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Big Ten Week 8 Picks, Predictions: HARBOR! CHAIR! Laughing at Michigan!

Time, TV, odds, lines, and predictions for Ohio State-Purdue, Michigan-Michigan State, Nebraska-Minnesota, and more.

Good morning. It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Waiting to see the stupid way Michigan blows the Paul Bunyan Trophy game to Michigan State. Let’s not wax poetic, let’s just jump into the spicy hot takes.

Maryland Terrapins (4-2, 2-1 B1G) at [19] Iowa Hawkeyes (5-1, 2-1)

11am | ESPN2 | Iowa -10 | O/U 44.5 [opened at 52, if you can believe it]

Straight-Up: Iowa, 17-2
Against the Spread: Maryland, 10-9

WhiteSpeedReceiver: I think this game has the potential to get rather stupid. Maryland’s not a great team, but they’re pretty good and have quite a bit of talent and they’re a little tricky. Iowa is Iowa.

87townie: Okay, Iowa looked better last week than I expected. That’s as much as an acknowledgement as I’m giving to the Hawkeye faithful. You guys have almost as many chips as Sparty fans.

Maryland looked good too, even without a head coach. The team that the two have in common is Minnesota. Maryland put up 42 points and allowed 13. Iowa put up 48 points and allowed 31. I’m giving the nod to Iowa here, because Kirk > No HC. But I think Maryland covers.

Boilerman31: I’ve heard an interesting factoid about Iowa and Homecoming. They’re not that great against the spread. And, whaddya know? Maryland comes rolling into town just in time for Homecoming. Considering Maryland is damn near automatic in the Red Zone and have been somewhat effective in the run game. I’ll take Iowa to win, but the Terps to cover.

GoForThree: Maryland comes off the high of trouncing their dubious fellow traveler Rutgers just in time to get tight-ended into oblivion.

Stewmonkey13: Iowa as a double digit favorite at home is not exactly a lock. It’s going to be windy, and I think Iowa gets up by something like 17 points and turtles in the 2nd half. MD gets the backdoor cover.

BigRedTwice: I mean, obviously like a good American I’m pulling for the Terps in this one. But my gut feeling is Iowa wins it. Nothing more scientific than that--and that’s how I make all my picks.

MNW: BRT has the right idea here, pulling for the Terps. Nate Stanley could conceivably throw for 300 and a few scores here, and given that they’ve got an unhappy TE’s family to worry about, it could be another big day for TJ Hockenson and Noah Fant. The Hawks have the size to lean on the Terrapins’ D.

Thankfully we don’t have to worry about the Terrapins’ offense, since Iowans have spread word after one consulted the Farmer’s Almanac, where I think we all know that on page 184 of this year’s edition it reads “October winds blow / Visitors cannot throw.” And really, who are we to argue with such timeless wisdom?

See my call from last week’s Iowa-Indiana game. Unless Iowa plays with their food, they roll. Then their fans return to demand respect for rolling up a suuuuuper credible 3-1 record in the B1G with wins over Indiana, Maryland, and Minnesota. Who can’t respect beating those three teams? We all ought cower before such luminaries as these. Hawkeyes, 34-14.

Illinois Fighting Illini (3-3, 1-2) at [23] wisconsin badgers (4-2, 2-1)

11am | FS1 | wisc -25.5 | O/U 57

Straight-Up: wisconsin, 19-0
Against the Spread: wisconsin, 12-7

WSR: As some of us have said, wisconsin isn’t really that great. But Saturday’s game was interesting in that both lines for the badgers got absolutely worked, and it doesn’t look like they have anything resembling a DE on the roster. Sadly, Illinois is not a team that can take advantage of those weaknesses on a football team made out of Cub Scouts, let alone a college football team.

87townie: Sorry Thump. Wisconsin will be hot after last week. Illinois going to get rolled. However, Sconny takes their foot off the gas at the end. Illinois covers.

Boilerman31: Badgers are horribad ATS this year. Illinois is just what the doctor ordered.

GF3: Wisconsin. Duh.

Stew: I know I shouldn’t be picking Illinois, but 25.5 is a lot of points, and I just don’t think wisconsin is all that great. Also, the way these two teams run the ball, I’m just not sure there will be enough possessions to cover the spread. Gimme the points.

BRT: Wisconsin may not be great this year, but they also aren’t Rutgers. Sorry Illini. I could see it not being a 25+ point win though, on the bright side.

MNW: Man, looking back, I took a badgers cover? If anything, I guess I’m letting the badgers’ D rest on its reputation. At least Bill Cubit’s offenses could score on wisconsin (32, 28, and 13 points; 3 and 10 points since). Illinois loses, 35-9.

[6] Michigan Wolverines (6-1, 4-0) at [24] Michigan State Spartans (4-2, 2-1)

11am | FOX | Mich -7 | O/U 41

Straight-Up: Michigan, 12-7
Against the Spread: Michigan State, 12-7

WSR: I feel like this could be a letdown spot for both teams after pretty good wins last Saturday. I went with Sparty just based on the fact that I think that the emotion of little brother fighting to not get a swirlie will be just enough.

87townie: Let’s be real…Sparty is terrible. Lewerke missed so many open receivers, it was ridiculous. The key to winning this game is to double cover Felton Davis and throw the ball downfield. Period. That’s it.

DO YOU HEAR ME FRANKLIN??? /Kicks chair. Throws his autographed Mike Mauti picture on the floor.

Harbaugh ain’t much of a person, but he can figure this out. And he has the tools to exploit Sparty’s problem areas. Michigan wins and covers.

Boilerman31: I know this is an in-state rivalry. But this screams letdown game for the Fightin’ Harbaughs. I think Michigan wins the day, but not by much.

GF3: Harbaugh is gonna romper-stomp the newly complimentary Mark Dantonio, making PSU feel even worse.

BRT: As an outsider, MSU’s frequent weird victories over UM have been some of my favorite things in the Big Ten. A great rivalry with just batshit stuff happening. I hope for more of the same this year, because the Harbaugh pressers after these are always great.

MNW: Wolverines blew their load a week early, but they’re still a better team than the Spartans. After Jimmy tries to MANBALL Mork and the Spartans’ top run D for a while, play-action helps the Wolverines pull away. Michigan, 21-14.

Northwestern Wildcats (3-3, 3-1) at . (1-6, 0-4)

11am | BTN | NU -20.5 | O/U 49

Straight-Up: Northwestern, 18-[complete detachment from reality]
Against the Spread: Northwestern, 15-4

WSR: Good God. It’s like Illinois-Rutgers, but with a slightly better Illinois.

87townie: Happy cupcake day, nerds. Northwestern wins by three touchdowns.

Boilerman31: Do your job, Wildcats.

GF3: Northwestern and all the points. Throw some extra points on there.

Stew: Again, I know rutger is a special level of bad, but I can’t, on principle, take jNW laying that many points.

BRT: lol bye Rutgers

MNW: Try as I might to talk myself into Northwestern finally living up to what they did against Bowling Green last year, I just can’t. Solomon Vault is out at RB for the ‘Cats, meaning it’ll be someone new—likely Drake Anderson, son of Damien Anderson [in case you didn’t feel old enough yet today]—plowing into the line over and over again.

It won’t work, but that will not deter Pat Fitzgerald in his quest to be like Mork and Jimmy, only without the talent. Northwestern will Establish the Run or...well, goddamnit, they’ll Establish the Run, ability to Establish the Run be damned. Clayton Thorson has to throw into the third quarter, we hear trite bullshit about “wanting to set the tone” or some bullshit, and we’ve got a dumb one on our hands. ‘Cats, 31-14.

[18] Penn State Nittany Lions (4-2, 1-2) at Indiana Hoosiers (4-3, 1-3)

2:30pm | ABC | PSU -14.5 | O/U 61.5

Straight-Up: Penn State, 19-0
Against the Spread: Penn State, 17-2

WSR: My head says that this could be a good opportunity for PSU to get back on track after getting Sparty’d. But deep in my cold, black heart there’s a small part of me that wants to pick Indiana because silly things happen in Indiana games and James Franklin is still involved in this game.

87townie: I’m seriously concerned about this game. Penn State looked like shit. Indiana can play ball. I’m hopeful that Franklin kicks some ass this week. I’ll take Penn State to win and cover.

Candystripes for Breakfast: Uh, anyone not taking Penn State and the points here is absolutely crazy. You couldn’t give me Indiana for anything less than a 40 point spread in this game. Franklin aside, Indiana is very clearly regressing across the board, and being at home doesn’t mean jack against the top half of the conference for us.

Boilerman31: Indiana has shown me nothing and I think Penn State comes out angry after losing to Sparty. IU hangs on for dear life but the Nits pull away late.

GF3: I’d bet the house on PSU if I was a bettin’ man.

Stew: Do I think Franklin is the type of douchebag to run up the score on Indiana after a back-to-back losses? Yes, yes I do.

BRT: James Franklin gets his big bounce-back win, doesn’t have to try to fight a fan after this one. Or, hilariously, Indiana wins and Franklin actually does deck someone.

MNW: As Indiana fans slip deeper into the same malaise of each football season since whenever they learned you can’t kick a ball over an upright and expect it to count, what would it take to shake them from this rut? Is it firing Tom Allen, letting the thing burn to the ground under whatever MAC flavor of the month is the “easy” hire, and hoping the next guy can put it back together? Is it a big-name retread, like a Butch Jones or a Lane Kiffin or even a Todd Graham? (OK, the last one isn’t a “big name,” but play along.)

I don’t know, but it’s just kind of sad to watch. Hire Todd Graham. I have decided.

Ultimately, poor Indiana: Wrong place, wrong time. Penn State, 42-14.

Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-3, 0-3) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-6, 0-4)

2:30pm | BTN | UNL -3.5 | O/U 54.5

Straight-Up: Minnesota, 10-9
Against the Spread: Minnesota, 11-8

WSR: The new look OL with Daniel Faalele was quite nice against Ohio State. Nebraska is not Ohio State. The defense was questionable against Dwayne Haskins, but very good against the run. Adrian Martinez will be quite good, but he’s not yet and he’s not Dwayne Haskins. Goldy wins, I drive home Sunday quite happy.

87townie: Somebody gets their first conference win this week. And somebody gets relegated. This is your week Scott Frost. Nebraska gets its first win of the season and leaves Minny fighting rutger for worst football team in the B1G. They win and cover.

Boilerman31: Minnesota hung with the Buckeyes a bit too long last week before fading late. I have a feeling this could turn into a shootout. I’m leaning Huskers to get into the win column this week.

GF3: Huskers move to 1-6, Frost proclaimed Coach for Life.

Stew: I kinda think UNL gets off the schneid and picks up their first win. But I also don’t think they can cover MN’s receivers. So yeah, it’s only 3.5 points, but I’m still picking the middle.

BRT: I almost picked Nebraska, then remembered that was a terrible idea, as 0-6 demonstrates.

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If a broke-ass graduate student can do it, so can you. As for the game, I have little of wit to add. Martinez showed me a lot against Northwestern, and if Nebraska can keep their foot on the gas in the fourth quarter, they finally break the streak. Gimme a rarely-a-doubter. Huskers, 34-24.

[2] Ohio State Buckeyes (7-0, 4-0) at Purdue Boilermakers (3-3, 2-1)

6:30pm | ABC | OSU -14 | O/U 68.5

Straight-Up: Ohio State, 17-2
Against the Spread: Ohio State, 11-8

WSR: You gonna try to cover a slant or maybe stop the run this week, Buckeyes? My guess is that Rondale Moore will get his, but Dwayne Haskins will get more.

87townie: Purdue looks good against inferior opponents. How do you like that statement? Brohm as them at 2-1 in the B1G and tied for second in the West…with Wisconsin and Iowa. No shit!

That said, there will be no Harboring this week. The OSU Hate Machine rolls in like a Tsunami. Ohio State wins and covers.

Boilerman31: The over on this one has done nothing but go up and up. Assuming weather doesn’t play a factor, this will be a shootout. I want to believe. Boilers play Spoilers.

GF3: Toot toot, the Buckeyes steam into Purdue Harbor. Jeff Brohm gets a career-making win against an OSU defense that got flummoxed by the likes of Minne-god-damn-boat-rowing-sota.

Stew: There’s no harbor here. Purdue has Moore, so Purdue puts up some points. But OSU has a a whole bunch of guys just like Moore, and Haskins throws a ho-hum 400+ yards and 5TDs, and covers the disrespectful 14 points.

BRT: I think Purdue can hang in there without ever being a real threat to win.

MNW: Not much to say beyond what’s been said. Buckeyes, 45-28.

And, because I’m terrible at getting back to articles (and probably shouldn’t be updating them on Fridays where I leave Milwaukee at 11am and drive back to the Twin Cities anyways), you get your update on how we’re all doing in the predictions competition:

Special shoutout to whoever changed my name in the spreadsheet to reflect Northwestern retaining NU yet another year.

Yeah, so you’ll just want to take Stew riiiiight to Vegas with you. An otherworldly 46-18, or 72%, and he’s cleared the field by 9 ATS picks to this point. It’s tougher to make sense at the bottom end as to who to laugh at (those 0-7s are reflective of not filling out the spreadsheet), but we can always chuckle at...

...y’know, Candystripes has had it bad enough in 2018. Let’s just leave him alone.

Anyways! Agree? Disagree? Want to tell Stew how great he is or laugh at Candy? Vote in the polls, then let us know your picks in the comments! Thanks, as ever, for reading OTE.


The inferior Paul Bunyan Trophy goes to...

This poll is closed

  • 63%
    (199 votes)
  • 36%
    (112 votes)
311 votes total Vote Now


Donate to Chair-ity! And tell us who wins the Chair:

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    (162 votes)
  • 41%
    (115 votes)
277 votes total Vote Now


Only because I think we’re legally obligated to ask. Harbor?

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    (137 votes)
  • 52%
    The stuff of legends, MNW. Bucks roll.
    (152 votes)
289 votes total Vote Now