Maggiore’s Big 10 Football Picks – Week # 9: YTD 13-5
Back to back 3-0 weeks bring the record to 13-5 on plays for the year. The opinion picks drop to 7-4-1 after a loss and a push last weekend. I feel the lines are tight in the Big Ten this week, so tread lightly.
Play of the Week
Nebraska (-2) over Michigan
This is a tale of home field advantage. Michigan and Nebraska are two totally different teams depending on where they play. The Wolverines are 1-2 on the road but 4-0 in the Big House. The Huskers have an identical home/road split. Nebraska has struggled to stop the run against spread teams, but those teams have also had passing games. I don’t think Michigan has a passing game. Denard Robinson appears to have regressed throwing the ball, and I believe Nebraska can commit extra guys to stop the running game and force Robinson to throw. I think the Red Sea in Lincoln becomes a big factor and Taylor Martinez and the Nebraska offense finds a way to win this game. This will be a two unit play on the Huskers and -2 or better.
Northwestern (-5.5) over Iowa
This is more of a play against Iowa than it is for Northwestern. The offense that Iowa has put on the field has just been bad. The Hawkeyes are hovering right around #100 in both scoring offense and total offense. The Wildcats have not been great defensively, but they are good enough to keep Iowa in check. Iowa’s defense has been pretty good, but Northwestern’s offense is better. I look for the Wildcats to grind out some long drives and win this game by at least a TD. This is a one unit play on Northwestern.
Wisconsin (-6) over Michigan State
It appears that Wisconsin has figured it out. The running game is now going and the Badgers are playing with confidence. On the other side, the Michigan State offense is just bad. The Spartans rank in the bottom 15 in the nation in points per game. The MSU defense has been great, but with Montee Ball pounding at them all day and the offense not scoring enough will wear them down. The Badgers win this one in a 21-10 type game. I will have 1 unit on Wisconsin.
Wisconsin/Michigan State under 41
Ohio State (-1) over Penn State