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Big Ten Football Week 4 Picks and Predictions

Michigan and wisconsin headline, but Michigan State and Northwestern will grab the PUNT flag and run with it.

Wisconsin v Michigan Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

It remains BRT’s world, and we are all just living in it.

Picks and Predictions

UConn Huskies at Indiana Hoosiers

11am | BTN | IU -27 | O/U 58

Straight-Up: Indiana, 18-0
ATS: UConn, 11-7


pkloa: A horrible UConn still manages to lose by only 3 touchdowns.

Boilerman: I think the question on everyone’s mind is if Penix will be up to play this game. If he is, then I think IU rises to the occasion and covers. If not, give me the Huskies to get the backdoor cover on a massive line.

Thumpasaurus: Indiana wins this one by just pounding the ball and playing disciplined defense. Indiana covers by being what Illinois was supposed to be against UConn

Dead Read: I am not sure the quarterback can stand tall and lead a potent enough attack to score four times in one day. Indiana wins but does not cover.

Stew: Indiana covered one ridiculously high spread this year. So I will refuse to learn my lesson and take the points.

WSR: If Illinois can’t blow out UConn, I highly doubt Indiana can either. They’ll win, but I doubt it’ll be by 4 TD with a missed XP ugly.

Zuzu: Firstly. F**k UConn. Secondly. F**k Indiana. If I could root for some natural disaster I would. But Indiana should handle UConn before nature would.

MNW: UConn no doubt benefited from the daunting home environment that is Rensselaer-Pratt-Whitney Polytechnic University Field or whatever it’s called, but I’m similarly skeptical that the Hoosiers—who looked good against an FCS team, which I guess UConn is now or whatever—will be able to repeat that treatment to a team that’s more Balls Tate than they are Eastern Illinois.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that if we don’t see Michael Penix, Jr., the Hoosiers will be on upset alert into the second half. Indiana, 34-24.

Boston College Eagles at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

11am | BTN | BC -7.5 | O/U 57.5

Straight-Up: Boston College, 13-5
ATS: Boston College, 10-8

shocking number of folks talking RU in this one

Boilerman: There’s nothing to like about this game. Boston College looked absolutely dreadful against Kansas and sorry, that wasn’t a lookahead spot. I’m middling this game because I don’t trust either team to do anything.

Thumpasaurus: Oh Bman, you must mean from a betting perspective, because screw Michigan-Wisconsin, this is my game of the week! I don’t know what the hell to expect here! I’ll say rutger covers for that reason.

Dead Read: In spite of everything...I am picking Rutgers to win straight up. I mean...BC got killed by KANSAS at home, and it was not a fluke.

Stew: This line really, really, really wants me to take BC. I’ll be a sucker and oblige.

WSR: This game should be stopped by the Hague. There’s just no excuse for it happening.

BRT: A game like this shows you, I think, if Ash is merely a bad coach, or a bad coach who has also lost the claim to any effort from his players. If Rutgers’s going to be an even longer season than we thought.

Zuzu: You know... I picked Rutgers over BC with my heart. But my brain knows that with Sitkowski starting as Carter is out with an injury... we're probably doomed.

MNW: I’ve watched Kansas football, and Senator Rutgers, you’re no Kansas football.

Plus, I mean, Artur Sitkowski is probably the RU quarterback. It’s over, guys. It was never going to happen anyways, but now it’s over.. Boston College, 31-14.

Michigan State Spartans at Northwestern Wildcats

11am | ABC | MSU -8.5 | O/U 38.5

Straight-Up: Michigan State, 10-8
ATS: Northwestern, 16-2

pkloa: Tartans can’t cure their hangover, Wildcats win outright.

Boilerman: I honestly can’t see how Sparty gets the offense right and beats the Fightin’ Fitz’s by double digits. That said, the Wildcats aren’t exactly lighting the world on fire either. Northwestern covers and I won’t be surprised if they win outright.

Thumpasaurus: I can’t believe MSU is favored in this one, which it has lost three years in a row. Dantonio consistently does the dumbest possible thing against Fitzgerald, and that trend has no reason to stop here. Cats win.

Dead Read: This game will be so very...assy, but it will be assy in a stereotypically Big Ten way - making it magnificent. Can either of these teams score? How many turnovers? How many twenty yard scoring drives? Such “ball control.” Such punt. Make sure you catch the opening kickoff in Evanston. Savor it, because it may be one-third of the kickoffs that you will see there all day.

(A small part of me thinks this will turn into an offensive showcase, just because Fitzy’s wizarding ways appear at irregular intervals. If that happens, I will feel cheated.)

Stew: This game will be exceedingly dumb. I have no idea, no one does. I’m middling this because I don’t think either team is capable of beating the other by double digits, but MSU has the better unit (defense), even though they’ve never seen a short slant. Ever.

WSR: First team to 4 FGs wins?

BRT: Mostly I just want MSU to be terrible in stupid ways again so I can steal “Tartans” from pkloa. What a missed opportunity that was last week!

Zuzu: I second more or less what Boilerman said, but with more confidence in NU to pull off the win. So my pick went with the unlikely possibly.

MNW: Hunter Johnson threw a couple slants last week that had me thinking “Hey, this is the guy to beat MSU handily AGAIN.” Of course, that means he’ll throw four interceptions, Isaiah Bowser will return and run 24 times for 33 yards, and after doinking his first four FG attempts off the left upright, Matt Coghlin hits the game-winner after snap-hooking it left toward the south end zone, only to have it blown through the uprights by a stiff Lake Michigan breeze. Sparty, 24-21.

Michigan Wolverines at wisconsin badgers

11am | FOX | wisc -3.5 | O/U 43.5

Straight-Up/ATS: wisconsin, 10-8

pkloa: Wisconsin covers at home and our western-based OTE commentariat gets a bit more obnoxious.

Boilerman: I honestly don’t know what to expect from this game. Wisconsin has destroyed a couple of cupcakes while Michigan nearly had their hearts ripped out against Army. Here’s a fun tidbit, Wisconsin has covered it’s last 5 games at home against Michigan. I’m going to go with that trend and say the Badgers win and cover.

Thumpasaurus: I have Wisconsin covering this spread because this should be an important and closely-contested game. What does Jim Harbaugh do in those?

Dead Read: A whole lot will have to have changed over the bye week for the Wolverines to win this - they have looked flat and disjointed while the Badgers have put on a cupcake clinic. A Michigan win could happen, but I think Wiscy wins by double digits (10-14 points).

Stew: Fuck wisconsin. This is totally out of spite. I think wisconsin is probably the better team, but I don’t care. Fuck’em.

WSR: Michigan has better talent at about 21 offensive & defensive positions and better coaching. wisconsin has Taylor. Michigan has played like crap, wisconsin played crap. This one will be closer than I’d like, but not every wisconsin loss can be a 3 TD loss like the fans deserve.

Zuzu: I don't know I just have this feeling that this game will go one of two ways. It will either be crazy close, or one teams just runs away with it.

MNW: I really should’ve middled this game. But, if anything, this is what Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines have been preparing for: Jonathan Taylor up the middle, over and over, daring the badger wideouts to beat them with speed (I’m willing to be wrong, but they won’t) and Jack Coan to beat them with his arm (I’m willing to be wrong, but he won’t). Michigan, 16-13.

Miami Hydroxide Redhawks at Ohio State Buckeyes

2:30pm | BTN | OSU -37 (now -39.5) | O/U 58.5

Straight-Up: Ohio State, duh
ATS: Ohio State, 13-5

Boilerman: This line will give any handicapper serious pause. Given Ryan Day seems to be making a statement to the committee with this team, I fully expect the buzzsaw to continue against an awful Miami (OH) team.

Thumpasaurus: Nobody knows how good Ohio State is because they’re yet to play a team who actually plays the same sport.

Dead Read: OSU wins big, but they do not cover this spread. At this point, I figure they must be bored of thrashing inferior squads. I know I have grown weary of watching it.

Stew: Transitivity for the win. OSU beat Cincy by 42, and Cincy beat Miami Hydroxide by 22, ergo OSU covers.

WSR: I’m going to keep picking tOSU to win and cover until they decide to stop themselves from covering.

Zuzu: ACTUAL lol at "Miami Hydroxide." And obviously Ohio State wins.

MNW: If you looked at Miami Hydroxide coach Chuck Martin saying “it’s like [Ohio State] has the first 85 picks at recess” and thought anything other than “lol, what a funny quote,” jump off a bridge.

He’s right. Ohio State, 56-14. But get to know QB Brett Gabbert. He’ll be embarrassing Northwestern in three more seasons or whenever.

Nebraska Cornhuskers at Illinois Fighting Illini

7pm | BTN | UNL -13 | O/U 62.5

Straight-Up: Nebraska by a lot
ATS: Nebraska, 13-5

“We are the Knights who say icky-icky PTANG! Zoooooop, boing!”

pkloa: Watch history unfold live as Lovie Smith loses to Nebraska for the last time ever!

Boilerman: When you see a line move that much, that fast, it definitely tells you bettors think the line was set incorrectly. Nebraska got their minds right against Northern Illinois while Lovie and Co. crapped the bed against EMU. Last year’s game was a shootout and I would predict more of the same. Give me Nebraska to pull away and cover late.

Thumpasaurus: LMFAO. Adrian Martinez is going to have a career day. The first time Illinois fails to turn a possession into a touchdown, the game is over.

Dead Read: If my favorite team were not playing in this game, there is no way I would watch it. It seems so...meh. I’ll take Nebby by 14-17 points. My greatest hope for this game is that it becomes instantly forgettable. Things that would make it memorable - a Nebby loss, or a serious injury - are the last things I want to see. Bore me, Big Red.

Stew: Wait, what the fuck? It jumped 5.5 points?!? Fuck that, I gotta fade the public just on principle.

WSR: Bowl game elimination showdown! Nebraska wins, Illinois covers because there’s no way they’re beating a team with a pulse by more than 10 this year. Ummmm...wait a second. Somebody go put a mirror over Lovie really quick to see if he fogs it up.

BRT: I disagree with DR, I’d totally watch this if unaffiliated. Last year’s game was a completely bananas affair. Maybe it’s my residual Big 12, but I’d rather watch that kind of insanity than NW and MSU seeing who can win 6-3. I think the Husker D is enough improved that this game is slightly less terrifying than last year, but that the Huskers will find a few stupid ways to make this needlessly suspenseful.

MNW: Sure, it’s probably easy money (PS Boilerman if you’re changing the lines on us from Monday to Thursday I’mma be pissed), but I don’t think you can’t take it. Illinois has given us nothing to believe in, and Nebraska’s a program with vastly more pride than some shit school like Minnesota. Unless there’s a 50 mph poopwind in Chambana, the 30K Big Red faithful enjoy watching Adrian Martinez run and run and run. Huskers, 45-19.

Make picks in the comments. Have a great weekend!