Home Sports Headlines College football picks, odds for Big Ten in Week 13: Ohio State, Northwestern look to stay unbeaten

College football picks, odds for Big Ten in Week 13: Ohio State, Northwestern look to stay unbeaten

by Ryan

The Big Ten has looked quite a bit different this season with normal powerhouses like Michigan and Penn State having their fair share of struggles. However, there’s still plenty of teams at the top that have gotten off to impressive starts this season.

One of the biggest surprises in the Big Ten has been the stellar play of No. 8 Northwestern. The Wildcats are coming off of an upset win over Wisconsin and are making their case for the Big Ten title game. Northwestern is getting it done with a stout defense that is only yielding 12.6 points per game with veteran quarterback Peyton Ramsey running a methodical offensive attack. Now Northwestern will face a Michigan State team that has been the definition of inconsistent throughout the season. 

Meanwhile, Ohio State remains one of the top teams in college football and came in at No. 3 in the first reveal of the College Football Playoff Rankings earlier this week. Despite being undefeated, the Buckeyes haven’t exactly been a perfect team on the field. Ohio State edged Indiana last week, but star quarterback Justin Fields did raise an alarm with his three interceptions. In addition, Ohio State’s defense surrendered 35 points and 490 yards of total offense to Indiana. The Buckeyes will be looking to get back to their dominant ways when they take on Illinois this weekend.

Let’s dive into all the Big Ten action with this week’s Big Ten picks.

Latest Odds:


Iowa is one of the more talented teams in the country that not a lot of people are talking about. The Hawkeyes rushing attack was a treat to watch against Penn State last week as the combination of Tyler Goodson and Mekhi Sargent rushed for 179 yards and three touchdowns. Despite averaging under 200 yards through the air, Iowa’s offense currently ranks fourth in the Big Ten. Iowa should have no problem beating a Nebraska team that got smoked by Illinois a week ago. Pick: Iowa (-13.5)

Penn State at Michigan

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This is normally one of the top games on the Big Ten schedule every year. However, this is a battle of teams that have just two wins between them. This is a game that I don’t expect a lot of action on. After all, Michigan needed three overtimes to defeat Rutgers last week and Penn State scored the majority of its points in garbage time against Iowa. It’s unclear who will be the starting quarterback for either team, so I’m not expecting a ton of points. Pick: Under 58

Maryland at No. 12 Indiana

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This is the toughest game to forecast on the Big Ten slate without a doubt. Indiana gave Ohio State absolutely everything it could handle and Michael Penix Jr. shredded the Buckeyes to the tune of 491 yards and five touchdowns through the air. The Hoosiers defense also gave star quarterback Justin Fields fits. On the other hand, Maryland is off to a 2-1 start with wins over Minnesota and Penn State before having a COVID-19 outbreak within their program. The Terps haven’t played the last two weeks, so rust could be a factor for Taulia Tagovailoa and company. Even if Maryland picks up right where it left off, I’m just not confident that its defense can slow down Indiana’s stellar offense. Pick: Indiana (-11.5)

No. 4 Ohio State at Illinois

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Ohio State has remained the class of the Big Ten and did fend off Indiana last week. However, it wasn’t exactly a stellar performance at times for the Buckeyes. Justin Fields ended up throwing three interceptions and the Ohio State defense surrendered nearly 500 yards through the air. While there’s a huge difference between Illinois and Indiana from an offensive standpoint, the Fighting Illini are one of the better defenses that the Big Ten has to offer. Ohio State is definitely winning this one, but I’ll take Illinois to cover the four-touchdown spread. Pick: Illinois (+28.5)

No. 8 Northwestern at Michigan State 

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Northwestern continues to silence the doubters in 2020. The Wildcats have certainly made a believer out of me. Northwestern shocked the world with an upset victory over Wisconsin and completely looked the part of a dominant force in the Big Ten race. In a defensive battle, quarterback Peyton Ramsey made enough plays to defeat Wisconsin and things will be a little easier this week. Michigan State surrenders more than 34 points a game and doesn’t have a very stout front seven to stop the run. The Wildcats should continue to roll. Pick: Northwestern (-13.5)

Rutgers has been the laughingstock of the Big Ten for several years. However, it appears that coach Greg Schiano has turned the Scarlet Knights into a competitive program. Rutgers is fresh off of taking Michigan to the limit in a triple-overtime affair and racked up 486 yards of total offense in a 48-42 loss. Aside from a 22-point loss to Ohio State, Rutgers has been competitive in every game that it’s played in 2020. While I think Purdue wins this one, I don’t think the Boilermakers are doing it in a convincing fashion. Pick: Rutgers (+12)

Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 13? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned over $3,600 in profit over the past four-plus seasons — and find out.

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