The Backdoor Cover - Big Ten Edition

By: Josh Gamble

*All lines are accurate as of Friday afternoon*

Maryland @ Penn State (-25) – Over/Under 64.5

Both of these teams played much better than I think anyone expected last week. Most thought that Penn State would get run out of town against the Buckeyes after dropping their first game to the Hoosiers. Maryland, who played poorly in their first game, bounced back and defeated Minnesota after being a heavy underdog. Whether or not Minnesota is ultimately overrated, Maryland’s offense looked impressive last week. The line in this game opened at 21 points and has been pushed out to 25. The more the line moves in this direction, the more value you will get with taking Maryland. At this point, unless there is a reversal in the line, there is not any value in taking the Nittany Lions. I think the better play here is the over. The total has risen by 4 points since its open; however, I still see value at this point. Take the over.

Michigan (-3.5) @ Indiana – Over/Under 54

This is a matchup between two teams that are on opposite ends of the story line. Indiana opened the season with an impressive win against Penn State. This win looks even better after seeing Penn State play Ohio State pretty tough last week. Michigan, on the other hand, is coming off a bad, bad loss. The Wolverines dropped their game last week against Michigan State in which they were three score favorites at home. Many Michigan faithful are calling for Harbaugh and Don Brown to be fired. That being said, Michigan currently holds a 24 game win streak against the Hoosiers. It is always tough to judge a team when they come off a loss in a rivalry game regardless of the other team’s talent level. The line is this game opened at 2 points with a modest rise up to 3.5. You are seeing a split between the two teams as far as the wagers are concerned. The Wolverines hold about 70% of the spread bets right now while almost all of the moneyline action is on the Hoosiers. Too many questions for Michigan to pick either side with any confidence, but I do see value on the Hoosiers moneyline at +145. The number that I believe is the most exploitable in this game is the total. 54 points seems awfully low to me. Indiana does not have a good defense and I would expect Michigan to score a fair number of points. On the flip side, Michigan does not quite have the defense they are accustomed to having under Don Brown. Take the over 54.

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Rutgers @ Ohio State (-38.5) – Over/Under 64.5