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Big Ten Betting Preview: bye week special

No Badgers? No problem. We still got winners here.

NCAA Football: Buffalo at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

If you’ve read my Wisconsin betting preview for Week 1 and Week 2, you hopefully have accrued a nice little stack of cash as the Badgers have covered the spread easily in each of their first two games and hit the over in last week’s game. That puts the official record for the betting preview at 3-1, which is A LOT better than I am doing on games outside of Wisconsin.

My personal column is 2-8, but thankfully Wisconsin has helped me mitigate those losses by giving us stone cold winners each week! Since our cash cow is off this week, I decided to mix it up and give my three best bets for other Big Ten teams to try and fill your pockets.

Arizona State @ Michigan State (-13.5)

When I saw this line open, I couldn’t get over to the sports book fast enough. Michigan State opened up as a 11 point favorite, but immediately saw significant money bet on them that quickly pushed the number to 12 and eventually 13. Why? Well there are a number of reasons.

Firstly, Arizona State struggled immensely in their Week 2 win over FCS Sacramento State. If you happened to have the PAC 12 network and caught any of that game, you saw the Sun Devils clinging to a 12-7 lead with just under seven minutes to play. The offense looked all sorts of off and played on their heels most of the contest. Now, they take on one of the nation’s top defenses in Michigan State. Sparty currently ranks No. 1 against the run, averaging -3 yards per game. Small sample size, but still.

Additionally, Arizona State’s Jayden Daniels will be making his first career road start under center. Oh and if that wasn’t enough, it’s a revenge spot for Sparty who got knocked off at ASU last year. Those are enough for me to lay the points with the Spartans.

Ohio State @ Indiana (+16.5)

All bets are risky, and this one may be riskier than most, but hear me out. Indiana plays host to Ohio State this week, and they’re getting 16 points as a home dog. Most people would see Ohio State’s 42-0 blowout win over a talented Cincinnati team and immediately lay the points with the road team. However, I am not most people, so I’m taking the home dog.

Look, Indiana hasn’t beaten Ohio State in a decade. But in betting, they don’t have to. They just have to cover the spread, something they’ve done a damn good job of over the course of their losing streak to OSU. Despite being 0-10 straight up, the Hooisers are 7-3 against the spread over the last ten years. That to me shows that Indiana historically plays the Buckeyes somewhat tough.

In fact, they play each of the Big Ten East teams tough. In 2018, the Hooisers covered the spread against each of the big three East division opponents. Things always get a little weird when teams travel to Bloomington, and I am going to take a little risk and try my luck at that again. If you don’t feel confident about it, you can always see how things start and live bet it as the game goes on.

Iowa @ Iowa State (+2.5)

This rivalry game is one that has been dominated by the Hawkeyes as they have won 44 games compared to Iowa State’s 22. They’ve also won the last four meetings. The Hawkeyes have historically dominated the Cyclones, which should make this an easy bet and cover in a lot of people’s eyes, especially after Iowa State’s dud of an opener against Northern Iowa.

However, I think a lot of people overreact to Week 1 and bet based on what they’ve recently seen. Iowa State struggled against UNI, which means they aren’t as great as everyone thought. Sure, there’s some logic there, but I think its also entirely possible that the Cyclones just had a bad first game. I think that provides tremendous value on the side of the Cyclones in this match up. If ISU didn’t struggle in their first game, they’d probably be favored by the same spread they are dogged.

Getting nearly six points of value on a home dog off of a bye is enough for me to take my shot without hesitation. PLUS, its a rivalry game with the entire college football world finally taking their eyes to Ames for College Gameday? They’ll be fired up and ready to make a statement in this game. If you can get it at +3, even better, but I’m taking Iowa State to win this outright.