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Big Ten Week 4 Predictions

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Wisconsin v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

[10] Penn State Nittany Lions (3-0) at Illinois Fighting Illini (2-1)

Friday, 8pm CT | FS1 | PSU -28 | O/U 60.5

Straight-Up: Penn State, 20-0
Against the Spread: Penn State, 17-3

Thumpasaurus: Illinois allowed 10.4 yards per passing attempt against USF and struggled to cover and to pass rush. A USF 3-man rush beat the Illini pass protection even when we brought in a back and a tight end. Penn State would have to make a huge mistake on every single play to avoid winning this game by many many points. They can name their score here, and I don’t think they’ll choose to have this be closer than 28 points. PSU covers.

You know what you have to do. Remember: no one, and I mean no one, comes into our house and pushes us around by more than nine touchdowns. This is your game now.

Boilerman: This one gives me a fair amount of pause just because of the large spread. Illinois’ defense gave up a ton of yards but largely kept USF in check on the scoreboard. Yeah, nevermind, Penn State isn’t afraid to cross the goalline. Nits cover.

WhiteSpeedReceiver: Illinois, try to get through this inevitable loss unscathed and get ready for your Super Bowl and what’s probably your last chance at a win in two weeks.

BigRedTwice: I mean, unless an Iowa-OSU-level fluke happens, PSU wins this going away. That is what I picked, but I won’t stop hoping for what would be a seriously hilarious upset, because I’m solidly on #TeamChaos this year.

Stewmonkey13: I’m really tempted to take Illinois to cover, as they showed they’ve got some fight in them last weekend. They could slow the game down, and ugly the game up. But I don’t think they’re quite there yet, and the damn eventually breaks. The douche crew rolls.

MNW: I don’t want to watch this. So to handle this objectively and scientifically, (63-10)-(31-24)=46. Chase McLaughlin kicks four FGs but misses one that would have briefly put the Illini up in the second quarter. Penn State, 58-12.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-2-⚡) at Michigan Wolverines (2-1)

11am | FS1 | Mich -18 | O/U 50.5

Straight-Up: Michigan, 19-1
Against the Spread: Split, 10-10

Thump: Are we saying that Nebraska, in its current form, is bad? If so, Michigan pummels them. That spread’s close, but I would greatly dislike if Michigan covered it, so Wolverines cover.

Boilerman: Let’s put it this way, Nebraska has a much larger rebuild on its hands than initially thought. Against Michigan’s defense, this spells trouble. Fortunately, Harbaugh’s offense still isn’t that great. Michigan wins, Huskers cover.

WSR: Oh boy. Michigan’s defense has started to look like what we were told to expect the last couple weeks against a couple pretty awful offenses, and their reward for that is…Nebraska. If I had any faith in the Nebraska offense right now I might think about taking them to cover, but I just don’t think they’ve got enough in them to get much right now. Godspeed, and may your next few Scott Frost Days be better than the previous few Scott Frost Days.

BRT: I could see us losing this by a lot or a little, but sadly, I see us losing either way. If Martinez is back (my guess is he won’t be) it could at least be kind of an interesting loss.

Stew: I’m not sure home field advantage works quite as well in the big house, and I think the UNL team may be doing to growing up, sad as that is to say. Sounds like there have been some players who haven’t quite bought in, yet, and they’re being called out by other players. I kinda think they pull together and give MI a game.

MNW: I’m banking my prediction, like BRT noted, on Adrian Martinez. Does Nebraska cut its losses and play to beat the Purdues and Bethune-Cookmans of the world? If they’re punting on the Michigan game...oof. Michigan, 27-10.

[23] Boston College Eagles (3-0) at Purdue Boilermakers (0-3, 0-1 B1G)

11am | ESPN2 | BC -6.5 | O/U 64.5

Straight-Up: Boston College, 17-3
Against the Spread: Purdue, 11-9

Thump: BC looks pretty good and Purdue’s defense does not. Steve Addazio gives David Shaw a contender for “B1Ggest coach not in the B1G” as BC rolls. This paves the way for a winless Purdue to roll into Champaign and beat a gray-wearing Illinois on our homecoming, so BC wins big.

Boilerman: The classic gambler’s fallacy. After watching the dealer hit 21 three games in a row, the bettor knows it can’t possibly happen a fourth time, right? Purdue has found new and exciting ways to lose football games, they can’t possibly do it a fourth time in a row, right? I mean, they have to be due. I’m pushing my chips in Boilers, let’s get a Blackjack.

WSR: Coming into the year, I TOLD YOU ALL that the key to Purdue was going to be their defense. And hoooboy was that ever on the nose. The offense is putting up some points against teams we know nothing about, but the defense has been…oh God. BC, meanwhile, has looked pretty good in their games against other teams we know nothing about. Because football is all about momentum and what previously happened is how things will continue to occur going forward, I think Purdue will find a way to get another huge penalty at the end of the game on the way to yet another L.

BRT: I want Purdue to win this, but until they give me some evidence they can, in fact, win, I’m going to say they lose this one close and bone-headed.

Stew: Purdue is the new Chaos team. No defense, great offense, playing fun, interesting games. Always finding a way to lose in the end. Give me the middle.

MNW: This is a hedge because I really think Purdue could win, but I don’t have the stones to take Purdue over AJ Dillon and Anthony Brown, who is a fun quarterback. If David Blough can stay upright and huck it around a bit, maybe. I’m tuning in to this one. BC, 34-31.

Buffalo Bulls (3-0, notably MAC) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-2, 0-1 Kansas)

11am | BTN | SUNY-B, notably MAC, -5.5

Straight-Up: Buffalo, 17-3
Against the Spread: Buffalo, 15-5

Thump: If Rutgers wins, Illinois might start getting last place votes in the power poll again and my euphoria at not being dead last will end. Rutgers wins.

Boilerman: rutgre bad, Buffalo not terrible. Lay the points and watch the dollars pile up.

WSR: Rutgers, try to get through this inevitable loss unscathed and get ready for your Super Bowl and what’s probably your last chance at a win.

BRT: Rutgers, you lost to Kansas. I’m not sure I’d pick you against an NAIA team right now.

Stew: Winner stays in the B1G.

MNW: Please just let this be some fun, insane, stupid shootout. The Bulls are 3-0, it’s worth noting, but those are (in order) a blowout of Delaware State (go Hornets!), a one-score win over Temple, and a one-score win over Eastern Michigan. So there’s a little luck/close game mojo in there somewhere. But good for Lance Leipold and the Bulls—maybe this year 6-6 actually gets them to a bowl game. Buffalo, 27-24.

Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-0) at Maryland Terrapins (2-1)

11am | BTN | MD -3 | O/U 47

Straight-Up: Minnesota, 14-6
Against the Spread: Minnesota, 15-5

Thump: I really don’t know how to call Maryland vs Minnesota, but it would be really aggravating if PJ Fleck moved to 4-0, so of course he will.

Boilerman: If I were sitting in a sportsbook in Vegas and I see that line, I put my money back in my wallet and go play some video poker. The Flighting Fleck’ers are improved, but I wonder if this is just because of scheduling. Maryland came crashing back down to Earth last weekend. I’ll take the home team, I guess.

WSR: have no idea what to think about this game. Last year was pretty evenly matched, but neither team had a QB and the Gophs lost Antoine Winfield Jr. on the first series before eventually losing at home by a TD. This year both teams have QBs and AWJ is back, but Maryland is surrounded by a haze. Either team could win by a decent margin or just squeeze one out, and anyone that says they know what’ll happen here is either a fool or a liar.

The players deserve to not be jerked around by University Administration any further and to have a successful season following whatever announcement the Board Of Regents passes down on Friday. But that’ll have to wait to start next week, because somehow we’re going to pull this off.

BRT: Does Maryland actually have a home field advantage? That’s not a place I associate with being a very tough place to play. Give me Minny, and another week of more Minnesota fans sure that they are now on the cusp of greatness.

Stew: Winner stays in the B1G. [He actually skipped either Buffalo-Rutgers or Minnesota-Maryland, but I don’t know to which game this applied.]

MNW: For all the hand-wringing from our Minnesota and Maryland reps when I announced we’d use a -3 line on Monday, this line has only moved to a -1.5 line.

Anywho, if Zach Annexstad adjusts to the road well enough, I think the Maryland we saw against Temple is closer to the actual Maryland this year. Kasim Hill is not Temple Tuff, and the Terps struggle with a hungry Gopher defense. Minnesota, 24-21.

[4] Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0, 1-0 “B1G”) vs Tulane Green Wave (1-2)

2:30pm | BTN | OSU -35.5 | O/U 68

Straight-Up: Ohio State, 20-0
Against the Spread: Ohio State, 18-2

Thump: Urban Meyer will be praised for being forthcoming and building a program that can weather the adversity they’ve been through as the Buckeyes cover against Willie Fritz and the Pissed Off Fightin’ Waves.

Boilerman: To quote a radio show host, “Win one for the Fibber, Buckeyes.”

WSR: If there was a higher power that was just and fair, Ohio State would lose this game.

BRT: Greatness is so boring, but I’ll bet the Urban Meyer rehabilitation on-air will be interesting/nauseating.

Stew: I think Urbz is petty enough to score 70+ in his first game back after facing all that adversity.

MNW: Go Angry Waves. OSU, 59-21.

[24] Michigan State Spartans (1-1) at Indiana Hoosiers (3-0)
6:30pm | BTN | MSU -5 | O/U 48

Straight-Up: Michigan State, 13-7
Against the Spread: Indiana, 14-6

Thump: Indiana looks really competent and I like underdogs, especially ones that are usually on the losing side of a rivalry (hello Illibuck). MSU wins big.

Boilerman: Now we’re back to conference play so Indiana can begin losing games in heartbreaking fashion again. Sparty wins, Hoosiers cover.

WSR: I’m probably wrong picking MSU to win here. We don’t really know anything about Indiana, do we? They’ve played some good defense so far, Stevie Scott seems decent, and Tom Allen is still the most unassuming, boring person coaching in the East. And Sparty? Well, we all know that a cheetah can’t change it’s stripes. They’ll do enough to win by more but something stupid will happen towards the end to put the outcome of the game in doubt.

BRT: This seems like the type of game Indiana has control of for most of the time, and then finds a way to lose. However... I don’t know that I really believe in MSU this season. Could potentially be a fun game to watch as a neutral.

Stew: I really have no idea who wins this game. I kinda think that the line is wrong, that Vegas is giving MSU too much credit and Indiana not enough based on few data points this year, and their history. I’m splitting here.

MNW: I am...really surprised at our results here, but I think Stew’s confusion kind of sums it up well. No idea in the Battle for Ol’ Brassy, so let’s default to the normal. MSU, 31-24.

[18] wisconsin badgers (2-1) at Iowa Hawkeyes (3-0, 2-0 state of Iowa)

7:30pm | FOX | uw -3.5 | O/U 42

Straight-Up: wisconsin, 11-9

Thump: Man, wouldn’t it be something if this was the year the Big Ten West was really wide open? Wisconsin stomps Iowa. Remember my theme.

Boilerman: Wisconsin is 6-1 after a loss under Chryst. Badgers roll into Iowa City and roll out a winner.

WSR: Who wants to watch an ugly football game? Iowa’s supposedly got a great defense and a horrible offense. At least that’s what we’ve learned from watching them beat powerhouses like UNI.

And wisconsin? Well…wisconsin is decent. They’ll finish the season in the Top 25 and will probably win the West thanks to a combination of Jonathan Taylor being good, the offensive line getting away with holding on key plays, and the defense being good enough. But they’re not great by any stretch of the imagination, as a football team or as human beings. They probably won’t even wave to the kids.

Anyway, I just get the feeling that this night game at Kinnick will play right into Kirk Ferentz’s hands and they’ll win a game that has at least one team scoring in single digits and will probably feature a safety somewhere.

BRT: I honest-to-god don’t know what to pick for this one. I mean, obviously, the domination of mighty UNI not only showed Iowa’s greatness of morality and generosity of spirit, but also their immense on-field talent. Wisconsin should be very scared.

Just kidding, I think the Badgers win. Wisconsin should be a little scared, but only because they have a left-handed QB who points at receivers when he throws, but that’s an issue unrelated to Iowa.

Stew: Fuck wisconsin.

MNW: GF3 got his picks in after the bell, but I think I speak for the both of us (he took Iowa): Don’t pick against the Hawks, at Kinnick, at night. Iowa, 21-17.

There it is. Sorry it’s late in the day. Vote in the polls, pick ‘em in the comments.


Who you got?

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    (145 votes)
  • 44%
    Personal-foulin’ Purdue
    (116 votes)
261 votes total Vote Now


Does Rutgers become, like, the 10th B1G team to lose to a MAC squad?

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    Yes, Buffalo wins
    (223 votes)
  • 16%
    No, somehow
    (43 votes)
266 votes total Vote Now



This poll is closed

  • 34%
    (96 votes)
  • 65%
    (180 votes)
276 votes total Vote Now


Ol’ Brassy?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    Stays with MSU
    (122 votes)
  • 51%
    (132 votes)
254 votes total Vote Now


Heartland Trophy?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    popcorn skunks
    (127 votes)
  • 59%
    (188 votes)
315 votes total Vote Now