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Big Ten odds and picks: Nebraska vs. Ohio State & 3 more

Profile Picture: Nick Roush

October 23rd, 2020

The Big Ten is back! The conference makes its eagerly anticipated return during Week 8 with a full slate of games. We have odds and a pick for Ohio State vs. Nebraska as well as three more marquee matchups featuring Big Ten teams.

#5 Ohio State vs. Nebraska

Sat, October 24 2020, 4:00 PM

Ohio State Buckeyes

Spread

-26

Moneyline

-2200

Total

O 67.5

Nebraska Cornhuskers

Spread

+26

Moneyline

+1000

Total

U 67.5

Scott Frost begged and pleaded for the Big Ten to play football this fall. Be careful what you wish for, Scott.

Cornhusker football fans have been impatiently waiting for their former quarterback turned head coach to return them to an era where they were perennial national title contenders in the 80s and 90s. They have one of the conference’s most dynamic playmakers, Wan’Dale Robinson, to help take Frost’s wide open offense to new heights. They probably don’t have the quarterback to get them there. The dual-threat quarterback is a dynamic weapon, albeit one that hurts the team with turnovers more than he helps them with his legs.

Martinez will get the first snaps at the Horseshoe, but the leash will be short with Luke McCaffrey waiting in the wing. "We feel we have the luxury of two starters,” Frost said.

They also have the luxury of having an opportunity to shock the world in their season opener. Unfortunately, they need to put twice as many players on the field to have a chance.

Ohio State is one of just a handful of teams that can contend for a national championship this season. Most of the hoops the league jumped through to return to action were to give the Buckeyes a shot at avenging a CFB Playoff loss to Clemson and giving Justin Fields the platform to prove he’s worthy of a Heisman Trophy. The problem Ohio State faces is that they are weeks behind their national competition.

Similar to the good ol’ days of the BCS, Ohio State will be trying to make a statement to college football world that they are the best team in the nation. Ryan Day will run up the score against the Huskers. The number would need to get into the 40s before I would even consider playing Nebraska.

Pick: Ohio State -26


Iowa vs. Purdue

Sat, October 24 2020, 7:30 PM

Purdue Boilermakers

Spread

+3

Moneyline

+130

Total

O 53.5

Iowa Hawkeyes

Spread

-3

Moneyline

-155

Total

U 53.5

The Boilermakers have had their fair share of early COVID-19 problems. Jeff Brohm will pass the head coaching baton to his younger brother, offensive coordinator Brian Brohm, after the former became ill with the coronavirus. Despite that loss, Purdue’s playmakers are healthy. Jack Plummer did not have the luxury of playing with full offensive line or WR Rondale Moore last season. With WR David Bell in the fold as well, Purdue has enough big guns to take successful shots against Iowa.

The game comes with plenty of uncertainties. Playing ATS on a low number is more difficult than playing against the low total. New Purdue defensive coordinator Bob Diaco’s defense will give up more points than Iowa is accustomed to scoring, just as Iowa will surrender some explosive plays. It won’t be a shoot-out, but there aren’t a whole lot of points you need to cheer for to get to the over.

Pick: Over 53.5


Penn State vs. Indiana

Sat, October 24 2020, 7:30 PM

Indiana Hoosiers

Spread

+5.5

Moneyline

+175

Total

O 62

Penn State Nittany Lions

Spread

-5.5

Moneyline

-220

Total

U 62

Don’t let the logos confuse you. The Hoosiers have some offensive weapons, ones that might be superior to Penn State’s after losing K.J. Hamler to the NFL Draft and losing star running back Journey Brown due to an undisclosed medical condition. With Ohio State looming next week, the second best team in the Big Ten will get a scare.

Pick: Indiana +5.5


#18 Michigan vs. #21 Minnesota

Sat, October 24 2020, 11:30 PM

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Spread

+3

Moneyline

+125

Total

O 54

Michigan Wolverines

Spread

-3

Moneyline

-150

Total

U 54

They won’t get the Big Noon Saturday spotlight but College GameDay will be in chilly Minneapolis for the primetime matchup that will take place in below freezing temps. It’s not an ideal time for Jim Harbaugh to break in a new quarterback, Joe Milton. Even if he ultimately opts to go with Dylan McCaffrey, P.J. Fleck’s team has an advantage at quarterback with Tanner Morgan, who will have his top target in Rashod Bateman, arguably the best playmaker in the conference.

The Gophers will not replicate last season’s success, but they have enough offensive weapons and home field advantage to row the boat to a win and a cover.

Pick: Minnesota +3


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