Big Ten football: Game-by-game predictions for Week 6
The Big Ten football season is in full swing now, and there are some exciting conference games coming up this weekend.
Here are my Week 6 Big Ten football picks.
Spread: Neb -3
Nebraska got itself back in the win column last weekend with a win over Indiana, a team that I put in the same category as Rutgers right now. The Cornhuskers dropped three of their first four this year, but have actually looked a bit better since firing Scott Frost and could still be in contention for a bowl bid right now. I think Rutgers and Greg Schiano have a good thing going, but two straight losses have me less confident in the Scarlet Knights’ ability to get the job done this weekend.
Spread: Michigan -22
What is there to say here? Michigan is the No. 4 team in the nation and is coming off of a win at Iowa a weekend ago. Sure, Indiana is 3-2 right now, but a two score loss to Nebraska last weekend has me questioning their status as a winning team. Michigan is going to win this one, and win big. That being said, Michigan’s offense has stuttered at times and its defense needs to clean a few things up before facing Penn State next weekend, and Indiana will probably score a few points in garbage time.
Spread: Maryland -3
If you told me Purdue at Maryland was the game to watch in the Big Ten before the season I would have laughed at you, yet… here we are. Both Purdue and Maryland are heading towards ranked status right now, with Purdue’s only two losses this year being against ranked teams and Maryland’s only loss coming at Michigan. The Terps are riding high off of a big win against Michigan State, meanwhile Purdue upset a ranked Minnesota that same weekend. This should be a good game, and overall I see it being anyone’s ball game. Sadly someone has to win this, and I am going with Maryland close.
Spread: Wisconsin -10
I for one think this game is going to be better than people expect. Northwestern is putrid this season, I know, but they upset Nebraska earlier this year and could do it again this weekend. Why? Last weekend, Wisconsin lost by 24 at home to Illinois, meanwhile Northwestern gave Penn State a game in State College. Granted, the Wildcats only played close due to the horrid weather (leftovers from Hurricane Ian), but it was still a hard-fought loss. Wisconsin will also be playing its first game without former head coach Paul Chryst (2015-22), and could be focused on other matters. To top things off, the game is at Northwestern, and the stars could be aligning. I am going to go out on a limb here and take the upset.
Spread: Ohio State -26.5
This is a game that Michigan State fans might want to skip this year. The Spartans are now 0-3 since beating two MAC programs to start the year, and have lost every game by double digits. On top of that, Michigan State’s only home loss of the year was a 34-7 embarrassment at the hands of Minnesota. On the flip side, Ohio State has been rolling through everyone on the schedule this year, and are a serious threat to the national title. This one is not going to be close and I don’t see that needing much explanation.
Spread: Illinois -3.5
The Hawkeyes are coming off of a 27-14 loss at the hands of Michigan, while Illinois is riding high off of a 34-10 win at Wisconsin. Sure, Wisconsin is bad and Michigan is good, but the records tell the real story here. Iowa’s offense has been horrible (and that is putting it lightly), and its defense was unable to keep Michigan’s ground game in check. If Iowa expects to beat Illinois, it will need to make far fewer mistakes and keep Illinois’ fantastic offense in check. This one should actually turn out to be one of the better games this week, and I like Illinois to win it.
Bye week teams
Both No. 10 Penn State (5-0) and Minnesota (4-1) have bye weeks this weekend. Both teams are still in the race for a Big Ten title berth and possibly more, though the Gophers just dropped one to Purdue.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change