Big Ten Week 10 Overview: Michigan Lays Big Number to Penn State

Jay Pryce

Monday, October 29, 2018 10:38 AM UTC

Monday, Oct. 29, 2018 10:38 AM UTC

Lay the points against the spread with your Week 10 college football picks on No. 5 Michigan hosting No. 14 Penn State. Defense is the difference between the two. Our betting preview on this ranked clash, including the rest of the Big Ten schedule here. 

Big Ten Spotlight: No. 14 Penn State at No. 5 Michigan (-11)Saturday, 3:45 p.m. ET, on ESPNFree NCAAF Pick: Michigan ATSBest Line Offered: Heritage

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Michigan (7-1 SU, 5-3 ATS) is coming off a bye week a big favorite to top Penn State (6-2 SU, 4-3-1 ATS) at the “Big House” in Week 10, opening an 11-point favorite on the college football oddsboard. It’s a huge jump from advance lines offered in May, which liked the Wolverines by 3.5 points in the highly-anticipated matchup. One has to travel back to 2001 to uncover the last time Michigan laid more than a touchdown in the series.

The line is justified by the fact the Nittany Lions are playing so-so over the last month. After losses to Ohio State (27-26) and Michigan State (21-17), it scraped past Indiana (33-28) on the road and needed an interception in the final minutes to see off Iowa (30-24) at Beaver Stadium last Saturday.

Defense is the core issue troubling Penn State compared to last year. Including a 63-24 win over Illinois in Week 4, head coach James Franklin’s squad is surrendering 423.4 yards of offense and 24.8 points to Big Ten opponents. In 2017, it allowed 348.2 and 19.1 respectively.

Michigan’s “revenge tour" is a perfect 2-0 after avenging 2017 losses to Michigan State (21-7) and Wisconsin (38-13) the last two weeks. Strong defense is key to its success. Since a 24-17 loss at Notre Dame to open the season, Jim Harbaugh’s unit has not allowed more than 21 points in a contest, yielding 13.0 points on 208.2 total yards per game.

Harbaugh is a perfect 6-0 SU and ATS against ranked opponents in the upper half of the AP poll (No. 12 and up), covering a -7.0 average line by a whopping 19.3 points per game. The defensive guru is allowing 7.3 points per contest under these conditions, winning each by two touchdowns or more.

Penn State likely reaches the teens on the scoreboard in this matchup, but that’s all. The team is out of sync, and catches a Wolverines bunch rested, motivated, and full of confidence. Lay the points.

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Devin Bush:

8 games 👌
49 tackles 🙌
7 tackles for loss 👊
4.5 sacks 💪

His midseason highlights. 👇#GoBlue pic.twitter.com/FjTfP3RcWl

— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) October 27, 2018
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Around the Big Ten (All Games Saturday)

Nebraska at No. 8 Ohio State (-22.5), noon ET, on BTN: The "over" is 42-27-2 (60.9 percent) all-time when Ohio State (7-1 SU, 3-5 ATS) lines up against Power 5 opponent behind head coach Urban Meyer. Nebraska (2-6 SU, 3-5 ATS) has seen the ‘over’ cash in 11 of its last 12 Big Ten games, including nine straight. The defense is allowing 43.0 points per game in this stretch.

Michigan State at Maryland (OFF), noon ET, on ESPN2: The line is off the board as oddsmakers await the status of Michigan State (5-3 SU, 3-5 ATS) QB Brian Lewerke. Lewerke dressed, but did not start the Spartans’ 23-13 win over Purdue last Saturday due to a hurt right shoulder, seeing is 20-game starting streak snapped.

Rutgers at Wisconsin (OFF), noon ET, on BTN: Like the abovementioned contest, the Rutgers (1-7 SU, 3-5 ATS)-Wisconsin (5-3 SU, 2-6 ATS) line is not set as books wait for more information on the availability of the Badgers’ first-team QB Alex Hornibrook. The fourth-year junior, 25-5 SU and 18-12 ATS as a starter, missed the team’s 31-17 defeat at Northwestern on Saturday with a concussion.

Minnesota (-10) at Illinois, 3:30 p.m ET, on BTN: This is just the sixth time in the last decade, and first since 2016, Minnesota (4-4 SU, 5-3 ATS) will kick off road chalk in a Big Ten contest. The Gophers are 4-1 SU and ATS in the previous five. One has to go back to 2005 to uncover the last time they presented double digits to a conference rival away from home (Indiana, +12.5).

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😱

Bateman coming in clutch. pic.twitter.com/sznLzU4V91

— Minnesota Football (@GopherFootball) October 28, 2018
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No. 19 Iowa at Purdue (-2.5), 3:30 p.m. ET, on ESPN2: During the last decade, Iowa (6-2 SU, 6-1-1 ATS) is 6-1 SU and 6-0-1 ATS in conference road games with a single-digit line when ranked in the AP poll. The Hawkeyes top a -1.0 average lone by 7.9 points per contest. Purdue (4-4 SU, 5-3 ATS), meanwhile, is 11-3 ATS in its last 14 against ranked opponents.

No. 3 Notre Dame (-7.5) at Northwestern, 7:15 p.m. ET, on ESPN: Despite head coach Pat Fitzgerald’s penchant for underdog upsets, Northwestern (5-3 SU, 4-4 ATS) is 0-9 SU and ATS hoisting an opponent ranked No.13 or better in the AP poll. The Wildcats are coming up 9.8 points shy of an 11.1 average line in this situation. Notre Dame (8-0 SU, 4-4 ATS) opened a touchdown favorite in Games of the Year lines offered in May.

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