There are just three weeks left of Big Ten football, and this coming weekend features a game that could go far in deciding the conference championship race.
Here are the opening odds for every game involving a Big Ten team this week, presented by DraftKings Sportsbook.
Note: All games will be played on Saturday, Nov. 11. All rankings are from the most recent College Football Playoff poll.
No. 3 Michigan (-4.5) at No. 10 Penn State, 12 p.m.
This is the best game in the Big Ten this week. Michigan continues to block out off-the-field noise and stack convincing wins, while Penn State is still firmly in the Big Ten title race. The Nittany Lions blew Maryland out last weekend, with quarterback Drew Allar looking like the elite prospect he once was. Meanwhile, Michigan followed a tumultuous bye week with a 41-13 win over Purdue. A noon start shouldn’t damper an electric atmosphere at Beaver Stadium for Penn State’s final chance to prove itself as the elite squad it hoped it would be.
Indiana at Illinois (-6.5), 12 p.m.
Illinois has taken a major step back this season and has won just two conference games. The Fighting Illini need to win two of their last three games to make a bowl game, and with Iowa on the docket next week, they’ll most likely need to win this one to head into their season finale against Northwestern with a chance to do so. Indiana managed to beat Wisconsin last week, which may not be enough to salvage its season, but gave it a bit of momentum heading into the final weeks of the season.
Illinois is favored in this one, but it could be close.
Maryland (-2.5) at Nebraska, 12 p.m.
On a four-game losing streak, Maryland desperately needs a win. The best opportunity on its schedule is perhaps this weekend at Nebraska, but it won’t be easy. Everything’s been going wrong for the Terps and Nebraska is coming off a disappointing loss to Michigan State, but road games in the Big Ten are anything but a slam dunk. The Cornhuskers still have a chance at winning the Big Ten West.
Oddsmakers slightly favor Maryland, and the market has responded by increasing the spread from its opening difference of one point.
Rutgers at No. 22 Iowa (-1), 3:30 p.m.
Here we are again: another Iowa football game with an over/under threatening records of the lowest on record. That week’s game at Wrigley Field against Northwestern closed at 29.5, and this week’s game against Rutgers may top that. Rutgers has been playing good football this season and gave Ohio State a push last week, while Iowa continues to eke out wins on the back of its defense and special teams. This should be a competitive game, but a very low-scoring one.
Minnesota at Purdue (-1), 3:30 p.m.
Since Indiana won, it’s in-state rival Purdue now holds the title of worst record in the Big Ten at 2-7. The Boilermakers’ sole conference win came against Illinois and they’ve allowed at least 30 points in each of their last three games. Minnesota is 5-4, but if it doesn’t beat Purdue it’ll have a tough road to bowl eligibility after recently losing to Illinois on a touchdown within the final minute.
This game could go either way, but if Minnesota does lose it’ll be a disappointment for P.J. Fleck’s program.
Northwestern at Wisconsin (-10.5), 3:30 p.m.
Last week’s loss to Indiana Wisconsin’s Big Ten West championship hopes, but it’s not completely out of the race yet. Sitting one game behind Iowa — a team they lost to — with three games left, the Badgers probably need to win out. They’re sizable favorites against Northwestern, which has played solid football of late and is much more competitive than most anticipated.
Nothing can be taken for granted, but this certainly seems like a good chance for the Badgers to get back on track and secure bowl eligibility.
Michigan State at No. 1 Ohio State (-31), 7:30 p.m.
With Penn State behind it, there’s certainly a feel that Ohio State is on to Michigan and should have a better idea of its primary competition for the Big Ten East title by the time it kicks off this weekend in Columbus. The Buckeyes remained No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings for good reason, with the best collection of wins in the conference. Them letting the Spartans hang within three scores would be a surprise.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.