Point Spreads

Point Spreads
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana and Ohio State have played each other 92 times, and never once have been of them been ranked in the top-10 in the country. That all changes on Saturday in Columbus when No. 3 Ohio State takes on the No. 9-ranked Hoosiers in a huge Big Ten East showdown.

Oddsmakers don’t think it will be much of a game, though. The Buckeyes are favored by a whopping 21.5 points, according to the opening line on DraftKings.com.

Indiana is 4-0 on the season, and has won twice as underdogs this season, beating Penn State (minus-6) and Michigan (minus-3.5). The Hoosiers ended decades of misery against both of those teams in the process.

Ohio State has owned Indiana, too. Indiana hasn’t beaten them since 1988 and is 0-25-1 since then, with the tie coming in 1990. Indiana has lost 24 in a row since then, and they’ve lost by an average of 30.7 points the past three years. Ohio State won 51-10 a year ago in Bloomington.

This is a different Indiana team, though, so it will be interesting to see how this one plays out. Ohio State is 3-0, and had last week off because Maryland couldn’t play because of a slew of positive COVID-19 test. It’s a matchup of quarterbacks Justin Fields and Michael Penix Jr., who just might be the two best QBs in the Big Ten this season. 

Here is the complete Big Ten breakdown for Week 5, with a game on Friday and a full slate on Saturday the weekend before Thanksgiving:

Purdue at Minnesota (Friday)

  • GAMETIME: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • TV:  Big Ten Network 
  • RECORDS: Purdue (2-1); Minnesota (1-3)
  • LAST WEEK: Purdue lost to Northwestern 27-20; Minnesota lost to Iowa 35-7.
  • OPENING LINE:  Purdue minus-2.5
  • THE SKINNY: Minnesota was a slight underdog last Friday night too, and got pounded by Iowa. Gophers are tough to figure this season.  

Indiana at Ohio State

  • GAMETIME:  Noon ET
  • TV:  FOX
  • RECORDS: Indiana (4-0); Ohio State (3-0)
  • LAST WEEK:  Indiana beat Michigan State 24-0; Ohio State did not play. 
  • OPENING LINE:  Ohio State minus-21.5
  • THE SKINNY:  That sure seems like a lot of points for a top-10 matchup, but it’s hard to deny how much Ohio State has dominated. The Buckeyes won by 41 points last year, 23 the year before and 28 points in 2017. That’s an average margin of victory of 30.7 points. Indiana, as we know, is much better this year, though. It will be interesting to watch that number all week.

Illinois at Nebraska

  • GAMETIME:  Noon ET
  • TV: Big Ten Network
  • RECORDS:  Illinois (1-3); Nebraska (1-2)
  • LAST WEEK: Illinois beat Rutgers 23-20; Nebraska beat Penn State 30-23. 
  • OPENING LINE:  Nebraska minus-14.5
  • THE SKINNY:  Nebraska got its first win of the season, and found some things offensively. Illinois deserves a lot of credit for getting a win at Rutgers, considering all that they’ve dealt with with COVID. The Illini play hard for Lovie Smith.

Michigan State at Maryland

  • GAMETIME: Noon ET
  • TV: Big Ten Network
  • RECORDS:   Michigan State (1-3); Maryland (2-1)
  • LAST WEEK: Michigan State lost to Indiana 24-0; Maryland did not play. 
  • OPENING LINE:  Maryland minus-6.5
  • THE SKINNY:  This line surprised me a little bit considering how back the Spartans have looked lately. They’ve been outscored a combined 73-7 by Iowa and Illinois the past two weeks. Maryland has COVID issues, but they looked great in wins over Minnesota and Penn State prior to missing last week’s game with Ohio State. That might proved to be a bonus.

Wisconsin at Northwestern

  • GAMETIME:  3:30 p.m. ET
  • TV:  ABC
  • RECORDS:  Wisconsin (2-0); Northwestern (4-0)
  • LAST WEEK: Wisconsin beat Michigan 49-11; Northwestern beat Purdue 27-20. 
  • OPENING LINE:  Wisconsin minus-6.5
  • THE SKINNY: The winner of this game will be the likely Big Ten West representative in the conference championship game. Wisconsin looked great after two weeks off because of a COVID-19 outbreak, pounding Michigan. Northwestern has already won more games than it did a year ago (3-9) and quarterback Peyton Ramsey has been a big reason why. The Wildcats aren’t blowing anyone out lately – their last three wins have been by a combined 16 points — but they keep finding a way to win. Their defense has been great, especially in the second half, but they also haven’t seen an offense as good as Wisconsin’s.

Iowa at Penn State

  • GAMETIME:  3:30 p.m. ET
  • TV:  Big Ten Network
  • RECORDS:  Iowa (2-2); Penn State (0-4)
  • LAST WEEK: Iowa beat Minnesota 35-7; Penn State lost to Nebraska 30-23. 
  • OPENING LINE:  Iowa minus-2.5
  • THE SKINNY:  It’s stunning that Penn State has lost four games in a row and now has a quarterback controversy on its hands. And now here comes Iowa, who’s looked better than anyone the past two weeks in routs over Michigan State and Minnesota. Could the Nittany Lions really go to 0-5?

Michigan at Rutgers

  • GAMETIME:  7:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: Big Ten Network
  • RECORDS: Michigan (1-3); Rutgers (1-3)
  • LAST WEEK: Michigan lost to Wisconsin 49-11; Rutgers lost to Illinois 23-20. 
  • OPENING LINE:  Michigan minus-8.5
  • THE SKINNY: That tough last-second loss had to really sting for Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are much better than they’ve been recently with Greg Schiano at the helm. Michigan has thoroughly dominated this series, but the Wolverines have been horrible during this current three-game losing streak. Will they find their way here?

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