The Big Ten Conference rolls into Week 13 with the big one – 11-0 Michigan versus 11-0 Ohio State – on tap. This is the game which will give the Big Ten its likely College Football Playoff representative in 2022.
Michigan Wolverines at Ohio State Buckeyes
Odds: Ohio State -7.5
Michigan is still unbeaten, and it is aware that if it can pull through here versus Ohio State, all it has to do in order to gain a place in the College Football Playoff is to beat Iowa (most likely) in the Big Ten Championship Game. Iowa just has to beat Nebraska on Friday and it is in the Big Ten title game as the West Division champion. Michigan defeated Iowa in last year’s Big Ten title game to make the 2021 playoff and face Georgia in the Orange Bowl. This Michigan team can make a very similar journey.
However, after losing to Michigan last year, Ohio State will be very motivated. The Buckeyes got crushed by the Wolverines up front and remember how they were thrown around like rag dolls a year ago. Playing at home in Columbus, the Buckeyes will be fired up, and you should see them do well in this game.
Pick: Ohio State -7.5
Minnesota Golden Gophers at Wisconsin Badgers
Odds: Wisconsin -3.5
This is a huge game for these two teams. Minnesota squandered numerous scoring opportunities last week in a rough loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Golden Gophers fumbled the ball at the Iowa 10-yard line when tied at 10-10. Then they later got intercepted inside the Iowa 30-yard line and had the interception run back so that Iowa could kick a game-winning field goal in the final minute. The Minnesota offensive line played well, opening up holes in the running game, but turnovers and untimely throws doomed the Gophers to an eighth straight loss to Iowa in the head-to-head series. The Gophers have to bounce back against a Wisconsin team which has had similar struggles on offense this season.
The Badgers looked atrocious against Nebraska for most of the day last week before rallying to grab an ugly 15-14 win. Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz has simply not been able to put the pieces together in the passing game. This is a coin-flip game, but with Wisconsin being favored by more than a field goal, Minnesota can probably keep that inside the spread and cover on the road as an underdog.
Pick: Minnesota +3.5
Purdue Boilermakers at Indiana Hoosiers
Odds: Purdue -10.5
This game figures to be tough for Purdue if only because Purdue seems to make life difficult for itself at every turn. Purdue could not beat a bad Northwestern team at home by more than one score. It won by only eight points, scoring just 17. Purdue can’t seem to separate from its opponents, which is why the spread is worth taking on the Indiana side of things in this game. Purdue probably wins, but the Boilermakers will not cover.