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Presenting the spreads for Big Ten matchups in week four

More than half the league will begin conference play Saturday.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 17 SMU at Maryland Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Week four of the college football season is right around the corner, meaning that more Big Ten teams will be getting into the swing of conference play.

Maryland will be one of eight Big Ten teams gearing up for its first league game of the year. The Terps aced their nonconference slate and are off to a 3-0 start. SMU gave Maryland a big-time scare, as the Mustangs had the lead entering the fourth quarter. However, Maryland stymied the SMU offense with timely defensive plays to the tune of only seven second-half points for the Mustangs.

The Terps will look to keep their perfect start going at No. 4 Michigan this week. It will be a gargantuan test for Maryland.

Let’s take a look at the betting odds this week, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. All odds are accurate as of Sunday evening.

Maryland at Michigan (-17.5)

O/U: 62

Since Maryland joined the conference in 2014, the Wolverines have owned the Terps. Former Maryland head coach Randy Edsall and the Terps rolled into Ann Arbor and shocked Michigan, 23-16, on Nov. 22, 2014. Since then, Michigan is 6-0 against Maryland and has outscored the Terps, 261-59. History isn’t on the Terps’ side, but the spread this week is smaller than any of the deficits Maryland has lost to Michigan by in the past six meetings.

The Wolverines are 3-0 and have scored an average of 55.3 points per game this season. That could be a product of Michigan’s mockery of a nonconference schedule (Colorado State, Hawaii, UConn), but the Wolverines are No. 4 in the land for a reason. Sophomore quarterback J.J. McCarthy will lead the Wolverines as Cade McNamara is sidelined with a leg injury. If the Terps are to have any chance on the road, they’ll need to clean up their act. Maryland committed 17 total penalties against SMU, 15 of which were accepted for a total of 141 yards.

Central Michigan at Penn State (-25.5)

O/U: 60.5

Any doubts about the Nittany Lions have dissipated. Penn State went into Auburn last Saturday and absolutely decimated the Tigers, flying home with a 41-12 win. Freshman running back Nicholas Singleton, who is averaging a nation-leading 11.1 yards per rush, has been a revelation for Penn State’s offense. The Nittany Lions allowed 31 points at Purdue in a gutsy season-opening win but have been stout otherwise, giving up 22 total points since.

Central Michigan is riding the tails of a 41-0 win over FCS opponent Bucknell and have been somewhat competitive in losses to Oklahoma State and South Alabama. The hefty betting line seems fair, though, as the Chippewas should have no chance on the road against the No. 14 team in the nation.

Minnesota at Michigan State (-1)

O/U: 51.5

Set for a 3:30 kickoff, this cross-division showdown between the Golden Gophers and Spartans should be quite fascinating. Behind sixth-year quarterback Tanner Morgan, Minnesota has not broken a sweat en route to a 3-0 start. Though the competition has been lackluster — New Mexico State, Western Illinois and Colorado — the Golden Gophers are averaging more than 49 points per game and allowing an average of less than a touchdown. However, the status of star wideout Chris Autman-Bell is up in the air following a non-contact leg injury. Saturday’s game will be Minnesota’s first on the road this season.

On the other end of the spectrum, Michigan State will be quite hungry for a victory. Head coach Mel Tucker’s squad lost 39-28 on the road to Washington in week three, though the game wasn’t quite that competitive. As a result, the Spartans fell all the way from No. 11 to unranked in the AP poll. A home environment against Minnesota provides a good opportunity to get to 1-0 in Big Ten play.

Indiana at Cincinnati (-14)

O/U: 54

Indiana stands at 3-0 through three games, already surpassing its 2021 win total of two. Still, the Hoosiers haven’t exactly been convincing. After squeaking by Illinois in its first game of the season, Indiana beat an FCS team in Idaho by 13 and Western Kentucky in overtime. New quarterback Connor Bazelak is averaging nearly 300 passing yards per game after transferring from Missouri.

Cincinnati had to retool its squad after becoming the first Group of Five team to ever make the College Football Playoff last season. The Bearcats followed up a competitive season-opening loss at Arkansas with non-competitive wins over Kennesaw State and Miami (Ohio). Nippert Stadium should be rocking, and the Bearcats will be tough to knock off at home as two-touchdown favorites.

Wisconsin at Ohio State (-17.5)

O/U: 56

Wisconsin’s week two home loss to Washington State took a lot of juice out of the matchup between the respective favorites of Big Ten’s West and East divisions. The Badgers’ calling card has still been their defense, though, as they are only giving up eight points per game. Junior quarterback Graham Mertz has been OK, and the Badgers will need him to be phenomenal to upset one of the nation’s best.

Led by one of the Heisman favorites in quarterback C.J. Stroud, the Buckeyes are 3-0 and the No. 3 team in the country. Ohio State beat Notre Dame — which looks less impressive now — in week one, and followed that up with respective beatdowns of Arkansas State and Toledo. Ohio State looks exactly like the championship contender many expected, and the large spread seems warranted.

Miami (Ohio) at Northwestern (-6.5)

O/U: 50.5

With a low scoring total and two 1-2 teams, this game could be a snoozefest. Northwestern helped accelerate former Nebraska head coach Scott Frost’s final days in Lincoln with a win over the Cornhuskers in week zero, but it has failed otherwise. Northwestern lost 31-23 to Duke in week two and followed that up an embarrassing 31-24 loss to FCS Southern Illinois at home.

Miami should be a shoe-in for a rebound, but the spread doesn't necessarily agree. The RedHawks’ only win is over Robert Morris, an FCS team. They were competitive for a time against Cincinnati in week three, holding a 10-7 lead after one quarter. Northwestern should expect to win by at least a touchdown, but this game may be more even than the program names indicate.

Florida Atlantic at Purdue (-19)

O/U: 60.5

Purdue has been disappointing through the first quarter of its 2022 schedule. Standing at 1-2, the Boilermakers let multiple games slip away for heartbreaking losses against Penn State and Syracuse. Seen by many as a preseason sleeper in the Big Ten West, Purdue still has the talent and an experienced star quarterback in Aidan O’Connell to make that perception become reality.

A matchup with Florida Atlantic should give the Boilermakers an easy game to even its record. FAU is 2-2 with wins over Charlotte and FCS Southeast Louisiana and losses to Ohio and Central Florida. The Owls should not compete in a primetime game at Ross-Ade Stadium.

DraftKings Sportsbook does not have lines for the following matchups: Chattanooga at Illinois and Iowa at Rutgers.

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.