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Big Ten Week 5 Picks: Penn State-Maryland, College Gameday in Lincoln, and What to Expect

We pick all the Big Ten action and wonder if Michigan will take out frustration and reprise 78-0.

DID YOU KNOW FOX HAS WWE SMACKDOWN? DID YOU KNOW THEY’RE GETTING RID OF DISH? Man, I hate the complete shillfest that is modern sports broadcasting. It’s enough to make a man want to watch Major League Lacrosse on Eleven Sports Network.

BRT remains comfortably in the lead against the spread, but DJ Carver has come out of...nowhere? somewhere? I haven’t been paying catch her in the straight-up picking. Others like, Zu, remain far off the pace, but I’m sure if they remembered to turn in their picks (instead of forgetting again), they would be in first place.

Boilerman, like the true Minnesotan he wants to be, has begun passive-aggressively putting “Lines Locked” into our picks spreadsheet after I made a stink last week. So (1) I salute the effort, and (2) line were locked at 9:30pm CT on Tuesday.


#12 Penn State Nittany Lions (3-0) at Maryland Terrapins (2-1)

7pm | FS1 | PSU -6.5 | O/U 60.5

Straight Up: Penn State, 15-4
Against the Spread: Penn State, 14-5

BrianB2: Maryland fans will be wearing black on Friday to better reflect our collective souls. I think this was a move to better camouflage all the dark blue that will be flooding into Maryland Stadium in a few days. Let us all pray the droves of Penn State fans don’t wear, like white, or something. I have no idea how the spread is in the single digits. Penn State is going to win by 30-plus.

BRT: I really don’t know what to think of this game. Maryland remains a bit of an enigma to me, and Penn State is probably decent, but they’ve also not gone out of their way to demonstrate that so far this season. I think Penn State should win, but I could as easily see this being another final minute deliverance as a 30-point butt kicking.

pkloa: Lox and Franklin are seen joshing around during warmups, making Terps fans wonder why they’ve harbored so much animosity. The extra bleachers don’t help, Nittany Lions win and cover.

Townie: The University of Maryland has a good offense this year. The defense is hit or miss. Against Syracuse, they stopped the run for the most part, but had no answer for Trishton Jackson. Against Temple, they corralled the wide receivers, but couldn’t stop the run.

Against Penn State, they will face an offense that has strong running and passing. I think they find success stopping the Nittany Lions in one dimension, but PSU scores TDs in the other. Penn State by 3 scores.

Boilerman: This is one of those games that just doesn’t give me a warm fuzzy feeling. Penn State has rolled over inferior opponents and suddenly their struggles with Pitt appear to be somewhat justified. Maryland appeared to be a death machine rolling over their cupcakes but struggled against a mixed bag of a Temple team. Reviewing some power ratings, the spread is pretty dead on. I’m going to take the home dog and the points (watch the score fall on 7 and I get taken by the hook).

Dead Read: Maryland. I have no good justification as to why they will win, but the competition will get bitter, fast.

Stew: Both teams coming off byes, both teams where that’s probably a detriment. 6.5 seems pretty low. But I think Locksley likely did more damage than Hype did. So I’ll swallow those points.

MNW: DR is onto the most important point in all of this—I just want this game to turn into a bitter, angry shitshow of Maryland fans throwing crab legs and Chessie boxes and Old Bay bath bombs [“Hey Google, remind me of this product idea”].

That said, while I think a Maryland team under Locks might be improving, barring a really complete performance, this will be one of those benchmarks that we point to and say “Here’s where Maryland has to go.” Penn State by a touchdown and a half sounds about right—Sean Clifford should be able to move the ball on the Terps. Penn State, 34-24.


Cresap’s War! Who you got?

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    Penn State covers
    (230 votes)
  • 12%
    Penn State wins, Maryland covers
    (49 votes)
  • 18%
    Maryland straight-up
    (70 votes)
  • 8%
    Alright, this historical reference is where I draw the line
    (33 votes)
382 votes total Vote Now


Northwestern Wildcats (1-2, 0-1 B1G) at #8 wisconsin badgers (3-0, 1-0 B1G)

11am | ABC | wisc -24 | O/U 46.5

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

BRT: Ouch. Northwestern often flips a switch in late September/early October, but Wisconsin appears to have the goods to keep that switch off for another week. This could get ugly.

pkloa: I’ve invested heavily in Fitz holding some stupid trick up his sleeve. If this doesn’t work out, I may have to start living in my car again.

Townie: Oh man. Is there a letdown after last week’s big win over Michigan? Do the Badgers have a head full of their own press? Yes they do, but the Fightin Nerds can’t do anything about it. Wisconsin wins but doesn’t cover.

Boilerman: I’m not a fan of large spreads. I’m also fearful of a letdown after the Badgers woodshedding of Michigan. The line keeps climbing which means early sharp action and now public are on the Badgers. I think Hunter Johnson has a lot of potential for Northwestern but Wisconsin’s defense keeps it bottled up for another week. Badgers to cover.

Dead Read: I’m sorry, Northwestern. I don’t think the wizarding hat will save you this week.

Stew: That’s a pretty giant spread, and jNW has shown no desire to score points this year. Still, I think jNW finds a way to ugly this up and cover based on the back end of an ugly game.

MNW: There was a game, I believe in 2016, when wisconsin came into Ryan Field and just slowly strangled a woefully-overmatched Northwestern offense. They were in the backfield murdering Clayton Thorson every play, Justin Jackson had nowhere to run, and the game just...kinda ended. It’s also the last time a badger ran for 100+ against Northwestern.

You might be thinking, “MNW, is it wise to taunt Jonathan Taylor for his two previous failures to rush for 100 yards against shit-ass Northwestern, given that he is liable to murder them tomorrow?” And I would respond, “I need to get these jabs in while I can.”

It’s bad. Fort Wayne bad. (Boilerman note: WHAT THE HEL...Okay, yeah.) Down go the ‘Cats, 42-3.



This poll is closed

  • 57%
    badgers big
    (191 votes)
  • 34%
    badgers not as big
    (113 votes)
  • 7%
    i have been drinking heavily and believe Northwestern will win
    (26 votes)
330 votes total Vote Now

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-2, 0-1 B1G) at #20 Michigan Wolverines (2-1, 0-1 B1G)

11am | BTN | Mich -27.5 | O/U 49

Straight Up: Michigan, 19-0
Against the Spread: Rutgers, 10-9

BrianB2: Rutgers is straight garbage, and Michigan can’t score football points. Michigan wins easily, but I don’t see them covering.

BRT: Michigan tries to reclaim some tattered shreds of dignity, but they are playing Rutgers, so it won’t work. They’ll win, but it’s like binging on cotton candy--the emptiest of calories.

Townie: Michigan takes out their frustrations from last week on a hapless rutgres team. However, the scarlet knights get some back. Michigan wins by 21...but doesn’t cover.

Boilerman: Mr. Taylor and Company rolled over Michigan’s defensive front. Unfortunately for the Scarlet Knights, they can’t run the ball, ranking 103rd in the country. The huge spread gives me pause, I’m going with a garbage time cover.

Dead Read: Rutgers is gonna get pummelled by Michigan. The Big House will be a crime scene.

MNW: I would’ve had a conversation about Rutgers pulling this one off—the cover, that is, definitely not the win—if McLane Carter was healthy. But he is not, and another game of Artur Sitkowski will be his ineffective self as Michigan takes out some frustration. We learn nothing. Michigan, 35-0.


Return of 78-0?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    No, but Michigan covers.
    (143 votes)
  • 9%
    (29 votes)
  • 27%
    No, and Rutgers covers.
    (85 votes)
  • 16%
    (50 votes)
307 votes total Vote Now

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (1-2) at #14 Iowa Hawkeyes (3-0)

11am | ESPN2 | Iowa -24 | O/U 52.5

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

i put as much time into centering the mtsu logo as iowa does into considering “should we play a real non-conference schedule”

BRT: A bye week and then Middle Tennessee State. Compelling stuff coming out of the Hawkeye state these days.

Townie: I do love the confidence of Iowa fans when their team is undefeated and ranked. But that schedule...Miami Ohio, Rutgers, Iowa State (by one point), bye...and now Middle Tennessee? This is a team that let Michigan score 40 points! For crying out loud, that makes Charmin feel like a buzz saw. The Hawkeyes pile it on this week. They win, but don’t cover.

Boilerman: I’ll say this about Kirk Ferentz, he covers at a decent clip against out of conference foes. I don’t see that changing this week.

Stew: Anyone that is remotely injured is taking another week off. Seems like this has been a designated game for freshman who are redshirting to get one of their 4 games. Iowa wins, but doesn’t cover as they play it close to the vest.

MNW: RossWB was telling me the other day that MTSU has a quarterback who leads the team in rushing as well. That...uh...that doesn’t bode well against Iowa. The Blue Raiders’ struggles stopping the run won’t help things. Iowa, 35-7.


This is dumb.

This poll is closed

  • 100%
    I agree.
    (254 votes)
254 votes total Vote Now

Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-0) at Purdue Boilermakers (1-2)

2:30pm | ESPN2 | Minn -1 | O/U 53.5

Straight Up: Minnesota, 12-7

BrianB2: Minnesota has taken their hilariously easy schedule and built themselves a +13 point differential through the first three games of the season. Purdue’s hype train has derailed faster than the Cleveland Browns hype train, so who knows. I’ll take Minnesota in this one, Purdue won’t win until next week when the inexplicably win in State College.

BRT: This is the toughest pick of the week, and potentially the most entertaining game. I think Peej’s Hyperrrrrluck Superjuice Goodtimes Elixir of Magic Escapes runs out this week, and Purdue hands the Gophers their first loss.

Townie: Boiler UP!

Dead Read: This is the hardest game to pick. Give me Minny.

Boilerman: This pick is completely conditional upon Elijah Sindelar returning to the lineup. Reports out of West Lafayette were that he was practicing as of Tuesday. If he’s back, Purdue wins a nailbiter. If not, this could get ugly in the second half as Nick Holt’s defense wears down.

Stew: Purdue is a freaking MASH unit. Minnesota finds another stupid way to win against a bad team.

MNW: Yeah, this is one you don’t want to pick at all, let alone not knowing who the Boilers QB is going to be. As I would bet it’s going to be Jack Plummer, Stew’s prediction comes true. The potential return of Shannon Brooks means Minnesota is ready to gash a Purdue defense that took an absolute beating against TCU’s ground game. Gophers, 31-27.


An initial edition of this article left out a poll for Minnesota-Purdue, and we sincerely apologize, as we know the opportunity to select the winner of such an esteemed matchup is one you cherish. As such, we are now providing you that opportunity.

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    (135 votes)
  • 56%
    (175 votes)
310 votes total Vote Now

Indiana Hoosiers (3-1, 0-1 B1G) at #25 Michigan State Spartans (3-1, 1-0 B1G)

2:30pm | BTN | MSU -14.5 | O/U 44

Straight Up: Michigan State, 18-1
Against the Spread: Indiana, 12-7

BRT: Last week didn’t make me think that MSU is suddenly a world-beater, but they’re certainly good enough to beat Indiana. The Hoosiers won’t be able to solve MSU’s defense, so all that’s left here is for the Spartans to pick up a few scores. That’s not a given, of course, but I think they’ll get it done.

Townie: Let down week for Sparty? YEP! Gimme the upset. Indiana scored ten points against OSU, that’s good enough for 24 against MSU, right? Actually, this one is a low scoring affair. Indiana keeps it close and wins by a field goal.

Boilerman: This is all I need to know. Sparty is 7-0 ATS against Indiana at home. Spartans cover.

Stew: I think Indiana’s offense is better than jNW’s, and I think that gives Sparty fewer opportunities to score. Indiana covers.

MNW: As Candystripes will tell you, Indiana is 1-9 against Dork Mantonio in the Battle for Ol’ Brassy. Compounding that, though, is only one of those 5 losses in East Lansing has been by one score (the 17-9 debacle in 2017). I don’t think Sparty’s offense looked like worldbeaters, but I don’t know that Stevie Scott will have a great deal more success than anyone for Northwestern, and if Elijah Collins can continue to boost the MSU rush attack, IU has a long day. Sparty, 24-8.


Who takes Ol’ Brassy?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Bad guys win, cover.
    (88 votes)
  • 40%
    Bad guys win, don’t cover.
    (101 votes)
  • 24%
    (62 votes)
251 votes total Vote Now

#5 Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0, 1-0 B1G) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-1, 1-0 B1G)

6:30pm | ABC | OSU -17.5 | O/U 66.5

Straight Up: OSU, 19-0
Against the Spread: OSU, 18-1 (Andrew K)

BrianB2: Is Nebraska back baby?!?! No, no they are not.

BRT: Utterly macabre.

pkloa: 17.5 seems incredibly low. As in, pay up or get kneecapped low. Hey, if you can’t beat ‘em, accuse ‘em.

Townie: Oh the humanity...the field is covered in grits. Grits! Someone call’s a disaster. There isn’t a whiff of a black shirt within 100 miles of this game. OSU scores early and often. Buckeyes win, cover, adds some cheese and feasts. I can’t watch this one...

Boilerman: Everytime I think, “This game is gonna be a bloodbath.”, it rarely turns out that way. That said, this game is gonna be a bloodbath. Give me the Buckeyes.

Dead Read: The mental gymnastics that I have to perform to think Nebraska has a chance are pretty convoluted. Maybe the Big Red shocks the world...but almost certainly not.

MNW: I clearly have not been drinking as much as Townie has, but I could sure go for some shrimp and grits. Ohio State, 45-24.


Gameday payoff?

This poll is closed

  • 74%
    Nah, OSU big.
    (271 votes)
  • 12%
    OSU wins, doesn’t cover.
    (45 votes)
  • 13%
    (49 votes)
365 votes total Vote Now

Let us know your picks in the comments. Have a great weekend and enjoy the games.