clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Big Ten Football Week 11 Picks, Previews, and Predictions

Another Harboring of Ohio State? Will Iowa and Minnesota break a total of 30? A truly assy weekend of games...

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Iowa
Why can’t I find pictures of Minnesota holding the pig?
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

About Last Week

After weeks of trying we finally had a writer predict all of the winners. Kudos for BoilerUp89 are in order, especially considering we had a couple significant upsets this week. Well done, sir!

For the second week in a row, a writer rode a 6-1 ATS week to the top of the ATS standings. Last week it was ZuzuRU. This time it’s HWAHSQB’s turn. We won’t mention how your humble writer is doing.

This Week

You’d expect ATS picks to be around even. Four of the six games this week have a greater than 2:1 ratio for one team. In three of those games, it’s the underdog.

Saturday, Nov 13

(all times CDT)

(9) Michigan Wolverines @ (23) Penn State Nittany Lions

11am | ABC | Penn State -1 | O/U 48.5

Straight-Up: The Good Blue 11-8
Against the Spread: No middles

Thumpasaurus: Penn State’s inability to run the ball is going to be a real problem here. Michigan has a diverse enough offense to give them fits given that Illinois ran all over them, so I think Michigan controls this game.

pkloa: Dammit, Thump is actually good at this stuff. Well, guess I'll be drinking my Saturday away.

Kind of...: For as much shit as he takes, Harbs usually wins the ones he’s supposed. Sparty had Walker and a couple of bounces/calls go their way. PSU doesn’t have Walker. Wolverines win.

misdreavus79: The Michigan Man has already turned this line all the way Michigan -2, so that’s all the confidence I need to know who’s winning this game. Also: the one thing Michigan has been struggling the most with, especially as of late, is the thing that Penn State does the best.

RockyMtnBlue: If Clifford is unwilling/unable to run this could be a game. Michigan struggles badly with running quarterbacks. I suspect he’ll run just enough and Jahan Dotson will catch 22 passes for 548 yards. PSU 27-14

MNW: Flipped a coin. Decided I don’t care. Michigan, 21-17.


Pick your blue accouterments:

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    eye-blinding yellow
    (150 votes)
  • 40%
    white, just a never-ending expanse of white
    (102 votes)
252 votes total Vote Now

Northwestern Wildcats @ (20) Wisconsin Badgers

11am | ESPN2 | Wisconsin -24!! | O/U 41

Straight-Up: All Rodents
Against the Spread: Nerds 13-6

BoilerUp89: This game makes me feels uncomfortable. For the Illini divisional hopes, Northwestern needs to win. Sadly, I’m pretty sure the Illinois to Indianapolis hopes die early.

Thumpasaurus: Northwestern’s preparing for Illinois now. Or at least that’s going to be my excuse when they throttle us. Still, Wisconsin dicks around and doesn’t cover.

HWAHSQB: Nern will lose just to spite me personally.

Kind of...: Nern will lose, but not because of anything having to do with HWAHSQB. UW is rounding into form. Even with the RB attrition, the Badgers will get enough offense to create a little breathing room early. Then, UW is going to just put it in the deep freeze and coast, allowing NW to hold onto the cover.

misdreavus79: These games are rarely blowouts, and I don’t know what Vegas is on thinking that Wisconsin is going to beat Northwestern by 24. Who do they think Northwestern is, Rutgers?

MC ClapYoHandz: If this series is to remain true to form, and it will, something just won’t make sense for this game. Sure the Badgers are finding their groove and Northwestern hasn’t done much of anything, but...I never trust this game. I will take Wisconsin because it’s an odd-numbered year, but Northwestern will beat the spread for unexplainable reasons, and Jazz caught the ball.

RockyMtnBlue: Wiscy wins. That’s pretty certain. It’s an odd year and jNW has looked bad even for odd years, Wisconsin seems to have found its team. But 24 points is an awfully big spread for a series that has such a history of stupid games. Badgers 24-7

MNW: RMB has exactly the right idea here. The badgers have enough of an offense to get this done—though Chez Mellusi being out for the year should provide wisconsin fans just a little sweat as Braelon Allen shoulders more of the workload—even if Graham Mertz remembers he’s Graham Mertz and throws a couple of those classic wisconsin-against-Northwestern interceptions that leave you scratching your head.

And that’s because Northwestern’s offense, you’s just so bad. So, so, so bad.

Look, Andrew Marty gives them the best chance to win, particularly against a wisconsin program that has historically just pinned its ears back and gone after an undermanned Northwestern offensive line. Either of Ryan Hilinski or Hunter Johnson, statues that they are, would get murdered back there. Marty can dance around a little and maybe only get sacked 5 times instead of 8. Progress! That’ll mean badgers, 24-3.



This poll is closed

  • 47%
    wins by a lot
    (111 votes)
  • 52%
    merely covers
    (121 votes)
232 votes total Vote Now

Rutgers Scarlet Knights @ Indiana Hoosiers

11am | BTN | Indiana -6.5

Straight-Up: Historical losing red team 10-9
Against the Spread: Modern-day losing red team 13-6

BoilerUp89: Only complete SICKOs and degenerate gamblers will watch this game.

Thumpasaurus: Rutgers is not very good at moving the ball, but they can do it in several different ways. Indiana can’t move the ball at all. Rutger wins. FIVE WIN RUTGER!

Kind of...: There’s a reasonable argument for Rutgers, but if Indiana has any pride at all, if they don’t want a winless B1G season, this is the game they need to win. I’ll take the Hoosiers to cover in a cathartic victory.

misdreavus79: I will readily admit that I have no idea about this game. Indiana wins, Rutgers covers? [checks notes] —Oh, I picked Rutgers to win outright! Ok then! Rutgers gets the win!

MC: Recency bias reigns supreme here, but Rutgers looked awful in the Wisconsin game and lost an x-factor in Aron Cruickshank during that game. Indiana has been pure ass but Tom Allen isn’t entirely fool’s gold right? Right? I already regret this.

RockyMtnBlue: Rutgers is the worst team in the Big10 this year. I didn’t expect that to happen, but it’s true. Indiana is the most broken team in the big10 this year. Resistible Force meets Movable Object. I think Allen is a terrific defensive coach who just hasn’t had his players available. Rutgers doesn’t have the talent on offense for that to be a problem. Indiana 16-6.

MNW: Yeah, let’s please not miss just how bad the Scarlet Knights are. That they beat Illinois remains baffling. Whereas the Hoosiers have been out-talented and let down by their quarterback play, Ryan Hilinski was able to beat the Knights in Evanston. Tuttle or Penix or whoever’s left should be able to do the exact same thing in Bloomington. Hoosiers, 27-24.


I feel generous, so I’ll give you a middle:

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Indiana covers
    (48 votes)
  • 31%
    Indiana wins by 6 or less
    (67 votes)
  • 45%
    (95 votes)
210 votes total Vote Now

Purdue Boilermakers @ (6) Ohio State Buckeyes

2:30pm | ABC | Ohio State -20 | O/U 62

Straight-Up: A wretched hive of scum and villainy 18-1
Against the Spread: Our Only Hope 12-7

BoilerUp89: Iowa was ranked 2. Michigan State was ranked 3. Purdue is counting up. Ohio State is next and going to be ranked 4 in the CFP. Some truths are undeniable. Don’t take gambling advice from me. The committee are cowards and ranked Purdue.

Thumpasaurus: I just don’t think Purdue will be able to play a flawless game on offense, which they’ll need to do because they won’t be able to contain the Buckeyes with their defenes.

pkloa: Purdue already used up their allotted magic for the year. Ohio State stays annoyingly focused and wins by 21.

Kind of...: Purdue’s defense is pretty good. Not good enough to beat OSU. But good enough to lose by less than 20.

misdreavus79: I’m going to will this into existence! Purdue slays their third giant this season, and takes contr—ok look I don’t care what Purdue does the rest of the way just beat Ohio State cool thanks.

MC: I like Purdue’s defense and that’s what I’m hanging my hat on here to beat the spread, hopefully they catch OSU before the Death Star is once again fully operational.

RockyMtnBlue: How spectacular would it be to have a Harbor Three-peat? Alas. It’s well known we cannot have nice things. OSU has looked mortal lately which just means they’re fucking bored, waiting to annihilate Michigan. OSU 34-10

MNW: Yeah, lol, no.

Like, I’m super here for the Purdue bit, especially given the win over Iowa, but I’m not holding my breath on them stopping an Ohio State offense that will hurt you in whatever way they please (including emotionally). Buckeyes, 45-21.



This poll is closed

  • 31%
    Nah. Bucks by a lot.
    (90 votes)
  • 37%
    Nah, but it’s close.
    (109 votes)
  • 30%
    (88 votes)
287 votes total Vote Now

Minnesota Golden Gophers @ (19) Iowa Hawkeyes

2:30pm | BTN | Iowa -6 | O/U 37

Straight-Up: Corn 15-4
Against the Spread: Lakes 13-6

BoilerUp89: Floyd will stay in captivity for another year as Iowa wins 2-0.

Thumpasaurus: After what I saw last week from these two teams I’m expecting the B1Ggest possible game. That under actually looks tempting. These two teams are committed to running out the clock whether or not they’re winning. Iowa wins, Minnesota covers. No more than two total touchdowns are scored.

Kind of...: Iowa’s offense is terrible, but Kirk isn’t fond of Peej and I bet he’ll have a little something saved up. Could easily see at 17-10 sort of cover here.

misdreavus79: Well if the Minnesota that played Bowling Green and Illinois shows up Iowa will win 7-0. If the one that showed up the rest of the way gears up, Iowa will win 6-3.

MC: Minnesota is ass, my dudes.

RockyMtnBlue: What MC said. Except that Minnesota is also staggeringly unpredictable. Goofs 17-13

MNW: Staggeringly their predictability. Peejus will run the ball and try to chew clock. Kirk will try to run the ball and chew clock. The only thing deciding this one is that it’s (1) a Minnesota rivalry game, and (2) at Kinnick. Iowa, 17-10.



This poll is closed

  • 63%
    With corn.
    (152 votes)
  • 36%
    With extra passive aggression.
    (88 votes)
240 votes total Vote Now

Maryland Terrapins @ (8) Michigan State Spartans

2:30pm | FOX | Michigan State -13 | O/U 62

Straight-Up: Horrible people 17-1
Against the Spread: Same horrible people 14-5

Damn. I never thought I’d complain about not enough red in one of these graphics.

Thumpasaurus: Nah, I don’t think it’s possible for Maryland’s one-dimensional attack to score enough points to beat Sparty. I’m sure they’ll throw for 400+ yards, but that doesn’t mean they’ll score double digits. This is Mike Locksley. Maryland’s defense is the worst in the league and Kenneth Walker is going to have a field day.

pkloa: This game will tell us if Tucker is an actually good coach. I think he is. Spartans come out angry, and Maryland can be only so "Locked In" (their branding, not mine).

Kind of...: I respect Mel Tucker a lot more than Mike Locksley. Sparty will win in a rout.

misdreavus79: I am willing this into existence! Maryland with the shocker! Mel Tucker allegedly signed that Ryan Day Money Contract™, so the losses start to pile up (except next week, they need to beat Ohio State next week).

MC: Okay yes, MSU went and got harbored but Purdue had a solid defense behind a good crowd. Maryland...does not have that defense, MSU will be angry and looking to appease their degenerate crowd, MSU covers.

RockyMtnBlue: Maryland is going to get some passing yards in this game. If they still had Demus they might get enough. The don’t and they won’t. MSU 34-17

MNW: If Larry’s to be believed (and I’m sure not watching Maryland games, so I have to believe him), this mediocre bundle of talent is just kinda who Maryland is. Pack it in, Turtle, and just get that W against Rutgers. MSU, 31-17.


Just pick so I can go teach my class at 11am

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    Sparty rolls
    (130 votes)
  • 26%
    Sparty by less than 13
    (56 votes)
  • 12%
    (27 votes)
213 votes total Vote Now

Obviously Cheating With a Second Bye Week

Illinois Fighting Illini, Nebraska Cornhuskers

HWAHSQB: I think nebraska will win the bye week because they fired their incompetent OC and Illinois did not. Wait, we weren’t supposed to pick this one?

Ed: Picking bye weeks is fine. It’s picking in favor of Nebraska that’s bad form.

Need help making your picks? Stumbled upon this hive of shenanigans and want to learn more? Check out some of our other Big Ten coverage from this week:

Thanks for making Off Tackle Empire a stop for your Big Ten football reading.