Point Spreads Set For Big Ten Games This Weekend, With a Big Move by Wisconsin

There's a big swing on the Iowa-Wisconsin line, which is surprising, and there's a lot of shuffling on the TV locations and kickoff times because of the two big cancellations with Michigan-Ohio State and Indiana-Purdue.
Publish date:

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The bloom is off the rose on this final regular season weekend of the Big Ten football schedule. There's no Ohio State-Michigan game and, of course, closer to home, there's no Indiana-Purdue game, either.

That's a big blow to the league, but the show must go on. There are still five games left to be played, and snow plows are cleaning off the field in Lincoln as the Cornhuskers take on Minnesota, a team that hasn't played in two weeks because of COVID-19 issues.

With Indiana's cancellation, that means that only Iowa, Rutgers and Penn State will actually play all eight regular season games this year.

There's been some serious movement on the point spreads this week, most notably in the Iowa-Wisconsin game. The Hawkeyes started out as the favorite, but almost all the money has been coming in on the Badgers, and now they are 2-point favorites.

Here are the latest lines on game day, as of 9 a.m. on the DraftKings.com website;

(Advice: My gambling friend Walter Ego got his money back on Indiana-Purdue, and there's not much he likes today. He's smarting a big from his first losing weekend, missing on Indiana and Purdue last week and getting Ohio State right. He's 18-8 on the season, though, which is very impressive. He's taking Illinois and those 14 points for a small stack, and he likes Rutgers to win outright at Maryland. He also said he's already placed his big bet on the title game next week, taking Ohio State minus-200

Here are the lines for all seven Big Ten games this weekend.

Illinois at Northwestern

  • TV: ESPN2
  • RECORDS: Illinois (2-4); Northwestern (5-1)
  • LAST WEEK: Illinois lost to Iowa 35-21; Northwestern did not play due to COVID issues at Minnesota
  • OPENING LINE: Northwestern by 13.5 points.
  • CLOSING LINE: Now Northwestern by 14 points.
  • THE SKINNY: The Wildcats couldn't play last week because of Minnesota's issues, but they wound up clinching the Big Ten West anyway and will play in the Big Ten Championship Game against Ohio State next week for the second time in three years. Illinois jumped out to an early 14-0 lead vs. Iowa, but then got rolled from there, allowing 35 unanswered points. The Illini have been up and down all year, but don't be surprised if they give Northwestern a fight in this rivalry game.

Rutgers at Maryland

  • TV: Big Ten Network
  • RECORDS: Rutgers (2-5); Maryland (2-2)
  • LAST WEEK: Rutgers lost to Penn State 23-7; Maryland did not play due to COVID issues at Michigan.
  • OPENING LINE: Maryland by 7.5 points.
  • CLOSING LINE: Now, Maryland by 6.5 points
  • THE SKINNY: The Terrapins missed two games because of their own COVID issues, and then missed another last week, so they've only played four games. They'd love to get this one in and finish on a high note. It's been a good turnaround for Rutgers as well, getting a couple of Big Ten victories after losing 22 games in a row prior to this season.

Minnesota at Nebraska

  • TV: FOX Sports 1
  • RECORDS: Minnesota (2-3); Nebraska (2-4)
  • LAST WEEK: Minnesota did not play due to COVID issues; Nebraska beat Purdue 37-27
  • OPENING LINE: Nebraska favored by 9.5 points.
  • CLOSING LINE:  Now, Nebraska favored by 8.5 points.
  • THE SKINNY: The Cornhuskers got back in the win column with a nice win on the road at Purdue, and they'd like to build on that this weekend. Minnesota has missed two straight weeks, so it's going to be interesting to see how much they play without much practice time.

Michigan State at Penn State

  • TV: ABC
  • RECORDS: Michigan State (2-4); Penn State (2-5)
  • LAST WEEK: Michigan State lost to Ohio State 52-12; Penn State beat Rutgers 23-7.
  • OPENING LINE: Penn State favored by 14.5 points.
  • CLOSING LINE: Now, Penn State favored by 15 points.
  • THE SKINNY: The Nittany Lions finally seem to have their act together after that program-defining five-game losing streak to start the season. They'd love to finish the season strong and build on it for 2021. Michigan State has been up and down, and got drubbed 52-12 by Ohio State a week ago, and looked bad doing against a team that was missing more than a dozen players and their head coach.

Wisconsin at Iowa

  • GAMETIME: 3:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: FoxSports1 
  • RECORDS: Wisconsin (2-2); Iowa (5-2)
  • LAST WEEK: Wisconsin lost to Indiana 14-6; Iowa beat Illinois 35-21.
  • OPENING LINE: Iowa favored by 2.5 points.
  • CLOSING LINE: Now, Wisconsin favored by 2 points.
  • THE SKINNY: It would have been easy for the Hawkeyes to pack it in after opening the season with two losses, but they kept grinding away and now have won five games in a row. Wisconsin has come back to earth after two losses to Northwestern and Indiana where the offense really struggled. It's going to be interesting to see if they can get re-started against the Hawkeyes. The bettors think they will because the line has swung in a huge way, with Wisconsin now favored by 2.

Purdue at Indiana

  • TV: None
  • RECORDS: Purdue (2-4); Indiana (6-1)
  • LAST WEEK: Purdue lost to Nebraska 37-27; Indiana beat Wisconsin 14-6.
  • OPENING LINE: Indiana by 11.5 points.
  • THE SKINNY: No Old Oaken Bucket game for the first time in 100 years is a hard pill to swallow. The only good to come out of it, I suppose, is that the Bucket remains in Bloomington for another year.

Michigan at Ohio State

  • TV: None
  • RECORDS: Michigan (2-4); Ohio State (5-0)
  • LAST WEEK: Michigan did not play because of COVID issues inside the program; Ohio State beat Michigan State 52-12.
  • OPENING LINE: Ohio State by 30.5 points.
  • THE SKINNY: The Game is out too, but the Big Ten has done an about-face and let Ohio State in the conference title game after all, despite not playing six games. Ridiculous.