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NCAAF · 22 days ago

B1G Bets: Big Ten Football Week 2 Odds, Preview & Picks

Danny Mogollon

Danny Mogollon

B1G Bets: Big Ten Football Week 2 Odds, Preview & Picks

It was a 1-2 start with our B1G Bets, not what we hoped for. But as the saying goes, you make the most significant improvement from Week 1 to Week 2. That applies to my picks and Big Ten teams against the spread (or not). Take out the three conference games; the Big Ten went 2-6 ATS in Week 1.

Overall Record: 1-2 overall (-0.5 units) | ATS: 1-2 | Team Totals: 0-0

Scared money don’t make money. Let’s eat!

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B1GGEST Bets (1.5 Units)

Last Week: 0-0; Season: 0-0 (Even)

No Picks.

B1GGER Bets (1 Unit)

Last Week: 1-1; Season: 1-1 (Even)

KANSAS -3 Illinois (FRIDAY)

Money Line: Kansas -162 | Toledo +134 | Total: 56.5

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN | Location: David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium | Lawrence, KS

Kansas: AP Top 25: NR | Coaches Poll: NR (46) | SP+: 54 | PFF: 73

Illinois: AP Top 25: NR (43-T) | Coaches Poll:  NR (40) | SP+: 52 | PFF: 21

Let’s be honest. Illinois was lucky to beat Toledo at home last week.

The defense, which is replacing a lot of high-end talent, especially in the secondary (which we covered last week), had a lot of trouble with dual-threat quarterback Dequan Finn and now has to face KU’s Jalon Daniels.

One of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country, Daniels has the potential to have 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards if he can stay healthy. His legs and ability to improvise will exploit a rebuilding Illini secondary and new defensive coordinator. Lance Leipold and his staff know how to attack an opponent’s vulnerabilities. All that pre-snap motion by the Jayhawks will confuse the Illini’s inexperienced safeties and result in big plays. R

The team totals – 30.5 for Kansas and 27.5 for Illinois – indicate the game is expected to be played at KU’s pace. Might the offense be better this year? Maybe, but not enough to be counted on to win games.

It’s not so much that the Jayhawks are the better team (they may be), but a bad matchup for the Illini. Especially with Illinois on a short week and Kansas having two extra days to prepare (not to mention a much easier Week 1 opponent).

COLORADO -2.5 Nebraska

Money Line: Colorado -137 | Nebraska +114 | Total: 58.5

Time: 12:00 p.m. ET; TV: FOX | Location: Folsom Field | Boulder, CO

Colorado: AP Top 25: 22 | Coaches Poll: 25 | SP+: 82 | PFF: 82

Nebraska: AP Top 25: NR | Coaches Poll:  NR | SP+: 55 | PFF: 71

I believe.

This line was once Nebraska -9 and as high as 7.5 last week, and now Colorado is giving points? I get why sharps will feel obligated to take the Cornhuskers, but did you watch these teams play in Week 1?

Nebraska’s offense was terrible at Minnesota, with a -0.24 EPA/play (12th percentile). Their quarterback, Jeff Sims0.67 EPA/play and three interceptions – was even worse when asked to drop back.

Contrast that with a Buffaloes offense that was elite. Shedeur Sanders threw for over 500 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions, and the Buffaloes had four 100-yard receivers. Four!

Not only does Colorado have better top-end talent (Travis Hunter, hello!). They were the better-coached team. While Coach Prime pulled off the 20.5-point upset, Matt Rhule’s squad blew a fourth-quarter lead. With their costly penalties (goal-line false start) and turnovers (four), you couldn’t help but wonder if Scott Frost was still coaching the Huskers.

Finally, Sean Lewis > Marcus Satterfield.


Spread: Iowa -3.5 (-120) | Money Line: Iowa -182 | Toledo -150 | Total: 36.5

Time: 3:30 p.m. ET; TV: FOX | Location: Jack Trice Stadium | Ames, IA

Iowa: AP Top 25: NR (26) | Coaches Poll: NR (26) | SP+: 33 | PFF: 23

Iowa State: AP Top 25: NR (40-T) | Coaches Poll: NR | SP+: 46 | PFF: 59

With 24 points in their season-opening win over Utah State, Iowa proved they’re still offensively challenged until they show us otherwise. But their defense remains one of the best in college football, and they are facing one of the worst Power 5 offenses in Iowa State (No. 81 SP+).

Despite scoring 30 points against NUI in Week 1, the Cyclones had a negative EPA and were in the bottom 10 percent in offensive success rate while allowing a high havoc rate (15%). They will struggle to move the ball against a Hawkeyes defense that didn’t allow a touchdown until the final two minutes when subs entered the game. Don’t expect them to do that against their rivals.

Iowa State pulled off the upset in Iowa City last season, 10-7. More than 17 points may be scored in this year’s Cy-Hawk game, but not much.


Spread: Minnesota -20.5 (-114) | Money Line: Minnesota -1800 | EMU +920 | Total: 48.5

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET; TV: BTN | Location: Hunter Bank Stadium | Minneapolis, MN

Minnesota: AP Top 25: NR (35-T) | Coaches Poll: NR (45) | SP+: 39 | PFF: 22

EMU: AP Top 25: NR | Coaches Poll:  NR | SP+: 101 | PFF: 81

I have circled games on the schedule where I plan on betting against Minnesota’s defense: at North Carolina, vs. Michigan, and at Ohio State are three examples. They were overrated last season and not as good this year.

But against mediocre to bad offenses, I have no qualms backing the Gophers D. They held eight opponents to 13 points or less in 2022. That carried over into Week 1 when Nebraska managed ten points in Minnesota’s win.

Joe Rossi is an excellent defensive coordinator who can put the shackles on limited attacks. This week, they face an even worse offense than Nebraska’s in Eastern Michigan. The Eagles are breaking in a new quarterback and most of their offensive line. It’s a perfect matchup for Minnesota’s defense.

I’m not against throwing a little something on the Gophers ATS. It’s an opportunity for their offense to flex before returning to Power 5 opponents.

B1G Bets (1/2 Unit)

Last Week: 0-1; Season: 0-1 (-0.5)


Money Line: Virginia Tech -140 | Purdue +116 | Total: 48.5

Time: 12:00 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN2 | Location: Lane Stadium | Blacksburg, VA

Virginia Tech: AP Top 25: NR | Coaches Poll: NR | SP+: 65 | PFF: 61

Purdue: AP Top 25: NR | Coaches Poll:  NR | SP+: 64 | PFF: 44

The Boilermakers had a disappointing opening loss, which included blowing a 28-17 second-half lead. But there were some positives to take away.

Transfer quarterback Hudson Card looks like the real deal. He averaged 8.5 yards per pass and threw two TD passes to no INTs. Deion Burks had a breakout game (4 receptions, 152 yards), and the offensive line showed some promise despite being down to their third-string center. The O-line is getting healthier this week.

Edge rushers Nic Scourton and Kydran Jenkins look perfect for Ryan Walters’s attacking scheme. They may give up some yards through the air again but were stout against the run, and the Boilermakers should force Va. Tech’s mistake-prone Grant Wells (31 career INTs) into some errant throws.

Purdue is the better team in this case, so give me the points.

MARYLAND -13.5 Charlotte (First Half)

Spread: Maryland -24.5 (-115) | Money Line: Maryland -3500 | Charlotte +1280 | Total: 51.5

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET; TV: NBC | Location: SECU Stadium | College Park, MD

Maryland: AP Top 25: NR | Coaches Poll: NR (35) | SP+: 30 | PFF: 45

Charlotte: AP Top 25: NR | Coaches Poll:  NR | SP+: 117 | PFF: 124

The Terps have a monster talent advantage on both sides of the ball. They have multiple playmakers on offense and a defense that has improved under defensive coordinator Brian Williams.

Mike Locksley doesn’t tend to run it up – Taulia Tagovailoa attempted one pass in the second half before he was pulled against Towson last week – so I’d rather bet on a quick start and a dominant first half from Maryland and not rely on second and third stringers to hold on for a cover.

Temple UNDER 16.5

Spread: Rutgers -8.5 (-112) | Money Line: Rutgers -350 | Temple +275 | Total: 44.5

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET; TV: BTN | Location: SHI Stadium | Piscataway, NJ

Rutgers: AP Top 25: NR | Coaches Poll: NR | SP+: 69 | PFF: 65

Temple: AP Top 25: NR | Coaches Poll:  NR | SP+: 107 | PFF: 106

They may have a Warner under center. Temple’s E.J. Warner is the son of NFL Hall of Famer Kurt Warner, but the Owls are projected to have one of the worst offenses in FBS (No. 114 in SP+).

Rutgers has a legit top-50 defense led by a strong trio of edge rushers and experienced cornerbacks. Aaron Lewis is a dude, and Mohamed Toure (6 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, one sack) looked healthy in his return from injury last week. The Scarlet Knights recorded five sacks among their eight tackles for loss, and they didn’t give up a point to Northwestern until 19 seconds left.

I was tempted to take the UNDER in the game, but what if Gavin Wimsatt has turned the corner? Temple’s defense is one Rutgers might be able to take advantage of.  

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