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Big Ten Week 4 Picks and Predictions: Iowa looks to keep Kinnick Magic alive under the lights

Michigan State and Notre Dame renew their rivalry, Michigan heads for a Harboring at Purdue, and Maryland and UCF shake off the cobwebs. Previews, time, TV, and odds for Big Ten football this week.

Iowa v Penn State Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

#10 Ohio State Buckeyes (-39) vs. UNLV Rebels

11am || BTN

SU: Ohio State, 19-0 || ATS: Ohio State, 15-4

Thoughts on the new UNLV logo? I kinda dig it.

C4B: Given that the Buckeyes have scored more than 39 points exactly once so far this season (and did not shut out the team who allowed more than 39 points to them), I’m not sold they can beat this spread. then again, I also know exactly nothing about UNLV football, so this might be a sucker bet.

BRT: That is an enormous spread, but UNLV is (apparently, since they lost to Howard) extremely bad, and OSU got fairly close to that spread last week. OSU has to make statements where they can for the rest of the season, and in this game, they will.

Andrew: Same UNLV that already blew the biggest spread advantage ever, right? Bucks cover.

Speth: UNLV lost to Howard. Not sure which Howard. Desmond Howard? Seems bad if you’re losing to retired NFL players. OSU wins and covers. UNLV doesn’t do well with 40+ point spreads.

Creighton: Ohio State will have the most boring possible 48 point win.

MNW: I wanted to say “there’s no way Ohio State’s offense can actually cover this with how anemic they’ve looked.” Then I realized that about every thing I’ve predicted in that regard this year has been shit. Fuck me. OSU, 55-10.

Maryland Terrapins (-3.5) vs. UCF Citronauts Knights

2pm || FS1

SU: Maryland, 13-6 || ATS: Maryland, 12-7


C4B: This is either going to be at trap game, or Maryland is gonna coast to victory. Still not totally sure I picked the right one.

BRT: Week One’s win was great, but thanks to a Towson and a bye week, I still don’t feel like I know much about Maryland. I guess I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

DJ: This game scares the hell out of me because Scott Frost has turned that team around. A veteran front 7 to go along with Year 2 of the offense in Scott Frost’s system makes this game a lot closer than many make it out to be. I’m thinking anyone betting this game should take the over because it has shootout written all over it.

Andrew: Early returns seem to indicate that stockpile of blue-chip OL is finally maturing for the Terps, I’ll take them to cover.

Speth: Ok so UCF is a good G5 team. If Maryland is a good Big Ten team they should win this game. I think Maryland is at least decent. Maryland wins and covers.

Creighton: Kasim Hill got broken in, and I think they’ll take the kid gloves off for his first game against real competition (Texas shade very much intended). They should cover easily.

MNW: Look at how chesty Iowa fans are getting after some big wins in the state of Iowa over G5 competition. It’s it cute? They’re trying so hard!

I’m loathe to just say “intangibles” and let it be, but I have to think UCF comes out of the gate hot here. Maybe there’s some rust, but the Knights have got to be fired up, playing for the first time in weeks, right? Add to that McKenzie Milton might be a decent passer, and Maryland remembers that rebuilding is a process. Citronauts, 33-30.

The Mike Riley Death March (-13.5) vs. rutger Scarlet Knights

2:30pm || BTN

SU: Nebraska, 18-1 || ATS: Nebraska, 13-6

I saved this file as “butt corn.” Butt corn.

C4B: Last week notwithstanding, I don’t think Nebraska is likely to lose this one. Covering might be a bit tougher, but I believe they can do it this week.

BRT: Rutgers, straight up. I need to just start preparing myself emotionally for this now. (Note to Huskers, I would definitely not mind being proven wrong here. Please.)

Andrew: Look I get that Nebraska has been bad this year, but let’s not get carried away, this should be a walk through cover for them.

Speth: Ok Nebraska is not good but they have to beat New Jersey University at home right? RIGHT? Nebraska wins and covers.

Creighton: No matter how bad Nebraska gets this year, they’re never going to be “lose at home to rutger” bad. I think we’re all in for an embarassing train wreck of a game and I don’t know if I’ll be able to look away. Herbie Husker & Co. fail to cover.

MNW: Yeah it’s bad, but it’s not that bad. Huskers, 37-14.

Indiana Hoosiers (-23) vs. Georgia Southern Eagles

2:30pm || BTN

SU: Indiana, 19-0 || ATS: Indiana, 13-6

I learned while looking up logos that Georgia Southern both refers to themselves as the “Bald Eagles” and wants to be branded as “GS.” Georgia is a weird place and I would like to leave it, please.

C4B: Coming off an unexpected bye week, I would love to see this game decided extremely early. Because it’s Indiana, though, I fear it’ll be in doubt until the 4th quarter.

BRT: Indiana. This game looks boring.

Andrew: Is this the option directional Georgia or the other one? Meh, give me the points either way.

Creighton: This is the least intriguing matchup of the week. Hoosiers cover. Or not. Who cares?

MNW: If I’m being honest, I watched enough GS highlights over the course of the actually kind of believe in the Eagles? Watching some of their games from 2016, they at least try to marry some of the Ohio State power spread with the triple option. Shai Werts could get it going for a little bit, but the Eagles don’t have the fire to stick with the Hoosiers for the long run. Hoosiers, 40-22.

#8 Michigan Wolverines (-9.5) at Purdue Boilermakers

3pm || FOX

SU: Michigan, 14-5 || ATS: Michigan, 10-9

Listen, Purdue fans. I brought the Motion P back for this one game. Win it, and it might stick around. Lose it, and it’s back to Penis Train in perpetuity.

C4B: I believe Purdue is a lot better than we expected this year (which worries me). I don’t believe they’re likely to beat Michigan, though they might sneak the cover.

BRT: Oh, I so want Purdue to win. I think the Boilers make UM sweat, but UM ultimately gets the win. But Purdue -- we are ALL behind you!

Andrew: This would be where the CHOO CHOO Hype Train hops the rails a bit, as it’s the first real defense they’ve encountered. I’ll take Mitch to cover and wouldn’t be mad at all if I’m wrong.

Speth: CHOO CHOO ASSHOLES. PURDUE AT HOME WITH THE UPSET. If this actually happens I might start to get concerned about Purdue in Madison.

Creighton: I’ll take the leap. ROLL DAMN BOILERS.

MNW: I’ll second the Purdue well-wishes, but like Maryland, Rome ain’t built in a day. West Lafayette ain’t either. Michigan, 30-20.

#4 Penn State Nittany Lions (-12.5) at Iowa Hawkeyes

6:30pm || ABC

SU: Penn State, 18-1 || ATS: Iowa, 10-9

I don’t have a snappy remark here. I’ve basically been phoning it in since Northwestern made the NCAA Tournament. You all can get fucked, and I can’t wait to take a ton of shit when the ‘Cats stumblefuck their way to 5-7.

C4B: Akron-Iowa City puts up a fight, but yet another domino falls into front of the Franklin Juggernaut.

BRT: Probably PSU. Sorry Iowa. I’m just not sure you’ve got the firepower to take down the mighty Franklions.

Andrew: Give me the points and another week of PSU’s continued dominance of its perennial rival, Akron.

Creighton: I picked Penn State to win just so I wouldn’t jinx anything.

MNW: And I picked Penn State because they’ll actually win. 31-17.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-4.5) at Michigan State Spartans

7pm || FOX

SU: || ATS:

Reverse my and Creighton’s picks. ND to win, Michigan State to beat the spread. I’m an idiot.

C4B: Screw Notre Dame.

BRT: Even last year, MSU won this game. It is one that they care about, and I expect a good effort here.

Andrew: Whoooooooaaaa nelly am I looking forward to this one, as it should let us know if reports of my team’s death were premature. MSU’s run defense has been up to the task so far, but this is a different animal. Give me the Spartans straight up.

Speth: Remember when this was an epic Top 10 match up last year? HAHAHAHAHAHA. Well I think MSU is going to win but it won’t be the greatest game ever or anything.

Creighton: Fox (and sports media in general) have wasted a lot of time hyping a game between two teams that combined for 7 wins last season. Neither team is really good. Neither team is “back”. I mean, I’ll totally be watching, but only because there’s a possibility that Sparty will hammer another nail in Brian Kelly’s coffin. Unfortunately, I think they’re all out of chips until another Michigan player insults the program. Irish win a close one.

MNW: A late Brandon Wimbush drive saves Brian Kelly’s job, at least for another couple weeks. Michigan State learns just snapping their fingers and expecting LJ Scott to do good things doesn’t work against actual teams. Fuck Notre Dame, 27-23.

Vote in the poll and let us know your picks in the comments! Thanks as always for reading Off Tackle Empire.

—MNW, DJ, and the OTE Staff



This poll is closed

  • 49%
    (235 votes)
  • 50%
    (238 votes)
473 votes total Vote Now


Hell, pick this one too!

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    Penn State
    (310 votes)
  • 35%
    (172 votes)
482 votes total Vote Now


You know, since you finished all the vegetables on your plate, I’ll even let you pick one more.

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    Notre Dame
    (149 votes)
  • 67%
    Michigan State
    (305 votes)
454 votes total Vote Now