Big Ten Week 4 Overview: Michigan on Track for Offensive Explosion

Monday, September 17, 2018 1:48 PM UTC

Monday, Sep. 17, 2018 1:48 PM UTC

Plenty of signs point to No. 19 Michigan blowing up the scoreboard against a Nebraska squad seeking consistency under first-year head coach Scott Frost. Four other ranked Big Ten teams are also in action.

<h2 style="text-align:center">Big Ten Spotlight: Nebraska at No. 19 Michigan (OFF)</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Saturday, noon ET (FS1)</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Free NCAAF Pick: 'Over'</h2><p>The game between Nebraska (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS) and Michigan (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) is off the <a href="" title="Live NCAAF Odds">college football odds board</a> until Cornhuskers quarterback Adrian Martinez’s injury status is clearer. The freshman sat out of the team’s 24-19 home loss to Troy last Saturday with a right knee injury sustained in the season opener. Advanced lines pitted the Wolverines a 17-point favorite prior to the weekend, which is likely to grow following Nebraska’s frosty start.</p><p>Bettors should look for Michigan’s offense having a productive effort. Behind coach Jim Harbaugh, the program puts up 37.0 points per game against unranked conference foes in Ann Arbor. The run game dominates in this situation, romping for 256.5 yards on 45.6 carries.</p><p>Nebraska, meanwhile, has allowed 41.3 points per contest over the last two seasons in away games versus teams registering a winning season the prior year. The last four trips are nightmarish, gifting 62 (Ohio State), 40 (Iowa), 54 (Minnesota), and 56 (Penn State) respectively. The Wolverines went 8-5 SU in 2017.</p><p>The average score when the Wolverines host unranked Big Ten opponents at home is 37.0 to 10.6. A line less than three touchdowns is a must-play, otherwise tread carefully. Nebraska is bound to have a bust-out offensive effort. The "over" likely holds the most value, with <a href="" title="Free NCAAF Picks">past results suggesting Michigan will light up the scoreboard</a>.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;DPJ&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;THREE TOUCHDOWNS 👇&lt;a href=\";amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#GoBlue&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;September 16, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><h2>Around the Big Ten (All Games Saturday Unless Noted)</h2><p><strong><a href="" title="Game Odds">No. 10 Penn State (-26.5) at Illinois</a>, Friday, 9 p.m. ET, on FS1:</strong> Illinois (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS) posts 12.7 points per game hosting Big Ten rivals at home under head coach Lovie Smith, not putting up more than 17 in any of its last eight efforts. Penn State (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) is 8-3 ATS since the start of 2016. The Nittany Lions have covered all four games laying more than two touchdowns.</p><p><strong>Minnesota at Maryland (OFF), noon ET, BTN:</strong> QB Zack Annexstad’s status is in doubt after leaving Minnesota’s (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS) 26-3 win over Miami (OH) in the third quarter with a hobbled left ankle. The line is off the board until the freshman’s status is clearer. His presence is needed. The Gophers have not scored more than 17 points in any of their last six Big Ten road games. Maryland (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS), on the other hand, is just 3-15 SU and 7-11 ATS in its last 18 tests hosting teams that accrued more wins the previous season.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Three games at home to start the season, three wins at home to start the season. 👌 &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Minnesota Football (@GopherFootball) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;September 16, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p><strong><a href="" title="Game Odds">Boston College (-6.5) at Purdue</a>, noon ET, on ESPN2:</strong> Last week’s 40-37 defeat as 6-point underdogs to Missouri was just the first time in Purdue’s (0-3 SU, 1-2 ATS) last 10 catching points at Ross-Ade Stadium covering the spread. The Boilermakers are just 1-17 SU and 4-14 ATS in this situation dating to November 2011.</p><p><strong><a href="" title="Game Odds">Buffalo (-3.5) at Rutgers</a>, noon ET, on BTN:</strong> Since 1999, just five MAC teams have kicked off road favorites against Big Ten foes. They won and covered the spread in each, topping a -3.6 average line by a whopping 19.8 points per game.</p><p><strong><a href="" title="Game Odds">Tulane at No. 4 Ohio State (-34.5)</a>, 3:30 p.m. ET, on BTN:</strong> If you’re going lay the heavy chalk with Ohio State (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS), consider the first half only. Under head coach Urban Meyer, the Buckeyes are 8-11-1 ATS gifting 30 points or more. They win the battle to halftime by a 31.0 to 5.8 average score line.</p><p><strong><a href="" title="Game Odds">No. 24 Michigan State (-3.5) at Indiana</a>, 7:30 p.m. ET, on BTN:</strong> Michigan State (1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS) has covered just two of its last nine on the road, losing four of five outright in this stretch with a single-digit line. The Spartans are losing by 4,6 points per game, despite kicking off average 4.1 favorites. Indiana (3-0 SU, 1-2 ATS) has just one victory in its last 17 hosting ranked opponents, though only four went off with a line less than a touchdown.</p><p><strong><a href="" title="Game Odds">No.18 Wisconsin (-3.5) at Iowa</a>, 8:30 p.m. ET, on FOX: </strong>Wisconsin (2-1 SU, 0-3 ATS) suffered its first home loss as the betting favorite since 2015 in a 24-21 defeat to BYU as 21.5-point chalk. It has failed to cover a double-digit spread in three other outings in this situation dating back 35 years. Iowa (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS) is 17-10-2 ATS (63.0 percent) all-time as a home underdog behind 19th-year coach Kirk Ferentz.</p>
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