B1G Bets for Week 4!

Coming off a 4-1 week (+4 units) is not the time to get cocky. Gotta stay humble but confident, which we are. 

Overall Record: 11-5 overall (+6 units) | ATS: 6-3 | Team Totals: 5-2

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

B1GGER Bets (2 Units): 

Last Week: 1-1; Season: 1-1 (+0 Units)

MICHIGAN -17 Maryland

Money Line: Michigan -880 | Maryland +580 | Total: 64.5
Time: 12:00 p.m. ET; TV: FOX | Location: Michigan Stadium | Ann Arbor, MI
Maryland: AP Top 25: NR | Coaches Poll:  NR | SP+: 39 | PFF: 35
Michigan: AP Top 25: 4 | Coaches Poll: 4 | SP+: 5 | PFF: 4

Why would we jump off the bandwagon now? The Wolverines have delivered three wins for us through three weeks, and there’s no reason they shouldn’t continue rolling as they open Big Ten play. 

This pick is about the Terps, as much as it is Michigan. Maryland played six teams that would finish with a winning record in 2021. Not only did they lose all six, but they lost by an average score of 47-17. When asked to step up in competition, the Terps have fallen flat on their faces under Mike Locksley

In eight games against ranked B1G teams in 2019 and 2021, Maryland lost everyone by at least 19 points, seven by 31 points or more, and four by 42-plus! It’s stunning.

B1G Bets (1 Unit): 

Last Week: 3-1; Season: 10-4 (+6 Units)

MICHIGAN OVER 40.5

The biggest mismatch comes when the Wolverines have the ball. In four games against top-10 teams a year ago, the Terps allowed 216 points (54 PPG), including 59 points to Michigan in College Park. This one is in the Big House, and the Wolverines are more explosive offensively this season.

Behind Heisman hopeful J.J. McCarthy, Michigan has scored 51, 56, and 59 points this season. That’s with McCarthy attempting fewer than half of Michigan’s passes (34 of 76), as Harbaugh has allowed seven different signal callers to attempt at least one pass. 

Maryland allowed 369 yards passing to SMU last week and 292 yards to Charlotte the week before. They haven’t shown much progress from last year when they were among the worst defenses in the B1G, and they were on the field for 96 plays against the SMU offense last week.

The Maryland offense might test the Michigan defense, but the Terps D will not. Expect to hear Gus Johnson put his vocal cords to work early and often. 

CINCINNATI -16.5 Indiana

Money Line: Cincinnati -820 | Indiana +550 | Total: 57.5
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN2 | Location: Nippert Stadium | Cincinnati, OH
Indiana: AP Top 25: NR | Coaches Poll: NR | SP+: 82 | PFF: 75
Cincinnati: AP Top 25: NR (31) | Coaches Poll: NR (31) | SP+: 17 | PFF: 19

The Hoosiers are the luckiest 3-0 team in CFB as they were outplayed in two of their wins, Illinois and Western Kentucky. The good news for IU fans? It doesn’t matter; they’re halfway to bowl eligibility. The bad news? Now they go on the road for the first time in 2022 to face their most formidable opponent of September. 

Most focused on what the Bearcats lost to the NFL, but Luke Fickell has built a sustainable winner. Ben Bryant (8.9 YPA, 7 TDs) has stepped in at quarterback and performed well in his return to Cincinnati after spending a year as the starter at Eastern Michigan.

Charles McClelland (6.5 YPC) and LSU transfer Corey Kiner (5.0 YPC) give the ‘Cats a pair of effective runners. I’m not sure how many quality programs would get up for the Hoosiers, but Cincy figures to be one. In the shadows of the Big Ten, hosting a P5 team from the midwest means something in Ohio. 

Indiana UNDER 20.5

Indiana is better on offense, but that doesn’t mean they’re good on that side of the ball. IU averages -0.15 EPA per run and 0.00 EPA per pass. They played a defense comparable to Cincy’s in Week 1 and managed just 1.2 YPC in that game.

Quarterback Connor Bazelak is completing just 56.6% of his passes with 6.6 YPA, and the Hoosiers lost their best offensive lineman, left tackle Matthew Bedford for the season. They will struggle to move the ball against a solid Bearcats defense.

RUTGERS UNDER 13.5

Money Line: Iowa -315 | Rutgers +250 | Total: 33.5
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET; TV: FS1 | Location: SHI Stadium | Piscataway, NJ
Iowa: AP Top 25: NR | Coaches Poll: NR | SP+: 31 | PFF: 18
Rutgers: AP Top 25: NR | Coaches Poll: NR | SP+: 74 | PFF: 65

I was tempted to take Iowa (-7.5), but the safer play is to back their elite defense (and punting game) against a Rutgers offense that still feels decades away from reaching the 21st century in the evolution process.

RU’s offense ranks outside the top 100; their top runner (Aaron Young) and two of their three quarterbacks are banged up (all questionable). Their healthy quarterback? Evan Simon was 9-of-15 for 52 yards (3.5 YPA) against Temple. Temple!

Meanwhile, Iowa brings a top 10 defense to Jersey. Through three games, the Hawkeyes have given up 13 total points (4.3 PPG) and a B1G-best 2.9 yards per play. Throw in their next-level punter, and a shutout wouldn’t surprise me.

PURDUE OVER 38.5

Money Line: Purdue -800 | FAU +540 | Total: 58.5
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET; TV: BTN | Location: Ross-Ade Stadium | W. Lafayette, IN
FAU: AP Top 25: NR | Coaches Poll: NR | SP+: 36 | PFF: 51
Purdue: AP Top 25: NR | Coaches Poll: NR | SP+: 87 | PFF: 106

In Week 1, Purdue lost in the final minute to Penn State in a game they probably felt they should have won. The Boilermakers responded by putting up 56 points on Indiana State.

Last week, Purdue lost in the final minute to Syracuse in a game they probably felt they should have won. Expect the Boilermakers to respond again.

They throw the ball 65.4% of the time and are posting an impressive .28 EPA per pass, despite playing a top pass defense in PSU and a solid defense in Syracuse. Two units much better than FAU’s group, which allowed 38 points to Ohio and 40 points last week to UCF.

Quarterback Aidan O’Connell has already thrown for over 1,000 yards with eight scoring strikes, while former Iowa receiver Charlie Jones is among the most improved players in the country and leads FBS football with 10.7 catches per game and is second with 474 receiving yards

Little Bets (1/2 Unit):

 Last Week: 0-0; Season: 0-0 (+0 Units)

MICHIGAN STATE +3 Minnesota

Money Line: Minnesota -144 | Michigan State +118 | Total: 50.5
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET; TV: BTN | Location: Spartan Stadium | East Lansing, MI
Minnesota: AP Top 25: NR (33) | Coaches Poll: NR (32) | SP+: 16 | PFF: 13
Michigan State: AP Top 25: NR (26) | Coaches Poll: 21 | SP+: 24 | PFF: 36

I was not high on the Spartans going into the year, I expected regression, and I hate that the nerds love the Gophers so much. But I’m not sold on Minnesota either, despite their hot start. They haven’t played anybody and have the worst strength of schedule of any P5 school. Yes, easier than Michigan’s.

MSU’s most significant vulnerability is their pass defense, while Minnesota prefers to run the ball (67.2% of plays), and they just lost their best receiver (Chris Autman-Bell) for the season. The Gophers will not make the Spartans pay like Washington did last week.

Questions remain about Minnesota’s offensive line (197 starts lost from last season’s unit), and Sparty is strong in the trenches (2.7 YPC allowed), led by defensive tackle Simeon Barrow. UNLV transfer Jacoby Windmon has 5.5 sacks through three games.

Ultimately, this pick is about Minnesota being overvalued by the market. The line opened Michigan State -2, and now the Gophers are giving three? I’ll take it, thank you very much. In East Lansing, this is, at the very least, a toss-up game.