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Week 4 Picks and Predictions

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Our staff picks all the Big Ten action in Week 4.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Notre Dame
“I wear khakis too, but no one ever pays attention to ME.”
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Picks and Predictions, Week 4-style. Break it down for us, Townie.

87townie: I can’t believe it’s already week four. I can feel this season speeding past me, like a long pass through Ted Ginn’s fingers. We do know more now than we did…but some teams are still enigma’s.

Once again, there are some lines that imply total ignorance on the part of the oddsmakers. Take Minnesota for example. They are sixteen point favorites against Colorado State. Hmm. Minnesota is okay, but I don’t think they are 16 points better than Colorado St. Unless the Rams are stoned, they’ll cover.

Even better, Purdue is favored by 4.5 against Nevada. Read that again. Purdue…is…favored?! I think this is a cruel joke, possibly paid for by anonymous boosters that want to see Hazell gone sooner, rather than later. What better way than to bribe the oddsmakers into favoring the Boilers, only to see them get slaughtered.

On the other hand, we have Iowa, which is less than a two -touchdown favorite over rutger. Ha ha ha ha hahahahahahahahahahaaaaahhhhhahahahaha. Lol Iowa. Maryland’s spread will be bigger than that.

In that same vein, we have Michigan favored by 18.5 over Penn State. Take the over. Penn State’s defense can’t stop water dripping with a bucket. Our defensive leader and linebacker Nyeem Whartman White is now out for the season. We’re starting kids from the practice squad now. It’ll be a massacre. Thankfully, it’ll be shown prime time on ESPN, so that’s great. /sobs quietly

Wake Forest against Indiana. Battle of the least interesting unbeaten in the country. Look, everyone knows that both teams will struggle to make bowl games this year…yawn. IU makes it to 3-0.

And last, but not least, how in the hell is Nebraska only favored by 7.5 points over the Nerds? Was that win against Duke so compelling then? Talk about a slap in the face. If Northwestern keeps this one within three touchdowns, I’ll be impressed. I’ll even go so far as to say, I expect Nebraska to keep them to 3 points or less. Final is going to be 24+ points for Nebby and 0-3 points for the nerds.

Minnesota (-16) vs. Colorado State

11am || ESPNU

SU: Minnesota, 18-0 || ATS: Minnesota, 10-8

Thumpasaurus: Minnesota covers. Colorado State sure has fallen mightily since Jim McElwain was hired away from Florida. Kapri Bibbs ain't walkin out of that locker room. Leidner has a ponderous day passing the ball.

Candystripes for Breakfast: It is still not yet time to believe in Minnesota. They win, but fail to cover.

WhiteSpeedReceiver: Shannon Brooks may be back, but we shouldn't need him. The nice thing is that Minnesota's next two opponents are State schools with shitty defenses before Iowa shows up, so we'll have plenty of opportunities to get him reps to round back into game shape.

Aaron Yorke: I'm not ready to let Minnesota cover a two-touchdown spread after their lackluster opener. They'll still beat a Colorado State squad that got spanked by their in-state rivals, though. Minnesota 20, Colorado State 13

Andrew Kraszewski: Big spread for a banged up Gopher offense, give me the Sheep laying the points.

Zuzu: Minnesota wins, has moderately easy time doing it. Or they won't have an easy time... I don't know.

Jesse Collins: Minnesota wins and because I remember watching Colorado murder CSU, I’m going with the cover.

AlNamiasIV: Minny wins, but it's closer than expected thus leaving the Gophers as the most confusing team heading into the conference slate.

Creighton M: Future First Round Draft Pick Mitch Leidner can only do so much in the face of Claeys’ horrible coaching. Gophers win, but don't cover.

StewMonkey13: MN goes up big, but CSU gets the backdoor cover after a couple late drives in garbage time.

GoForThree: CSU is not a good team. Minnesota isn't either. But Minnesota is probably less bad. So that's something.

MNW: I just do not believe in the Colorado State offense. And -16 means Minnesota could definitely do this 20-3 or something stupid. So let’s call it that.

Purdue (-4.5) vs. Nevada

11am || ESPNN

SU: Nevada, 10-8 || ATS: Nevada, 12-6

Thump: Nevada wins. Prove me wrong, Purdue; my sole consolation in the wake of the Western Michigan debacle has been knowing a program is in worse shape.

CfB: This might be the last gasp of competence we get from the Boilers this season. Cherish it. CHERISH IT. Purdue wins, fails to cover.

WSR: Purdue already got their win for the year. Just make sure kids are going to class and the new AD has an idea what kind of football coach he's looking for.

Aaron Yorke: Objectively speaking, this should be a three-point spread, but picking the Choo-Choos is more fun. Purdue 38, Nevada 31

AY: Not sure Purdoo should be favored by that many against anyone, but I'll take them to cover.

Zuzu: Purdue hopefully gets its statistically eventually win over "all our state has is a place with Casinos and wasted water."

JC: Nevada in this one. I believe Purdue can win this game, but not really. Sorry Boilers, this nightmare of a coaching era is almost finished.

Al: Purdue wins but barely in the final win of the Hazell era. If he does win this would he even have double digit wins to his credit over four years?

CM: Purdue Harbor isn't until November 19 this year, so they'll lose this one.

Stew: Nevada wins this thanks to many, many turnovers.

GF3: Nevada will give a bad, bad PU team more than they can handle. Pack your shit, Darrell.

MNW: It really, really sounds like Hazell is an asshat who’s lost the locker room. Or that both the Duke of TDs and Half-Off Appleby were self-centered douches. But it’s likely the former, right? Hell, why not both? Nevada, 35-31.

Rutgers vs. Iowa (-13.5)

11am || ESPN2

SU: Iowa, 17-1 || ATS: Iowa, 13-5

Thump: Iowa covers. Special teams make a big difference. Don't be fooled, North Dakota State would bury Rutgers.

CfB: This week, we find out if NDSU is worthy of being a Big Ten team by way of transitive scoring. Iowa wins and covers.

WSR: Iowa gon be maaaaaaaaaaaaaaad. I kinda wish this wasn't an 11 AM kickoff so I could watch the beating. It's going to be akin to an early Kimbo Slice fight vs. some homeless guy.

AY: I'm a little offended that this spread is smaller than Penn State vs. Michigan. Iowa will get its groove back. Iowa 34, Rutgers 10

AK: Now that Kirk Ferentz is playing an opponent he can be bothered to prep for, I expect Iowa to return to form and cover.

Zuzu: Rutgers because idgaf and homerism, but also because there's a lot of connection with Iowa on our team's staff. If they know the Hawkeyes... They can maybe take em down. (But if we win it'll mostly be because Iowa screws up.)

JC: Iowa is going to murder Rutgers because this is what a talented team does after a mindblowing loss.

Al: I only see two ways for this one to go. Iowa massacres RU and easily covers or last week was no aberration and Old Kirk is fully back and this is the beginning of a really long season. I'll bet on (and hope for) the former but I won't be shocked if it's the latter.

CM: After seeing the dreaded return of #OldKirk, I'm not super confident picking Iowa to win, let alone to win by 2 touchdowns. Kirka Cola Classic will call an ass of a game and Iowa will probably win by a field goal off of a Desmond King interception in the last minute.

Stew: I have to pick Iowa to cover because Rutgers is so very bad, but dear lord, if the team that showed up last Saturday is what we get this week, it will be far more uncomfortable than I would like.

GF3: Rutgers doesn't have a snowball's chance of beating Iowa. Even the Iowa that showed up last week.

MNW: Goodnight, rutger. Welcome to an ass-beating from an angry Iowa team. Hawkeyes, 30-6.

#8 Michigan State (-5.5) vs. #11 Wisconsin

11am || BTN

SU: Michigan State, 18-0 || ATS: Michigan State, 17-1

Thump: Michigan State covers, being the first P5 team with a coherent offense that Wisconsin will face. State does damage through the air. Wisconsin also does damage through the air (to themselves)

CfB: This game will either achieve B1G equilibrium, or cause much more chaos. I believe in equilibrium. Sparty wins and covers.

WSR: Michigan State smothers the run. wisconsin can't pass, and it's RBs are beat to hell. This one could get beautifully out of control. I think we should all just enjoy the body blows as they rain down on the badgers.

AY: I was wrong about Michigan State! Tyler O'Connor looked good against Notre Dame, and the Badgers might not have the firepower to keep up with him. Michigan State 20, Wisconsin 10

AK: In what is by far the best game BTN has ever covered at noon, I'll take Wisco to cover but the Spartans keep it rolling with the win.

Zuzu: Spartans win, but Wisconsin keeps the game entertaining and competitive, beats the spread and gives MSU and fans more than a few scares.

JC: I do not believe in Wisconsin simply ‘overlooked’ Georgia State. There are some real system issues on offense for the Badgers and simply saying, “QB issues bro” doesn’t instill a lot of confidence in me. Spartans with the win and cover.

Al: I don't fully believe in this Wisconsin and MSU does what MSU does. The Spartans win and cover.

CM: Sparty wins, neither team is worthy of a top-ten ranking.

Stew: Sparty going to beat up on WI.

GF3: Wisconsin suddenly realizes they're mortal, and that LSU was too. Sparty and Bucky combine for an eye-bleach boring affair.

MNW: The difference between this game and the Battle for the Microphone will be that Wisconsin can’t pass themselves back into the game to save their lives. Michigan State, 27-13.

#4 Michigan (-18.5) vs. Penn State

2:30pm || ABC

SU: Michigan, 18-0 || ATS: Michigan, 13-5

Thump: Michigan blows Penn State away. Harbaugh is likely pissed off about allowing points to be scored by Colorado and will do his best to prevent this from happening again.

CfB: After almost tripping at Colorado's feet, I expect the Fighting Harbaughs want to make a statement. RIP Penn State. Michigan wins and covers.

WSR: PSU's defense is in a very bad spot right now. Michigan could probably pick the score. Try to turtle and not lose any more players, PSU.

AY: The Lions are starting three reserve linebackers, so I'm thinking Jake Butt has a career day if the Penn State offense can push Michigan a little bit. Michigan 31, Penn State 20

AK: Coach Hype vs Hypebaugh in the Hype Bowl...can't have a September Heisman if the team isn't also rolling early on, so give me the skunkbears to cover on the back of another TD from Peppers.

Zuzu: Fighting Harbaughs beat the Fighting Franklins in the "my team was once super great, but isn't anymore and our fans still think it is" bowl.

JC: Michigan is going to smother the life out of Penn State. I’m not sure the Wolverines have a real offense, but that team is just so much better from a talent and coaching perspective that I don’t think 18.5 is high enough for me.

Al: You know, I have no real hatred for any team--not ISU, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minny--and in that respect I'm a lousy fan, but I'm really getting to dislike Penn State. Michigan wins and covers. Go Blue.

CM: In the battle of teams that have inexplicably been unable to have success against Kirk Ferentz, Michigan is the less overhyped. Wolverines will win big, and Franklin will use how loudly Michigan defenders were stomping their feet before the snap as his reason for the loss

Stew: I just think this one is going to get out of hand.

GF3: Franklin starts has campaign of B1G embarrassment. 82 points allowed in three games!

MNW: Add me to the list of #HATERZ. HARBAUGH, 31-10.

Indiana (-7.5) vs. Wake Forest

2:30pm || BTN

SU: Indiana, 17-1 || ATS: Indiana, 11-7

Thump: Indiana takes down mighty Wake Forest by at least two touchdowns. The Demon Deacons are one of the few football programs that inspire less long-term confidence than the Hoosiers.

CfB: I'm not gonna lie to ya, folks, I feel like that half point is there to discourage taking IU on this sort of wager. Oh well, YOLO. Hoosiers win and cover.

WSR: Um…Indiana?

AY: I just love that this is a battle of undefeated teams. I think Indiana has been tested harder, but this one should be close. Indiana 24, Wake Forest 20

AK: Wake me when it's over. The Deacs have, low-key, a defense which should be able to slow IU somewhat, and that's a considerable spread, so give me Wake to keep it close in a loss.

Zuzu: Please just win, Indiana. Do it for the B1G. I think Wake Forest will make it kind of hard though. Or they won't... I also don't know.

JC: Hey Indiana, go ahead and go 3-0… and while you’re at it, set up the Kevin Wilson to Oklahoma season you’ve been waiting for.

Al: IU wins and covers. After three games the IU defense is in the top half of the conference scoring defenses. Is the world ending? No, that streak ends next week.

CM: Good thing we anointed this our Game of the Week. Hoosiers will win 12-9 and finish the season 6-6. Yay football.

Stew: I really should pick IN to win and WF to cover, because #TeamChaos, but gonna take IN to show some offense here.

GF3: Wake is decent this year. Not good, but decent. Indiana is ripe to be picked off. Literally and figuratively.

MNW: I…I kinda believe in Indiana, you guys. Tell me this is stupid. Hoosiers, 29-14.

Northwestern vs. #20 Nebraska (-7.5)

6:30pm || BTN

SU: Nebraska, 16-2 || ATS: Nebraska, 12-6

Thump: Nebraska covers. Nate Gerry gets a pick. Thorson goes 6 for 27 as Justin Jackson only gets 60 carries; Mick McCall's seat gets so hot he can't even feel it anymore.

CfB: Enjoy your NU privileges, Northwestern; you won't have them much longer. Huskers win and cover.

WSR: I think Nebraska should win. Northwestern's not very good.

AY: Another good buy-low opportunity for Northwestern, who will still be very competitive this year despite the slow start. Nebraska 20, Northwestern 17

AK: BATTLE FOR NU: Last week hints at Nebraska's terrible luck from last year righting itself a bit, but I don't think they'll need it here. Huskers cover.

Zuzu: Nebraska wins and Northwestern fans spiral further into existential sadness and butlers all over Illinois and beyond are fired as Northwestern fans embrace a Bruce Wayne in the Dark Knight Rises existence.

JC: Remember that part about me not picking Nebraska games? I’M GOING TO KEEP NOT PICKING NEBRASKA GAMES. THIS GETS A SOLID NOPE.

Al: I'll note I was the only OTE "writer" to pick Nebby with more than 8 wins. Nebraska cruises easily beating the spread.

CM: Look, Northwestern is really bad, but Nebraska's marquee win is against an Oregon team that is way shittier than anyone seems to be giving them credit for. Tarps get the upset, Fitzgerald makes a huge deal of it and keeps himself off the hot seat for the rest of the year despite finishing 4-8.

Stew: UNL ultimately wins, but Tommy Two Picks makes an appearance to make it close.

GF3: Pat FitzgeraLLLd lets UNL drop the L and reclaim NU. The L of course goes to Pat.

MNW: Nope. NOPE. It’s time. I’m at a wedding and will be angry and it’s time to stop losing to Nebraska at home. Tommy throws three picks and the ‘Cats pull off a 2014 wisconsin-level upset. Dozens of students storm the field. I do a shot of rail tequila and get the silent treatment on the drive home Sunday. ‘Cats, 24-23.


Let us know your picks and predictions in the comments! Thanks as always for reading OTE.

-MNW