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OTE Picks, Week 12

Breaking down all the Big Ten action and calling the games!

Zeke and the Buckeyes look to solidify their spot in the playoffs against Michigan State.
Zeke and the Buckeyes look to solidify their spot in the playoffs against Michigan State.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

A late edition of picks this week. Let's say that I'm blaming Andrew Kraszewski for it, because that asshole didn't fill out the spreadsheet like he was supposed to. Yeah. Definitely AK's fault.

As usual, all games Saturday and all times CST, you heathens. Is there going to be snow on the ground for your team's football game? There should be.


Rutgers (-5) at Army || CBSSN

SU: Rutgers, 13-5

ATS: PUSH, 9-9

Thumpasaurus: Rutgers is better than Army but won't cover unless Carroo is 100%

87townie: Army is a scrappy team that gave a good PSU front seven fits. They were within a touchdown of winning in all but three games this year. I'm glad Leonte Carroo is back, but he can't help if he isn't on the field. And Army's offense will keep him on the bench. This game is a huge shocker for RU.

Candystripes for Breakfast: Rutgers has kinda struggled this year, but they're still playing the weakest of the 3 service academies. Knights get the win and cover.

alnamiasIV: Before the Nebby game last week, I thought RU had a chance to pull off three wins and bowl eligibility. Nebby ended that and RU isn't playing for much. Can 3-7 RU beat 2-8 Army?  Yes, RU wins and covers while the nation yawns.

GoForThree: What's that you say? The Army team's the pride and dream of ev'ry heart in gray? The Army line you'll ever find a terror in the fray? Fine, perhaps the Sons of Mars & Thunder haven't exactly had the best season. This is the rebuilding year to end all rebuilding years for the Pride & Dream. It's also safe to say that Ahmad Bradshaw won't turn out to be the Keenan Reynolds I'd hoped he'd be. Truth be told, Rutgers should win this easily. Army's secondary makes MSU's cover men look like the Berlin Wall. If Caroo can even limp down the field, Army should lose handily. hell with all that. You dance with the one who brung ya. Army's triple option pounds and pounds and pounds Buttgers, with Matt Giachinta bruising for 5 yards per carry inside the tackles while Aaron Kemper and Bradshaw get 5-yard chunks on the option pitch or keep, respectively.  On, brave old Army team! The spirit of Pete Dawkins compels you!

MNWildcat: The dream of bowling is dead for the Scarlet Knights, who have allowed 4.5 ypc and a whopping 25 rushing TDs. That's...not a recipe for stopping Army. With Rutgers' propensity for comebacks and Army's ability to blow just about any game imaginable, I think the Scarlets find a way to beat, wait, that came out wrong. I should stop now. Rutgers, 38-35.

Ray Ransom: So far, Rutgers has been pretty good at beating teams that aren't good and pretty good at losing to teams that are good. Army, while a wonderful institution and a team I'm proud to have Rutgers play frequently, is not very good at football this year. They will give teams fits because of their unique nature, but this version of the Knights from New York don't have the ponies to keep up. RU's defensive philosophy under Flood is to stop the run, then stop the run and then stop the run. It works against option teams and that's about it. I love Army, but this one is Rutgers by a mile.

Aaron Yorke: It's easy to make fun of the Scarlet Knights after a brutal four-game stretch, but they've taken care of the bad teams on the schedule. RU 28, Army 14

Andrew Kraszewski: Sure, I'll take Rutgers to cover. There aren't many games in which they have a talent edge, but they tend to take care of business when they do.

Thomas Speth: Too drunk for commentary. Rutgers wins and covers.

Creighton M: At first I picked Army for the upset, but man I just don't see it. Rutgers will take care of business and cover.

Stewmonkey13: I'm middling this, because if Carroo is healthy this could be a route, but man, Buttgers is so bad, I could see this being a dog fight if Carroo is limited.

Purdue at #5 Iowa (-21) || ESPN2

SU: Iowa, 18-0

ATS: Iowa, 14-4

Thump: Iowa has an offense. Sorry Purdue

townie: This line is excessive for this game. Iowa could be looking past Purdue to Nebraska or even the CCG. I think Purdue scares the hell out of the Hawkeyes. Iowa wins but doesn't cover.

CfB: The Boilers become yet another sacrifice on the altar of AIRBHG. Iowa rolls.

alnamiasIV: Minnesota put together the blueprint to beat Iowa's D that every team will use going forward.  Problem is Purdue doesn't have the personnel to run it. And the No. 37 rushing O in the country (YPC) will run over the No. 114 rushing defense. Old Kirk comes back for this win and does what he has to do to win. Iowa wins, doesn't cover.

GF3:  Pack up that harbor and hit the road, Purdue. You can beat #5-but-really-#28 Iowa. You have it in you. Probably. Maybe. No. Iowa wins and covers. Fap level 11 ensues.

MNW: Purdue has mastered the three-and-out, and while I think David Blough does more damage to the Hawkeyes than he did the Wildcats, I can't see the Iowa defense getting shredded by the Boilermakers. You'll inexplicably get another shot at YMHR next year, Darrell Hazell. Iowa, 42-17.

RR: Iowans complain that their team is underrated, but the narrative is changing. A 21 point spread is big boy territory and now the Hawkeyes need to walk the walk. Fortunately, they will walk the walk all over poor Purdue.

AY: When your schedule is as bland as Iowa's, there are no trap games, right? Just kidding. I don't believe in the trap game narrative. I do believe that the boring old Hawkeyes have scored at least 29 points in every game since the Wisconsin slugfest. That's a fact, Jack.

AK: All aboard the Hawkeye train. Biggest intrigue en route to the Iowa cover is some star player getting hurt while playing late in a blowout, or something along those lines. Won't name names because I don't want to be held personally responsible.

TS: Purdue, if you win this game I will buy Purdue apparel. That being said, I'm fairly sure that my only black and gold clothing will continue to UW-Oshkosh clothing. Iowa wins, Purdue covers.

CM: Kirk's second-half conservatism and focus on killing the clock when he's got a decent lead might have let Purdue beat the spread, but to do that they'd have to get the ball back from the 4 Deadly Horsemen.

Stew:  It's going to be cold, snowy, and windy, which means lots of running, and Purdue will have no answer for Canzeri/Daniels/Wadley.  Iowa wins comfortably.

Indiana at Maryland (-2.5) || BTN

SU: Indiana, 17-1

ATS: Indiana, 17-1

Thump: Indiana will put up a hilarious amount of points in a cathartic game

townie: Wait...the Terps are favorites here? Really? Ha ha ha ha ha...Indiana runs all over them like a Suburban over a turtle.

CfB: As has been pointed out by everyone else before me, Maryland is favored in this game? Sure, they have the bump of being the home team, so Vegas really thinks this is closer to pick'em on a neutral site, but that spread should make a bunch of people in the Hoosiers locker room pretty pissed off. IU springs the "upset".

alnamiasIV: Indiana makes a step toward bowl eligibility while Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes tur n over in their graves from the lack of defense in this one. IU wins 42-28.

GF3: This is the week Indy gets it done.

MNW: You're going bowling, Indiana. I _need_ an Indiana-Bowling Green matchup in the Quick Lane Bowl. 1200 combined yards, 4 OTs, and a 68-66 finish. Please. Make this happen. Hoosiers, 45-35.

RR: This spread is insane. The Hoosiers are going to score like a basketball team while Maryland scores like a hockey team...draped in a magic eye poster.

AY: Maryland has been a great ATS pick this season, but as a favorite? That's territory that's been uncharted since September. The Hoosiers have similarly done a great job of hanging in there with the big boys when Nate Sudfeld is under center. This will be a close one, so we'll go with the points. And Indiana will win outright as well. IU 41, MD 38

AK: Hoosiers straight up. Maryland's home field edge is nonexistent and Indiana is the better team. Win this one and give the Bucket a little meaning, IU.

TS: I feel like Vegas just doesn't give a fuck after Holm knocked out Rousey and they lost their asses. Only explanation for Maryland being favored. Indiana straight up.

CM: Whoever set the Terps at -2.5 is wither way smarter or way dumber than I am, because I don't get it. Indy will win comfortably.

Stew: A team that can't pass vs. a team that can't defend the pass.  I think IN handles MD.

Illinois at Minnesota (-5) || ESPNN

SU: Minnesota, 15-3

ATS: Minnesota, 10-8

Thump: Illinois will win a game with more total incompletions than total points.

townie: I think this is the game Minnesota's been building up to. Big break out day for its offense. Wes Lunt throws three picks. Goophers roll.

CfB: I have more faith in the Gophers right now than I do the Illini. Simple as that. Gophers win and cover.

alnamiasIV: Two reasonably tough Ds. One program has just hired the right coach. The other one is hanging on to an interim coach. Minny wins by a field goal.

GF3: Minnesota's defense has unfortunately vanished. This is looking like a repeat of last year, with Minnesota favored, and then stumbling. I hate to say but I think Ferguson has a big game and Tracey Claeys opens 0-3 as Minnesota's coach.

MNW: Minnesota's offense has woken up, and Penn State showed that even a really shitty quarterback can have a big day against the Illini defense. YOLOeidner goes for 3 TDs and runs another in, and the Gophers keep the dream alive. Minnesota, 31-27.

RR: Minnesota has some feel goods with the new/old guy at the helm. The feel goods keep on rolling against the Illini.

AY: Both of these teams have schedules that are surprisingly tough thanks to brutal crossover games. Minnesota get the nod due to its increasingly competent passing game. MN 27, IL 17

CM: Gophers have improved week to week, Illini have been getting worse. No nice things for Illinois this week.

Stew: MN has looked like a different team under Claeys.  They win here setting up a showdown for bowl eligibility in the Axe game (for MN) and Hat game (for IL).

#12 Michigan (-4) at Penn State || ABC

SU: Michigan, 14-4

ATS: Michigan, 13-5

Thump: Michigan at Penn State will come down to which coach does a dumb thing late in the game. I'll take Franklin to be that coach. PSU covers, UM wins.

townie: White Out. Loud Stadium. Angry Harbaugh. Saquon Barkley and Christian Hackenberg have their biggest games of the year. We Are!

CfB: I think we may have annoyed the Fighting Harbaughs something fierce. Sorry, Lions. Michigan wins and covers.

alnamiasIV: UM beats PSU by two scores.

GF3: The mitten weasels have this one in the bag. YOLOhack will go into hiberation. Michigan wins and covers.

MNW: If Northwestern made Hackenberg look mediocre-to-awful, what will the blue'n'piss skunks do to him? I hope he's got good insurance. Michigan, 30-13.

RR: Fuck Michigan. Fuck Penn State. I hope this ends in a 0-0 tie with both teams given the death sentence for being crapshacks. Khakis win. Fuckin Khakis...

AY: Michigan nearly lost its last two road games. The Lions only struggle against mobile quarterbacks. Hackenberg looked decent in his last two home games. Yep, I talked myself into it. PSU 17, Michigan 14

AK: Rudock & Co come crashing back to earth against a defense that poses more of a challenge than empty air. Nassib has a field day to continue his Hendricks Award campaign and the Nits spring the upset.


CM: This will be a quarterback duel for the ages (according to every color analyst who has covered one of these teams this year). Basically Joe Montana vs Johnny Unitas. Is an over/under of One Gazillion possible? Seriously though, Michigan wins easily.

Stew: Think this is going to be pretty low scoring, but MI's special teams gives them some short fields setting up easy MI scores.


#20 Northwestern at #25 Wisconsin (-11) || BTN

SU: Wisconsin, 13-5

ATS: Northwestern, 13-5


townie: I'm surprised Wisconsin is this big a favorite. I think NU pulls the upset here. I think the Wildcat's D comes up big and NU wins by a field goal.

CfB: It seems like the Purple Cats have some sort of mystique over the Badgers. That said, Wisconsin is still mostl y doing Wisconsin things this year. UW wins, NW covers.

alnamiasIV: The last time NU won in Madison: 2000. Total combined scores of the four games since then: NU: 50 UW: 170. This time NU keeps it close and covers, but UW wins. UW: 24 NU: 20

GF3: Corey Clement? Wisconsin wins and covers. No Corey Clement? Wisconsin wins, doesn't cover. Since the guy's entire lower body is made of glass and cotton balls, I'll go with the latter.

MNW: Joel Stave is trash. Corey Clement is glass. Alex Erickson is a poor man's Jared Abbrederis. Northwestern wakes the echoes of 2000 as Clayton Thorson runs wild on the Badger defense. I will brook no argument to the contrary. Wildcats, 24-17.

RR: Northwestern's defense will carry the day, but Wisconsin's run game will keep it close to the last drive. This one gets decided by a late field goal, with the Purps winning the day.

AY: Wisconsin has been quietly been taking care of business since the Iowa loss, so I think they get the win at home. However, the spread is too disrespectful to a Northwestern team that has recovered nicely from back-to-back October blowouts. UW 16, NU 13

AK: Meowtarps cover in a horrendously boring, low-scoring game. Speth will drink, probably.

TS: I see this game is in Madison. Knowing that, Wisconsin wins and covers.

CM: Wisconsin will get revenge for last year, but I don't think they have the offensive weapons (Clement aside) to beat a double-digit spread.

Stew: WI wins this pretty easily with Clement, but I kinda doubt he's 100%.  jNW's defense is still good enough to keep it close.

#9 Michigan State at #3 Ohio State (-13) || ABC

SU: Ohio State, 15-3

ATS: Michigan State, 10-8

Thump: Despite having issues on defense, MSU is still a good team, and Connor Cook is supposed to play. OSU wins a shootout but the Spartans cover.

townie: This is the one we've all been waiting for. Can MSU overcome its loss to Nebraska? Can Zeke run against a dominant defense? I think OSU wins, but can't cover the spread. Call it 24-21 in favor of OSU.

CfB: The biggest game of the week somehow has the second biggest spread as well. I'm not totally sure that those things aren't related. Buckeyes win, Spartans cover.

alnamiasIV:  Is Cook healthy? Doesn't matter. OSU wins, covers.

GF3: Call me the eternal pessimist, but I think Connor Cook will be healthy and he'll pick on Eli Apple all night long, and then really make hay when Chris Ash puts Darron Lee in coverage against a speedy back. Chase Farris will continue having his balls handed to him in a brown paper bag by every single DE he faces. OSU will get nothing out of the tight ends because Vannett will have to stay home to help provide some semblance of pass protection. This is the game where Barrett's fuck-up comes home to roost. Two weeks of running the offense isn't much tune-up with a defense made up of shoulder-chips. OSU loses.

MNW: I see your reverse-jinx, GoForThree. Buckeyes, 34-31.

RR: This is the one where Michigan State gets exposed as a good team masquerading as a great team. Ohio State gets a big boost to their playoff resume with a huge win.

AY: After a close call in Bloomington, Ohio State has reasserted itself as the dominant team in the Big Ten. The Spartans meanwhile, have been locked in tight battles all season long. If they want to win the big game on Saturday, it's going to take their best effort of the season. That's a tough order to fulfill when playing in the Horseshoe. OSU 31, MSU 23

AK: I'm throwing down the Taco Bell-Mountain Dew Baja Grande Caliente Upset Full Homersparty Blast and taking MSU for the win. Yeah, I said it. If we're ever going to see a great game from MSU this season, this, presumably, will be it, and I'm really holding out hope that all those injuries mean we haven't seen this team's full potential yet. Yes, OSU is hella talented. I choose to believe Joey Bosa and Darron Lee will go on a Dukes of Hazzard-style flight from the authorities and get suspended or something similar. FULL HOMERSPARTY MSU 45 OSU 42

TS: OSU wins and covers. Urban decides that they should pull their shit together right about now.

CM: The thirteen point spread is pretty hilarious when you consider how much hype this game was getting before either team even took the field in August. Buckeyes will win, but Dantonio is too much of an evil genius (emphasis on evil) to go away quietly.

Stew: MSU hangs around for a quarter and half, but just can't keep up as OSU abuses MSU's defense.  OSU pulls away for their first really impressive win.


Last Week

Lots of chalk helped the usual suspects stay on top, but the spread was not kind to several of us.


Stew extended his lead over most of the pack, moving to an impressive 84-14 on the year. AK has moved ahead of me by somehow avoiding two losses. I'm not sure how that works, but I'm a little upset. I think.

Against the Spread

babaoreally seized on an awful week from 87townie, vaulting into the lead, which he holds narrowly over Aaron Yorke.


Thanks as always to InsertName for compiling the picks! Check out all the graphics here. Be sure and vote in the poll and let us know your picks in the comments!