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Big Ten Football Week 12 Picks, Previews, and Predictions

Pick your poison: Michigan State keeping it inside three scores or Nebraska keeping it inside one.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns / USA TODAY NETWORK

[MNW writes stuff]

Shut up, RMB, you’re not my real dad.

About Last Week

BoilerUp89 had himself a week! Perfect 6-0 straight up is hard enough to do. He also went 6-0 against the spread. First time this season anyone has done that. If only he could have paired that success with yet another harbor.

HWAHSQB continues to lead ATS picks for the season. He’s down to .583, but that’s still pretty good. Your author, on the other hand, is the GD wurst (literally).

Minimum picks to qualify for season ATS: 46

This Week

Saturday, Nov 20

(all times MST)

(7) Michigan State Spartans @ (4) Ohio State Buckeyes

10am | ABC | OSU -19 | O/U 66.5

Straight-Up: Horrible People Down South 17-1
Against the Spread: Horrible People Up North 12-6

It’s a Christmas Graphic! (as if we needed another reason to hate Christmas)

misdreavus79: Mel Tucker got paid, so now he can lose in peace. Ohio State by 30.

Stew: Massive contract extensions generally precede humbling losses. However, not sure that’s really possible going up against OSU, where any semblance of competitiveness is lauded. However, the next week OSU is playing Michigan, and in the previous decade, OSU typically underperforms against the spread the week prior to the Michigan game. Not sure if it’s look ahead, or just saving stuff to absolutely throttle the piss out of the Wolverines, but I’ll take the points, here.

HWAHSQB: Poor passing defense meets three first round draft pick receivers. I think Ryan Day can win this game by as many points as he wants to.

Buffkomodo: Michigan State gonn’ get thumped.

BoilerUp89: Last week we had Purdue performing the part of Rogue One. This week the Death Star takes out Alderaan.

MNW: Yeah, I feel bad kind of echoing “I don’t think the Spartans will stop the Ohio State passing attack,” so this could be fun and stupid if Michigan State can avoid having its serve broken on offense too often. If Sparty comes out and runs its usual gameplan, I think they keep it within three scores; keep the game in the 20s if possible, the 30s at worst.

It works until it doesn’t. Ohio State, 42-28.

RockyMtnBlue: I’m not sure I’ve ever wanted a meteor more. By all rights OSU should throw for about 1000 yards and bury MSU under an avalanche of points. But I think it will be weirdly close, because that will further empower Sparty fans to laugh at Michigan next week when they lose by 100. OSU 56-45


This game, remember, is #7 at #4.

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Ohio State by 19+
    (122 votes)
  • 47%
    Ohio State by less than 19
    (153 votes)
  • 13%
    MSU straight up
    (44 votes)
319 votes total Vote Now

Purdue Boilermakers @ Northwestern Wildcats

10am | BTN | Purdue -11.5 | O/U 48.5

Straight-Up: Trains 17-1
Against the Spread: Trains 12-6

misdreavus79: How many games has Northwestern covered this season? It’s not many, right?

Is this a game where Purdue’s offense is explosive and puts up points, or where they struggle to his 17? It’s going to be cold and windy in Evanston. jNW’s defense is terrible, but I’ll take those points due to weather, alone.

HWAHSQB: Take the points. Nern is saving up a whole season’s worth of offense to unleash on Chambana Thanksgiving weekend.

Buffkomodo: Am I wrong or is this a game that Purdue typically loses? I mean, I expect them to win but I actually expect them to stumble and fumble to a Northwestern cover.

BoilerUp89: Buff isn’t wrong. But Northwestern has just looked so lost all year long. I’d feel a lot less comfortable in a rematch against Illinois right now.

RockyMtnBlue: The sentiment here seems to be “this is the kind of game Purdue loses”, and I fully agree. But here’s the thing: Northwestern really sucks. Purdue 24-7

MNW: This is a game that Purdue typically loses and you know what? They do.

Fuck it, what do I have to lose? Right after I disparage the ‘Cats or decide I’m out on the season, wouldn’t it be like Pat Fitzgerald to rope me back in AND get some stupid shitty talking point like “we should play more games in Chicago” as a result?

Lower-key: I don’t hate a bad passer like Andrew Marty here, precisely because Purdue doesn’t get after the quarterback terribly well. While the Boilermakers are strong at getting teams behind the sticks and forcing a decent number of busted drives, the sign won’t stop these ‘Cats, because they can’t read they’ll happily give the ball away a few times. It’s when they don’t, a la Drive #1 at wisconsin, that you need to watch out. And I think Marty can make enough plays with his legs—along with an Evan Hull “what the fuck?” game—to make this one happen.

Also I just refuse to acknowledge that Northwestern’s about to get dump-trucked by Zander fucking Horvath, like an Avar in the path of a Magyar. CALL ANDREW MARTY “OTTO THE GREAT,” WITH A WIN OUTTA THE...




...Lech Field Bleachers. ‘Cats, 27-21.


...what the absolute hell was that, MNW

This poll is closed

  • 68%
    Purdue covers the 11-point line
    (166 votes)
  • 22%
    Purdue wins, does not cover
    (55 votes)
  • 9%
    (23 votes)
244 votes total Vote Now

Rutgers Scarlet Knights @ Penn State Nittany Lions

10am | BTN | PSU -17.5 | O/U 46

Straight-Up: Nits 15-3
Against the Spread: Nits 10-8

Zuzu is a homer in exactly the way I’m not. I dunno what’s going on with the other two

misdreavus79: No, this will not be the year Rutgers finally beats Penn State. Get off my lawn.

Stew: Middle? Hell yeah, gimme dat middle! I mean, it’s a lot of points, that extra 0.5 point may be significant, and what the hell is PSU even playing for, now?

HWAHSQB: That’s a lot of points for a team that has turned out to be not very good.

Buffkomodo: The only game I’ve seen Rutgers play is the Indiana game, so Rutgers is a legit B1G threat for 5th place in the East. Penn State pounds the piss out of them.

MNW: I just noticed everything being in MST. You rat bastard, RMB.

Congrats on Indiana being way more dogshit than I ever could’ve imagined, Rutgers. Just...what the hell was that? Penn State, 41-14.


Does Penn State get shown up in their own house a second week in a row? No. No they do not. Nits 34-10.


Pick the most illustrious rivalry in the Big Ten East:

This poll is closed

  • 33%
    PSU covers
    (84 votes)
  • 44%
    PSU wins
    (111 votes)
  • 22%
    (56 votes)
251 votes total Vote Now

Illinois Fighting Illini @ (17) Iowa Hawkeyes

12pm | FS1 | Iowa -12 | O/U 38

Straight-Up: Favorites 14-4
Against the Spread: Dogs 14-4

misdreavus79: Illinois needs to win out to make a bowl, yes? That’s too bad, because I don’t see Iowa losing here. But 12 points is a lot of points.

HWAHSQB: Bert is 14-2 coming off a bye, but he won’t be in Iowa City. I still feel like he’s got something up his sleeve for this game. Also, Illinois winning will make next week’s game matter to Illinois, but not Nern so the inevitable HAT defeat will be extra soul-crushing which is what Illinois generally gives their fans.

Buffkomodo: In a world where Illinois schedules correctly and doesn’t piss away opportunities, they’re actually already bowl eligible. This isn’t that reality though, so probably Iowa destroying the Berts.

BoilerUp89: This game likely ends the very, very small remaining chance that Purdue wins the West.

MNW: I would’ve given BERT an edge here to cover or something, but without him, I’ve seen this song and dance before. The Illini try to drag this into the mud, and like Northwestern, they’re successful in helping the Iowa offense hold itself in check.

Only problem is, they forgot to bring their own offense. Some late touchdowns spice up a field goal kicking contest. Iowa, 19-6.

RockyMtnBlue: Ok, so I know Iowa has a new starting QB and things are really looking up, but do we really trust Kirk to cover a 12 point spread? I don’t. Iowa 20-10.


the assy west

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    iowa by 12+
    (43 votes)
  • 58%
    iowa by a little
    (140 votes)
  • 23%
    (57 votes)
240 votes total Vote Now

(6) Michigan Wolverines @ Maryland Terrapins

1:30pm | BTN | Michigan -14.5 | O/U 56

Straight-Up: Better-looking M 17-1
Against the Spread: Same better-looking M 14-4

misdreavus79: Maryland can’t stop the run and Michigan loves to run. Perfect combination!

HWAHSQB: Similar to MSU/OSU, one team does very well the thing the other team can’t stop. michigan has 400 rushing yards and lots of points. maryland has 400 passing yards and not very many points.

MNW: No. Michigan, 38-14.

RockyMtnBlue: Maryland had drives to the MSU 16, 23, and 24 yard lines that yielded no points. Now perhaps that’s just MSU’s defense being clutch, but I think we all know they’re just a bunch of lucky motherfuckers so maybe Maryland is better than people think they are. Michigan 27-24


Does ANYONE care about this game?

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    No. Michigan by a lot.
    (192 votes)
  • 17%
    No. Michigan by 14 or less.
    (45 votes)
  • 10%
    (27 votes)
264 votes total Vote Now

Nebraska Cornhuskers @ (15) Wisconsin Badgers

1:30pm | ABC | Wisconsin -9 | O/U 41

Straight-Up: Wiscy 16-2
Against the Spread: Wiscy 10-8

Ugh. The red.

misdreavus79: I’m sure Nebraska fans would actually welcome a blowout for a change!

HWAHSQB: Nebraska has shown that they can stay within 9 points of almost any team in the country.

BoilerUp89: The Scott Frost turnaround starts here. Nah, just kidding. Badgers by a million.

MNW: I really did have the Huskers picked here at first, so if they win, I want all of the credit.

But the wisconsin D spent last week rubbing Northwestern’s face in the dirt, and Braelon Allen—who, you may have heard, is 17—should absolutely be able to do that again, so badgers, 27-17.

RockyMtnBlue: Good lord those colors. Just look at that graphic (but not too long, it may cause permanent damage). I think those two shades of red mixed together are entirely appropriate for this game. Too different to be matched, but not different enough for contrast. They’re the kinds of colors that would be worn together by people with truly no clue when dressing themselves, pretty much how I envision the Wisconsin and Nebraska fan bases.

Oh yeah, and Wiscy continues to roll 31-10


that’s right, these two play for some shitty trophy

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    badgers by lots
    (127 votes)
  • 35%
    nebraska’s one-score losses continue
    (91 votes)
  • 15%
    (40 votes)
258 votes total Vote Now

Minnesota Golden Gophers @ Indiana Hoosiers

1:30pm | BTN | Minnesota -7 | 43.5

Straight-Up: Ugliest of M’s 17-1
Against the Spread: no middles

The Minnesota hate is strong with beezer

misdreavus79: Minnesota’s out of contention now, yes? Not like it Matters since Indiana has a front row seat to a 2-10 season. Minnesota covers.

HWAHSQB: minnesota has lost to some terrible teams. Indinia is a terrible team. shrug

Buffkomodo: Someone tell Tom Allen that we aren’t playing for draft picks. This season has been bright-spot-less. Two more games until it’s over. Indiana gets creamed.

MNW: My poor parents made the decision to fly to Indiana for this one, so when the Gophers lose, you know who to blame.

Thankfully for them, Indiana is so impossibly bad. Gophers establish the run and cruise through this one, 28-10.

RockyMtnBlue: Indiana is bad, y’all. Goofs 17-0


Shenanigans in Bloomington?

This poll is closed

  • 74%
    Nah, Gophers handle the Hoosiers.
    (180 votes)
  • 13%
    A close one, but Minnesota prevails.
    (32 votes)
  • 12%
    Just how bad is this conference? Hoosiers win.
    (29 votes)
241 votes total Vote Now