: Wisconsin -17.5 (0 units)
  • Total Pick: OVER 51 (0 units)

Northwestern Wildcats at Maryland Terrapins

  • Saturday October 14th, 3:30 PM EST
  • TV: ESPN2
  • Point Spread: Northwestern -3.5
  • Total: 51.5

This weekend the Northwestern Wildcats head into College Park to take on the Terrapins in a battle of two teams who will be fighting tooth and nail to reach bowl eligibility this season. Northwestern is at an unexpected 2-3 and are all but out of the Big Ten West race already because they lost to Wisconsin. The Wildcats offense is absolutely awful and pretty much all of the blame can be placed on the offensive line. QB Clayton Thorson is a legitimate NFL prospect but it’s hard to throw the ball while lying on your back and RB Justin Jackson hasn’t been able to get going either behind an offensive line consisting of 5 traffic cones. The Maryland offense revolves around the rushing attack which is good news for a Northwestern stop unit that kept Penn State and Wisconsin in check on the ground. Terps QB Max Bortenschlager is questionable for this game but he’s looked more comfortable each game that goes by so I like the Terps to pull out a close one at home here.

  • Projected Score: Northwestern 23 – Maryland 24
  • Spread Pick: Maryland +3.5 (3 units)
  • Total Pick: UNDER 51.5 (0 units)

Ohio State Buckeyes at Nebraska Cornhuskers

  • Saturday October 14th, 7:30 PM EST
  • TV: Fox Sports 1
  • Point Spread: Ohio State -24
  • Total: 58.5

The Buckeyes will continue their revenge tour when they travel to Lincoln this Saturday to take on the Cornhuskers. Urban Meyer’s squad is running over everything in their path and their offense is firing on all cylinders by virtue of the rushing attack and JT Barrett doing just enough to put the points up in droves. The Buckeyes defense has allowed just 278, 264, 209, and 66 yards in the past four games and won’t have many issues against a woeful Nebraska offense. The Huskers were tied 17-17 with Wisconsin last week before everything fell apart and the Badgers ended up hanging a whopping 353 rushing yards on the blackshirt defense. Ohio State is going to filet the Huskers on the ground and we might witness a full-blown murder but I think the line is about right here so I’m laying off. I can’t lay this many points but at the same time I’m not going to go against this Ohio State team with how they’ve been playing lately.

  • Projected Score: Ohio State 40 – Nebraska 17
  • Spread Pick: Nebraska +24 (0 units)
  • Total Pick: UNDER 58.5 (0 units)

Michigan State Spartans at Minnesota Golden Gophers

  • Saturday October 14th, 8 PM EST
  • TV: BTN
  • Point Spread: Michigan State -4
  • Total: 40

SPARTY DID IT! Wow, they went into the Big House and did it AGAIN! This time even more convincingly as they didn’t need a miracle fake punt to pull it off. They can’t celebrate too much though as now Michigan State hits the road to take on the sneaky Golden Gophers. Michigan State has allowed more than 14 points just once all season and that was to a legitimate Notre Dame team. Michigan State has all of the sudden become a factor in the Big Ten East but still have some tough games ahead but they have shocked the world many times before. Minnesota’s defense has been great statistically albeit against very subpar competition. The Minnesota offense needs to get more improved play from their QB if they want to take a step up this season and make some noise. This isn’t an ideal situation for Michigan State coming off of a huge emotional win so I’m going to take the home team at night getting the points here for one unit.

  • Projected Score: Michigan State 21 – Minnesota 20
  • Spread Pick: Minnesota +4 (1 unit)
  • Total Pick: OVER 40 (0 units)

Weekly recap in order of units wagered:

  1. Maryland +3.5 (3 units)
  2. Michigan/Indiana UNDER 47 (2 units)
  3. Rutgers +2.5 (1 unit)
  4. Rutgers/Illinois UNDER 48 (1 unit)
  5. Minnesota +4 (1 unit)

Another quiet week unit wise but I think we will start bumping them up once I get a better read on how the conference is shaking out. Thanks for reading and see you here again next week!