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Big Ten Week 3 Predictions

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We’ve got picks, scores, and predictions for all the Big Ten non-conference games in Week 3—including Purdue going for the repeat upset of Mizzou, Ohio State and TCU playing for inside track on a College Football Playoff berth, and...well, here’s Rutgers-Kansas. Do with that what you will.

Purdue v Missouri Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

And on and on we roll, right into Week 3. I don’t have much witty to say, and it turns out I’m not alone:

beezer07: I honestly have nothing interesting to say about any of my picks, BUT I am really, really surprised at the size of some of these lines. NW -21? Indiana -14.5? UM -35?

Let’s just get to it, then:

#11 Penn State Nittany Lions (2-0) vs. Kent State Golden Flashes (1-1)

11am CT | FS1 | PSU -35 | O/U 64.5

Straight-Up: Penn State, 19-0
Against the Spread: Penn State, 16-3

Boilerman31: I hate hate hate large spreads like this. That said, the Nits put a-hurtin’ on Pitt and I expect them to do the same to Kent State, only this time without the wet track.

Andrew Kraszewski: that’s a big ol’ line, one I don’t quite think PSU gets to. No trouble in this game for the Nits, but give me the points.

WhiteSpeedReceiver: 35 points is a lot, and I worry about PSU when they’re not playing their not rival Pitt. They need to get things together in the passing game, and hopefully this is the week they do it.

BigRedTwice: 35 points is a lot, but Penn State (eventually) had no trouble scoring last week, even in sloppy conditions, and shouldn’t have trouble this week either.

87townie: Penn State continues to roll. The Nittany Lions have some things to work out on offense. They do it against the Golden Flashes. PSU wins and covers.

Thumpasaurus: Penn State calls off the dogs in the fourth quarter only for Woody Barrett to find a touchdown in the 3rd string defense. Enraged, Franklin goes hurry-up no-huddle. Penn State covers.

GoForThree: Penn State shows Kent State how to Akron by 6 scores.

Dead Read: Penn State couldn’t keep this score down if they tried (they aren’t gonna try).

ziowa9: Franklin’s gonna run up the score in this one. This will be over by halftime.

MNW: I would like to use this space to complain about the fact that I drafted Juwan Johnson for my fantasy team, and he has not done jack shit in 2018. So I dropped him. Now that I have, he hauls in three scores and the Lions win by 42. I suck at this. Penn State, 52-10.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-1, 0-1 B1G) at Kansas Jayhawks (1-1, 0-1 FCS)

11am | Fox Sports Regional | KU -2.5 | O/U 44.5

Straight-Up: Kansas, 14-5
Against the Spread: Kansas, 13-6

Boilerman: Ugh, why is this game happening? Give me Kansas, fresh off their first win in awhile.

AK; Should actually be fascinating in the way watching two blind raccoons fight over a dirty paper cup can be. I cast my faith in Rut to get this dub on the road and keep Ash off the hot seat.

WSR: That this game is being allowed is proof that the United States has no respect for the International Criminal Court or the War Crimes Tribunal. This is a violation of human rights and I will absolutely not be watching it unless held in a CIA black site and forced to in an attempt to extract some information from me.

BRT: They may say I’m a hater, and maybe I am, but give me Kansas in a game that will be less rewarding than the tuna casserole your elementary school cafeteria served in days of yore.

87townie: Kansas clobbers Rutgers. The Jayhawks win and cover.

Thump: Rutgers is better against the run than CMU, and if they don’t turn it over six times they should get a P5 road win.

GF3: Give me all the Kansas on this one.

DR: I am going to pick Rutgers. Don’t humiliate the B1G, Rutgers.

ziowa9: Rock Chalk, Jay-Hawk, K... U...

MNW: It’s not even worth trying to learn about this game to pick it. I would say that Rutgers is clearly better than MAC teams, but EMU is 2-0 against the B1G in the last couple years, so that’s awesome. People who pick against -2.5 lines are assholes, beez. Rutgers, 24-22.

Indiana Hoosiers (2-0) vs Balls Tate Cardinals (1-1)

11am | BTN | IU -14.5 | O/U 58.5

Straight-Up: Indiana, 16-3
Against the Spread: Balls Tate, 16-3

like a damn hitchcock movie

Boilerman: This is one of those games that Indiana historically loses. Don’t ask why, but they do. If Ball State wasn’t coming off a really close game against fuck Notre Dame, I’d throw some moneyline action for the upset. I’m expecting a bit of a letdown, though. Indiana wins, David Letterman’s alma mater covers.

AK: The IU offense hasn’t looked quite spunky enough to give me confidence in covering that line, but Balls Tate are punchless enough that the W shouldn’t be an issue.

WSR: Them Balls sure had a lot of fight against Notre Dame last week, didn’t they? I was wrong about IU vs. Viriginia last week, and that mistake will not be repeated. Hoosiers will win (but not cover).

BRT: I never know anything about Indiana, except that they make Candy very sad. Let’s give them a win so he can be happy, be it ever so fleetingly.

87townie: The cardinals played Notre Dame tough. Indiana ain’t Notre Dame. Indy gets the win late, but can’t cover the spread.

Thump: Indiana will win as comfortably as they really want. They’re a little less focused on proving their quarterback doesn’t suck than Notre Dame was.

GF3: Ball State baby, because Michigan fans know that nOtRe DAmE is A gOoD tEAM

DR: “I’d rather BallU than IU” - tee shirt from the last century. Indiana wins but does not cover.

ziowa9: This will be close, and one of the better games of the day. I’m thinking IU gets this one with a late score.

MNW: I’m no different than any of these other unoriginal chucklefucks. Riley Neal is legit, the Cardinals make it interesting for a while, IU holds them off in a goofy one. Hoosiers, 34-28.

Maryland Terrapins (2-0) vs Temple Owls (0-2)

11am | BTN | MD -15 | O/U 55.5

Straight-Up: Maryland, 19-0
Against the Spread: Maryland, 16-3

Boilerman: Remember that time Temple beat Penn State? Yeah, those were good times. This year’s Temple team might make Kansas look good. Maryland keeps rollin’ and gets a cover for good measure.

AK: 2 or 3 years ago, this would be a real concern for Coach True North and the turtles, but this ain’t Matt Rhule’s Temple. Terps cover.

WSR: Don’t look past Temple for your big matchup next weekend, Maryland. Do your thing.

BRT: The Year of the Turtles rolls onward.

87townie: Maryland hammers Temple. It’s never close. Terps win and cover.

Thump: Temple isn’t good anymore. Maryland rolls.

GF3: Maryland, but at some point choosing them is going to burn me.

DR: Could be a quagmire. Maryland covers because they’ve shown they can run and Temple is horrid.

ziowa9: Terps pay back Temple for the 38-7 shitshow the last time the Owls traveled down I-95 to College Park in 2011.

MNW: At some point the air comes out, right? RIGHT? Whatever, I’ll keep enjoying Kasim Hill and the Terps as long as this lasts. Temple comes out frisky on offense, though, as Geoff Collins realizes he can’t afford to rebuild Temple from scratch and starting 0-3 with this schedule is inadvisable. Maryland, 30-20.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-1-⚡) vs Troy Trojans (1-1)

11am | BTN | UNL -11.5 | O/U 57.5

Straight-Up: Nebraska, 18-1
Against the Spread: Nebraska, 11-8

Boilerman: The Scott Frost advisory got off to a tough start against a pesky Colorado team. Look for things to start chilling a bit in Lincoln. Huskers win big.

WSR: I’m actually a bit worried about this one for the B1G. Just hand the ball off a bunch and survive, please.

BRT: Although backup QB Bunch gave a brave performance last week, it was not a confidence-inspiring one. I think Nebraska still wins this one, but probably not with the ease one might expect.

87townie: Nebraska gets its “signature win” against Troy. They win and cover.

Thump: I thought Troy was going to be pretty good until Boise State nuked them. Still...Boise State would probably nuke Nebraska at this point too. Troy covers but Huskers win.

GF3: Nebraska cleans up the mistakes, but without Martinez I like Troy’s odds. Troy it is.

DR: Please win. Please cover.

ziowa9: It shouldn’t be that hard for the Cornhuskers to cover this line against a Sun Belt Conference team, should it?

MNW: Yep, with a backup QB I’m not taking the Huskers big over the Trojans. That fearsome foursome is quite the running back stable, but they will face plenty of loaded boxes this weekend, and that depresses the score but inflates the big plays. Huskers, 27-19.

#6 wisconsin badgers (2-0) vs BYU Cougars (1-1)

2:30pm | ABC | uw -21.5

Straight-Up: wisconsin, 19-0
Against the Spread: BYU, 10-9

Boilerman: Two weeks, two wins, no covers. Wisconsin gives me no confidence they will cover this week against an up and down BYU team.

AK: I can see a back-door cover late for wisco in this one.

WSR: BYU’s actually shown a pulse this year, haven’t they? I guess everybody must have been on a mission last year or something. I’m sure wisconsin will do enough in the 2nd half to win again, but I’m not convinced that they’ll cover. You could make an argument that Taylor is the 2nd-best player that the Cougs have seen this year, although the badger coaching staff doesn’t seem to be actively trying to sabotage him (unlike what Arizona is doing to Khalil Tate. WILL YOU FUCKING FIRE NOEL MAZZONE ALREADY?!)

BRT: A part of me would enjoy seeing UW on the receiving end of one of BYU’s Hail Joseph Smiths. On the other hand, BYU is chippy AF and I wouldn’t mind seeing them pay for being, in the immortal words of Leslie Knope, sort of a bunch of “pee pee heads.” I think UW wins, but I don’t think they’ll cover.

87townie: BYU beat Arizona and lost to Cal. This will be a good test for Wisconsin. I think the Badgers win, but I don’t think they cover a 3 touchdown spread.

Thump: His man gum may be tanner than Hornibrook’s, but the BYU quarterback is going to struggle to find any room to work with in the Wisconsin defense. BYU covers as Wisconsin just sits on the lead.

GF3: BYU covers, backdoor style (which is illegal in Utah).

DR: Wiscy wins but does not cover, as I believe this is their first opponent with a pulse.

ziowa9: These aren’t your father’s Brigham Young Cougars. Wiscy hangs half-a-hundred in their ‘difficult’ nonconference game.

MNW: Fun Fact: wisconsin won both its first two games by 31. Using those odds, normally, I’d just take the blind cover.
But keep Alex Hornibrook in the pocket, and the Cougars could do to wisconsin what they did to Arizona. Unfortunately, wisconsin is much better than Arizona and Jonathan Taylor will get his. Tanner Mangum throws a couple TDs, a boneheaded pick in the third, and wisconsin walks away by three uncomfortable scores, 34-17.

#19 Michigan Wolverines (1-1) vs SMU Mustangs (0-2)

2:30pm | BTN | MI -35 | O/U 53.5

Straight-Up: Michigan, 19-0
Against the Spread: Michigan, 15-4

this small, the smu ponies almost look like tiny velociraptors

Boilerman: Another large spread. While Michigan took WMU to the woodshed, I hate large spreads like this. Michigan wins easy, but doesn’t quite make the spread.

AK: Another vastly inferior opponent, another opportunity for Michigan to “compete” to the whistle. Wolvies cover.

WSR: If TCU can beat SMU by 30 after spotting them a 9 point lead, I think Michigan should be able to get to a 35 point win. Of course, there isn’t anybody like KaVontae Turpin on the Wolverines…sooooo…maybe.

BRT: I don’t know anything about SMU and I do know that Michigan is BACK, so UM will definitely win. 35 points is a lot though--probably too much.

87townie: SMU sucks. They play ego fluffer for Harbs. Michigan wins and covers.

Thump: SMU is suddenly horrifyingly bad again. Harbaugh beats up on bad teams because he thinks we can’t see through his charade. Michigan covers.

GF3: Michigan polishes up their cupcake platter.

DR: Michigan should keep this boring. That doesn’t mean they will, but they should. Too many points, so I’ll take SMU against the spread.

ziowa9: See Kent State at Penn State above. Ann Arbor’s Jimmy likewise runs up the score.

MNW: Sonny Dykes has a long way to go in Dallas. The Wolverines run through the Ponies, just keep on running until Harbaugh claps himself into a 66% off steak. Michigan, 66-10.

Minnesota Golden Gophers (2-0) vs Miami Hydroxide Redhawks (0-2)

2:30pm | BTN | MN -14 | O/U 46.5

Straight-Up: Minnesota, 18-1
Against the Spread: Minnesota, 10-9

Boilerman: This is a really bad Miami team. Minnesota should win and cover easy.

AK: Gophers ain’t covering until they prove otherwise but this should still be a win.

WSR: HEY! Who wants to watch the Gophers jump out to a 20 point lead in the first half, then just sit on the diatomic anions and give the ball to Bryce Williams and Jonathan Femi-Cole for 2+ quarters? Just me? I guess I’m fine with that.

BRT: Minny wins, fans complain about lack of respect, resent comparisons to MSU and Rutgers fans, feelings are hurt, and OTE completes another standard week.

87townie: The Redhawks ain’t good…but neither is Minny. The Gophers win but can’t cover.

Thump: That line for Minnesota vs a rebuilding Miami Hydroxide is pretty close, but I think Minnesota’s receivers will do well enough that Annexstad won’t have to do too much to make up for the depleted running game. Minnesota covers but barely.

GF3: Miami, because no more Rodney Smith and way too much Annexstad.

DR: Losing a stud RB, combined with a frosh QB, puts a damper on the Minny offense. They win but do not cover.

ziowa9: MACtion occurs in the Twin Cities. Gophers miss a late field goal and Miami Hydroxide gets the upset win.

MNW: No Rodney Smith, no cover. That seems a sensible course of action for the time being. Gophers, 21-10.

Illinois Fighting Illini (2-0) vs South Florida Bulls (2-0)

2:30pm | BTN | USF -9.5 | O/U 59

Straight-Up: USF, 19-0
Against the Spread: USF, 18-1

i’ve been doing this three years; this is easily the saddest one i’ve ever posted

Boilerman: South Florida appears to love them some shootouts. This doesn’t bode well for Illinois. Take the Bulls, the over, and lay the points.

AK: I got a guy who says the cover here is free money. I like money so I’ll take the cover.

WSR: Charlie Strong is worried that this could be a trap game. He’s concerned that his AAC team could be looking past Illinois at the East Carolina Game. There’s nothing else that needs to be said about 2018 Illinois Football.

BRT: The glorious 2-0 start comes to a screeching halt and we mourn with Thump, though at considerably less length.

87townie: USF whooped Georgia Tech last weekend. The Bulls are rolling. The Illini get gored. USF wins and covers.

Thump: I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what Vegas knows that I don’t about this Illinois vs South Florida game. I just can’t see it. USF -9.5 is like stealing. This is going to be an ass-kicking.

GF3: Illinois sans Dudek isn’t even Illinois. USF!

DR: USF covers, it would be quite the upset if they do not.

ziowa9: Illinois would be hard pressed to finish north of .500 in the American Athletic Conference.

MNW: I just...this is sadder than Washington-Rutgers last year. Maybe even sadder than OSU-Rutgers last week. Because this is a Tier II AAC team, coming to Soldier Field and letting Blake Barnett just run everywhere and anywhere on the Illini defense. I feel lachrymose. Bulls, 48-21.

Purdue Boilermakers (0-2, 0-1 B1G) vs Missouri Tigers (2-0)

6:30pm | BTN | Miz -7 | O/U 65.5

Straight-Up: Mizzou, 16-3
Against the Spread: Mizzou, 12-7

Boilerman: Hmm, an undisciplined defense against a strong passing team with a decent QB. Add in a revenge factor and yikes. Purdue keeps it close, but I’m going with a targeting penalty for this weeks’ Boner of the Week.

AK: Disappointing as this start has been for Purdue, this is the first offense they’ve faced that can really wreck that underwhelming defense. Mizzou covers, won’t even need a late unsportsmanlike flag to do it.

BRT: Last week, I believed in you, Purdue. This week, I am an older, wiser woman, and you’re going to have to earn back the trust. The crappy black and gold team wins, reminds everyone they totes didn’t want to be in the Big Ten anyway.

87townie: Missouri is 2-0 this season. They won by an average of 32 points. Purdue’s defense can’t handle the Tigers. Mizzou wins and covers.

Thump: I’d love to see Purdue beat the worst Tigers in the SEC, but I think they’ve lost too much on defense. Prove me wrong, but I think Mizzou covers.

GF3: Purdue vs Mizzou? Ew. Mizzou.

DR: I hate Mizzou, but they will probably win by three touchdowns.

ziowa9: Things are back to ‘normal’ in West Lafayette, as Mizzou wins this one going away.

MNW: Drew Lock Drew Lock Drew Lock Drew Lock. Mizzou, 41-28.

Iowa Hawkeyes (2-0, 1-0 state of Iowa) vs Northern Iowa Panthers (0-1)

6:30pm | BTN | no line for FCS

Straight-Up: Iowa, 18-1

Boilerman: Leave it to Iowa to keep a FCS game on the schedule.

WSR: Don’t get anybody hurt, Iowa. You’re going to need all hands on deck for next weekend’s ONE GAME A YEAR THAT I CHEER FOR IOWA.

BRT: Iowa wins, Hawkeye fans begin to unwarrantedly set their sights on OSU and the CCG, because hey, they beat them last year, and that’s totally a repeatable result.

87townie: Iowa is fresh off a win in el assico. This week they take out another in-state rival. Iowa wins.

Thump: UNI is not quite the power they were a few years ago, so Iowa will try to set this season’s record for shortest game.

GF3: How many shitty teams are there in that shitty state? Iowa.

DR: Really? Why do Iowans want to tour Iowa so frequently?

ziowa9: Yawn...

MNW: Iowa has played 3 teams with a total of 6 names. 66% of those have been either “Iowa” or “Northern.” Clown-ass football program. Hawkeyes, 27-3.

Northwestern Wildcats (1-1, 1-0 B1G) vs Akron Zips (1-0-⚡)

6:30pm | BTN | NU -21 | O/U 46

Straight-Up: Northwestern, 19-0
Against the Spread: Akron, 13-6

BATTLE OF THE LOGOS ROTATED 90 DEGREES

Boilerman: NW gives me no confidence they are capable of a cover against a moderately decent Akron team.

WSR: Do something, purple cats. Give us reason to believe that you’re going to turn it on when the B1G season starts.

BRT: If this game is canceled for lightning, Akron should take the hint and never schedule an NU ever again. Also, 21 points seems like a lot for a team that scored 7 in an entire game against Duke, so consider me a skeptic.

87townie: After last week, I don’t even want to pick this game. I think the nerds are too much for Akron. But I don’t think they can cover three touchdowns.

Thump: The Wildcats have a thin bullpen, which is worrying if starter Clayton Thorson (1-1, 17.5 ERA) can’t go deep into this game. TJ Green (0-0, 1 SV, 6.50 ERA) has been an adequate middle reliever but the Wildcats had hoped to use him in a closer role. Akron’s lineup doesn’t have any big power hitters, but they get on base often. Akron covers. MNW has to be concerned about the lack of experience in the outfield.

GF3: Northwestern gets a little PSU flavor on them, but somehow fails to cover.

DR: Hey Northwestern, let us know if Nebby would have won this game. NW covers.

ziowa9: Purple Cats win but don’t cover against Penn State’s perpetual 2017 opponent.

MNW: An O/U of 46 and a spread of 21 means Northwestern would win this game about 34-12, per Vegas. I don’t know what’s more ridiculous—Northwestern scoring 34 points with Clayton Thorson and TJ Green counting pitches, or the ‘Cats holding a running QB like Kato Nelson to just 12 points. Nate Hall with a late sack to seal it; I will regret driving to Evanston for this. Northwestern, 23-19.

#4 Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0) vs #15 TCU Horned Frogs (2-0)

7pm | ABC | OSU -12
Played at AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX

Straight-Up: Ohio State, 18-1
Against the Spread: Ohio State, 14-5

Boilerman: Bet the over.

AK: Cover all day, though I can see this still being a game past halftime.

WSR: I think this is the game I worry the most about. Neither team has played anyone decent yet, and while TCU struggled last week early in the monsoon against SMU they really turned it on late. I THINK tOSU should be able to win by 2 TD, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to be wrong.

BRT: OSU should win, but if they don’t, everyone will forgive them because they don’t have Urban Meyer, and they will only be punished for a week or two. Much like, coincidentally, Urban Meyer himself.

87townie: TCU is ranked 15th in the country. I hope they enjoy it. The Ohio State Buckeye Juggernaut is going to make them look stupid. OSU wins and covers.

Thump: TCU has Kevontae Turpin. Ohio State has Kevontae Turpins at every position. Buckeyes by very many.

GF3: TCU straight upset.

DR: OSU wins and covers. Old boss same as the new boss.

ziowa9: Texas Christian scores enough - perhaps in garbage time - to essentially beat Ohio State.

MNW: TCU does not have the players Oklahoma did, and this is gonna be 50/50 in the stadium at least, if not pro-OSU. GF3 is “totally calling this” for nothing. Can’t wait for SMCD. Ohio State, 31-20.


Our own DJ Carver has been kind enough to start compiling just how bad we are at picking the games. Here are the standings, sorted by straight-up correct percentage (note that some people have missed weeks, etc.):

I realize there are probably a few mistakes in there (BRT, for example, has picked, but I couldn’t figure out where she was in the spreadsheet—this is all-at-once my fault,an accident, and intended as a personal slight), but in the coming weeks we’ll get better at it.

Vote in the polls, share your picks in the comments.

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