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Big Ten Week 3 Picks and Predictions

Can the Charlie Brown Hoosiers kick the football again?

Indiana v Rutgers Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

We pick games. You’re familiar with this by now. The Wisconsin Badgers and Purdue Boilermakers will not be playing because they have COVID and this was all a terrible idea. But potentially good for the Mighty Ducks:

Saturday, November 7

Michigan State Spartans (1-1) at Iowa Hawkeyes (0-2)

11am | ESPN | Iowa -6.5 | O/U 46.5

Straight-Up: Iowa, 12-3
Against the Spread: Michigan State, 9-6

BoilerBettor: Going to assume last week was Sparty getting up for a rivalry game. Fully expect letdown city this week. Hawkeyes get into the win column as Mel Tucker returns to reality. Hawkeyes win and cover.

Stew: I think Iowa does get off the schneid. But you’re fucking nuts if you think I’m picking Iowa to cover.

BRT: I’ve been on Instagram rather too much in the last month, and one thing influencers have taught me is that I just need to “manifest” the things I want in life. Since I did horribly the first week, and forgot to vote last week (for this—I voted for the important thing), I have nothing to lose and am going to manifest my desires. Sorry Iowa. But not really.

/picks up rock
//puts down rock
///gives rock to Spencer Petras
////rock breaks sound barrier

Iowa, 17-14



This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Iowa covers
    (29 votes)
  • 46%
    Iowa wins by 6 or less
    (90 votes)
  • 38%
    Michigan State
    (76 votes)
195 votes total Vote Now

#23 Michigan Wolverines (1-1) at #13 Indiana Hoosiers (2-0)

11am | FS1 | Mich -3.5 | O/U 54

Straight-Up: Michigan, 9-6
ATS: Michigan, 8-7

BoilerBettor: I’m sure Hoosier fans are thrilled to be 2-0. That said, I think they’re in a bad spot this week with Harbz coming into Bloomington. Tom Allen’s luck runs out. Michigan wins and covers.

Stew: That’s gotta be the smallest spread in this series in most of our lifetimes. Seems a bit like a sucker bet. I’m going to split, because who the fuck knows.

BRT: Manifesting what I want to see in the world, I’m going with 3-0 Indiana. Hold on to your Vanilla Cokes.

pkloa: The number of readers wanting Michigan to win this game may be in the single digits. We don't always get what we want, though, especially in college football. I've got the Wolverines by a touchdown.

MNW: As a reminder, here are the tropes to walk out if Indiana wins this:

On October 24, 1987, Anthony Thompson and the 15th-ranked Hoosiers beat #20 Michigan:
* A gallon of gas was 90 cents.
* Michael Jackson’s “Bad” hit No. 1 on the U.S. singles charts.
* Robert Bork’s bid for the Supreme Court was front-page news, having gone down by a 58-42 vote in the Senate the day prior.

Unfortunately, I’ll believe it when I see it. If Michael Penix, Jr., can play YOLOball and beat the Wolverines, that’s fine, but this feels like a classic “Michigan takes out its frustration on whoever’s nex—oh of fucking course it has to be Indiana.” Wolverines, 27-17.



This poll is closed

  • 55%
    (116 votes)
  • 44%
    (94 votes)
210 votes total Vote Now

Nebraska Cornhuskers (1-0) at Northwestern Wildcats (2-0)

11am | BTN | NU -4 | O/U 55

Straight-Up: Northwestern, 10-5
Against the Spread: Northwestern, 9-6

BoilerBettor: To all those Nebraska Twitter fans out there. Fuck you. Go take another sunglasses in a truck selfie or something. Purple Cats roll and cover.

BRT: Nebraska will win, since this is on the road. Aren’t you glad you came here for the hard-hitting, well-thought-out football analysis?

pkloa: Against all odds, Northwestern finds a way to dicktrip this one. Nebraska wins big.

MNW: On a personal, superstitious level, the moment I talk shit online to the mouth-breathing Nebraska and Ohio State fans (which, to review—fuck you) is the moment that Northwestern loses.

On a sporting competition level, Northwestern has yet to see playmakers like Adrian Martinez. Wan’dale Robinson might not be Tyler Goodison, but pair him with a QB worth a damn on the mesh, and we could have problems. I have no idea what Luke McCaffery can bring to the table.

Of more encouragement to me is Peyton Ramsey’s 2019 performance against the Huskers—a career-high 351 yards on 27/40 passing with a pair of TDs and a pick. But there’s no Whop Philyor here to embarrass the Nebraska secondary. Can Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman and Kyric McGowan get behind the Huskers or slash them from underneath?

But the questions for me revolve more around the ‘Cats defense. If Northwestern wins this, there’s going to be a lot of bending, not breaking on defense, or Nebraska putting the ball on the ground with the rust of a week off. Huskers, 31-23.



This poll is closed

  • 72%
    The sleek, attractive, purple NU
    (161 votes)
  • 27%
    The clunky, chunky, flunky UNL
    (60 votes)
221 votes total Vote Now

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

2:30pm | BTN | PSU -25.5 | O/U 64.5

Straight-Up: Penn State, 14-1
Against the Spread: Maryland, 11-4

BoilerBettor: Will the real versions of these teams please stand up? Didn’t think so. Will go with Penn State to win but that number is too damn large. Maryland finds a way to cover.

Stew: I think Maryland is still complete garbage. But there is some talent there, enough to score a few points on this thin PSU team. I’ll take the points.

BRT: The only place I’m enjoying chaos this year is on the football field. Turtle power!

pkloa: [they'restillshitty.gif] Lions win big, but not quite big enough. Call it 34-10, good guys.

MNW: We call this a “get right” game. Lions, 49-10.


Any prayer?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    (45 votes)
  • 33%
    Sure, they’ll cover, but Penn State wins
    (71 votes)
  • 45%
    Let’s just agree to give this one to Pennsylvania
    (96 votes)
212 votes total Vote Now

Minnesota Golden Gophers (0-2) at Illinois Fighting Illini (0-2)

2:30pm | BTN | Minn -7.5 | O/U 61

Straight-Up: Minnesota, 14-1
Against the Spread: Illinois, 8-7

BoilerBettor: I look forward to seeing how Minnesota chokes this one away. Just kidding. Illinois is still playing with their 4th String QB. I’ll take Minnesota to get the win and take some frustrations out on the Illini. Minnesota covers.

Stew: I went to write this blurb and changed my against the spread pick, but holy hell, that Minnesota defense is fucking terrible. Illinois is gonna score points. So I’ll middle this one, too.

BRT: I enjoyed last Friday night so much (sorry WSR), I’d like to watch that again. C’mon Lovie & Co!

MNW: Gophers DC Joe Rossi is out with COVID (just feel like it’s worth mentioning that), not that it’s mattered much to date. Illinois RBs have been around 5 yards a clip, but without Noted Running QB Brandon Peters at the helm against Purdue, it wasn’t the same.

My pick to hedge is ultimately a statement of just how bad Minnesota’s defense has been, but this optimism that Illinois can ditch the 0-fer some time before they meet Northwestern. Gophers, 35-28.


Meeting of the two teams we all expected to be 0-2:

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Minnesota rolls
    (53 votes)
  • 26%
    Close one, but Minnesota pulls it out
    (50 votes)
  • 44%
    (84 votes)
187 votes total Vote Now

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-1) at #3 Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0)

6:30pm | BTN | OSU -37.5 | O/U 64.5

Straight-Up: Duh.
Against the Spread: Rutgers, 12-3

BoilerBettor: The death machine rolls on. Buckeyes win and cover.

Stew: What Vegas is saying is that rutger is roughly as good as UNL.

BRT: I like how Stew conscientiously avoided commenting on Nebraska’s game to show he definitely doesn’t care about them, but then chokes it away at the very end and shows his hand. Aw. :)

Anyway, I’m doing all this manifesting and stuff, but I just couldn’t with Rutgers beating OSU. I mean, I wouldn’t be mad, because it would be an LOL for the ages, but I don’t think 2020 loves us that much. That’s a big spread though - I’ll say the ‘gers can hang better than that.

MNW: What better way to celebrate the invention of college soccer than with Ohio State graciously letter Rutgers keep it close?

Schiano has—taps nose—a trick or two up his sleeve. At least one of those is going to result in a hilariously awful fake field goal or something because you can’t prep for the athletes the Buckeyes bring to the table, but there could be some fun. Ohio State, 52-17.


...I mean, is there ANY prayer?

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Nah. Bucks roll.
    (98 votes)
  • 40%
    As a present to the Birthplace, here’s a respectable cover.
    (87 votes)
  • 14%
    (32 votes)
217 votes total Vote Now



  • Jesse Collins — 69.2%
  • baboreally, beezer07, Dead Read, LPW — 61.5%
  • Aaron Yorke, BoilerBettor, Candystripes, pkloa, Stew, WSR — 53.8%
  • MNW — 46.2%
  • BrianB2, ZuzuRU — 38.5%

Against the Spread:

  • Jesse Collins — 76.9%
  • Candystripes, MNW — 69.2%
  • LPW — 61.5%
  • beezer07, Boilerman31 — 53.8%
  • Aaron Yorke — 46.2%
  • baboreally, Dead Read, WSR — 38.5%

Let us know your picks in the comments!