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OTE Staff Picks: Week 6

Purdue getting their first win and Northwestern upsetting Wisconsin? BAH GAWD THAT'S C.E. BELL'S MUSIC!

Caption contest. This needs to be a caption contest.
Caption contest. This needs to be a caption contest.
Eric Francis

It's that time of the week again! We've got a healthy contingent of OTE pickers, choosing the entire Big Ten slate. Be sure to give us yours in the comments!

Purdue at Illinois (-11, O/U 48) || 11am, ESPN2

Straight-up: Illinois, 7-2 || Against the Spread: Illinois, 5-4 || Over/Under (if offered): Under, 4-0

DJ Carver: Illinois wins, Purdue covers (I'm going to regret this, but Illinois can't have nice things and Purdue is Purdue, what do you do?)

Andrew Kraszewski: Uhhhhh Illinois, points I guess

Aaron Yorke: You guys might wish you were in synagogue with me while this one is on. Should be competitive, though. Purdue! 24-21

Ray Ransom: ILLIN 24, PURD 10

Jesse Collins: Illinois is winning this game, but if Wes Lunt can't start, Purdue is covering. The Boilers showed just enough against Iowa to convince me their defense isn't a complete tire-fire, and Illinois' offensive line needs some work. With Lunt, I'm going Illinois 31- Purdue 13. Without Lunt, I'm going Illinois 24 - Purdue 17 [ed. note: I'm taking the first response received. Jesse predicts Illinois to cover. Suck it, Jesse. --MNW]

MNWildcat: Purdue looked, before the season started, to have a shot to end their B1G drought against Illinois. Now Hammer and Rails is calling for Purdue to leave the Big Ten, the Boilermakers have shown next to no life on offense, and neither Appleby nor Etling have enough firepower to ​squeak past the Illini. Congrats, Illinois, you're the tallest midget again. Illini, 31-14.

babaoreally: Illinois by 14

C.E. Bell: Give me the Boilermakers. Nice things and all (which Illinois can't have), plus as bad as Purdue has been, I can't see them going two full seasons without a B1G victory. Time to fire up another hot seat in the B1G, and this time, it's Beckman's.

Mike Jones: Yikes. This is probably the worst game of the year so far. Too bad Purdue and Michigan don't play at some point. Illinois can at least move the ball. Purdue can't. I'll take the Illini to cover.

#20 Ohio State at Maryland (OTE line: -10) || 11am, ABC

SU: OSU, 9-0 || ATS: OSU, 5-3 || O/U: N/A

DJ: OSU wins and covers (I guess? We'll go with -10 as the line unless updated)

AK: OSU to cover

AY: Don't know who Maryland quarterback is, and J.T. Barrett has looked good since the Tech game. OSU 31-24

RR: OSU 27, MD 24

JC: Ohio State with both the win and cover. I was thinking maybe the Terrapins could do something special against the Buckeyes, but then I looked up their defensive stats and, well, no... Ohio State 45 - Maryland 24

MNW: Let's not be so hasty, Jesse. Maryland held the mighty mighty Hoosier offense to a measly 15 points. Doesn't that mean anything to you? Ohio State did allow Gunner Kiel to throw for 350+ and 4 scores...but CJ Brown [insert Maryland QB here] is not (future Wisconsin quarterback) Gunner Kiel. Buckeyes, 41-20.

baba: Ohio St by 20

C.E. Bell: I think the Buckeyes are settling into their joyless march towards Indianapolis (with only MSU as an obstacle), and there will be PLENTY of Ohio State fans in Maryland, making this a de facto home game for OSU.

MJ: Ohio State gives up 35 points, scores 42 or something. Give me Ohio State to barely cover.

North Texas at Indiana (-14, O/U 62) || 1:30pm, BTN

SU: Indiana, 9-0 || ATS: Indiana, 6-2 || O/U: 2-2

DJ: Indiana wins and covers

AK: IU to cover (this feels dumb)

AY: The Hoosiers have been a coin flip so far, but the Mean Green got crushed by Texas. IU 38-17

RR: NT 14, IU 35

JC: Indiana I know nothing about North Texas. Let's just assume they aren't as good as Indiana. Indiana 41 - North Texas 28

MNW: I wish North Texas' mascot was a Western Kentucky-esque amorphous green blob. Hoosiers, 40-27.

baba: Indiana by 17

C.E. Bell: I have no freaking clue on the Hoosiers, but I suppose they win this one.

MJ: Oh, hello, Dan McCarney. The Mean Green are 2-2 with losses to (allegedly) decent teams Texas and Louisiana Tech and they just put up 77 points on Nichols last week. I think Indiana squeaks one out but won't cover.

#17 Wisconsin (-9, O/U 48) at Northwestern || 2:30pm, ESPN2

SU: Wisconsin, 8-1 || ATS: Wisconsin, 6-3 || O/U/P(!): U/P split, 1-2-2

DJ: Wisconsin wins and covers

AK: Wisco, points

AY: If the Cats can slow down the Wisconsin running game, they for sure have a shot. Wisconsin 21-20

RR: WI 33, NW 13

JC: Wisconsin This game seems like a slam dunk for the Badgers. Northwestern showed life, but PSU doesn't exactly have an OL. Wisconsin does. Wisconsin 35 - NW 20

MNW: Northwestern needs to employ the same offensive strategy this week: just like they kept Christian Hackenberg off the field, they need to keep Melvin Gordon on the sidelines. Unfortunately, when Gordon gets on the field he runs behind a competent offensive line, not two scarecrows, a parking cone, and Hall and Oates. Northwestern keeps it close early and fades when its thin defensive line can't get off the field on a big third down before the half. Badgers, 31-17.

baba: Wisconsin by 16

C.E. Bell: My brain says Wisconsin wins by 2 TDs.....but fuck that noise. Northwestern jumps out early just like they did at PSU (note: Wisconsin's slow first halves versus Western Illinois and USF), and then the surprisingly sure-tackling and excellent Wildcat run defense does enough to hold on and force Wisconsin to throw late -- the one thing they are poorly equipped to do. Northwestern 28 - Wisconsin 20.

MJ: Wisconsin, Chicago's Big Ten Team for this week. Bucky covers.

Michigan at Rutgers (-3, O/U 47) || 6pm, BTN

SU: Rutgers, 8-1 || ATS: Rutgers, 8-1 || O/U: U, 3-1

DJ: Rutgers wins and covers

AK: Rutgers straight

AY: The line suggests these teams are even. I'd say that's generous to Michigan. RU 24-10

RR: MI 17, RU 24

JC: Michigan This is less a belief that Michigan is specifically better than Rutgers and more a belief that when your back is against the wall, weird things happen. Michigan is still the better team athletically, and while that doesn't win games, it can tip the scales in  your favor. Michigan 23 - Rutgers 21

MNW: Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee / freeeee fallllllinnnnnnnnnn Rutgers, 21-17.

baba: Rutgers by 13

C.E. Bell: I'm not sure I've seen anything fall apart as fast as the Hoke tenure at Michigan. Rutgers wins, in something I would have called an upset preseason.

MJ: OH GOD MY EYES. OH GOD. Rutgers by a TD.

#19 Nebraska at #11 Michigan State (-8, O/U 58) || 7pm, ABC

SU: MSU, 8-1 || ATS: MSU, 6-3 || O/U/P: U, 2-1-1

[ed. note: I seriously wound up calling two pushes today. It was a total accident. I can only apologize. --MNW]

DJ: MSU wins and covers

AK: MSU to cover

AY: Abdullah will be humbled, and I'm not sold enough on Nebraska's quarterback play. MSU 27-13

RR: NE 17, MSU 31

JC: MSU - Nebraska covers this spread, but being on the road against a team I will admit looks better on paper right now is tough. I'm curious what the O/U is on this game. Anyhow, MSU 34 - Nebraska 28.

MNW: Fuck it, I'm going for it. Ameer Abdullah both bolsters and damages his Heisman campaign (I can hear it now: "Michigan State couldn't have been thatgood, then, if they lost at home to Nebraska") with a big day on the ground. This one comes right down to the finish, and a hitherto surprisingly efficient Nebraska pass defense (#17 overall in pass efficiency defense) finds a way to pick off Connor Cook late. When I get this wrong, a fatwa is issued against me for somehow insulting the entire world with one harmless pick. Nebraska, 30-28.

baba: Mich St by 17

C.E. Bell: This is the best game in the entire B1G all season. It comes down to Nebraska trying to drive to win, and the MSU defense holding strong in front of a delirious Sparty crowd.  Also: Dantonio goes for some special teams trickery (he ALWAYS does this in big night games). MSU 24 - Nebraska 20.

MJ: Team Meteor has my vote. I'll go with Michigan State by 10.

OTE Staff Standings:

Head to Head Standings Against The Spread Standings
Rank Picker H2H Rank Picker ATS
1 MNW 78.13% 1 Graham 59.38%
2 Aaron Y 75.00% 1 Jesse 59.38%
2 Andrew 75.00% 2 Mike 57.89%
2 DJ Carver 75.00% 3 Aaron Y 56.25%
2 Jesse 75.00% 3 Andrew 56.25%
3 Mike 73.68% 4 MNW 50.00%
4 Graham 68.75% 4 DJ Carver 50.00%
5 Ray Ransom 63.16% 5 Ray Ransom 47.37%
6 KC_H 56.52% 6 GF3 40.91%
7 GF3 54.55% 7 KC_H 30.43%

Naturally, I show my outstanding picking abilities by opening up a two (right?) pick lead on the field. Our Fearless Leader, Herr Filler, along with Jesse Collins, leads the ATS picks standings. KC_H and GF3 are quickly distinguishing themselves in both categories, though GF3 still scores points for the VT-over-OSU upset pick. Be sure to mock them, nonetheless.