All 14 Big Ten teams are in action during Week 11 as temperatures across the league drop and the stakes heat up. While No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan are massive favorites at home against foes riding multi-game losing streaks, there are some intriguing matchups elsewhere in the conference.
The Big Ten West hangs in the balance as No. 21 Illinois hosts Purdue. With a road game against the Wolverines looming next week, the Illini can ill afford a loss at home against the Boilermakers if they want to win the division. If Purdue pulls the upset, it will have a shot at the title since it closes against Northwestern and Indiana, both of which are dreadful.
Wisconsin and Iowa also still have an outside shot at the Big Ten West as they square off in what figures to be a defensive struggle. Both teams have head-to-head wins against Purdue and could be in the title mix with a win this week and an Illinois loss. Even Minnesota is still in the picture as one of four teams in the division with a 3-3 league record.
In short, the Big Ten West remains a convoluted mess. The East, on the other hand, is all about the Buckeyes and Wolverines, which remain on a collision course for an all-important rivalry showdown in two weeks. Barring something entirely unexpected over the next couple of weeks, the matchup figures to be an unofficial College Football Playoff play-in game.
As the scenarios to sort themselves out on the field, let's dive deeper into the Week 11 slate with some picks from each Big Ten game.
2022 record: 28-27-1
Indiana at No. 2 Ohio State
Six of Ohio State's nine games this season have gone over this point total. While the weather in Columbus isn't supposed to be particularly nice Saturday, it will be better than it was for the Buckeyes' ugly 21-7 win at Northwestern last week. Indiana's flaws are immense, but the Hoosiers have at least reached double digits in every game. They throw the football around enough to drag this game out and let the points flow. Pick: Over 58
Nebraska at No. 3 Michigan
Michigan should be in the style points business because if it loses to Ohio State in the final week of the regular season its College Football Playoff candidacy will be tenuous at best. Even with a 45-17 lead and under 10 minutes left at Rutgers last week, the Wolverines were still throwing the football with starting quarterback J.J. McCarthy before finally calling off the dogs on their next possession. Nebraska has lost three straight and may be tapped out. Pick: Michigan -31
Maryland at No. 14 Penn State
Maryland encountered a good defense for the first time since September last week, and the results were rough even with star quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa back from injury. The Terrapins finished with just 189 total yards in a 23-10 loss to Wisconsin. On the road against another competent defense this week, the Terrapins may struggle through the air. Penn State is No. 7 nationally defensive passing efficiency and is good enough in the secondary to keep the point total of this game lower than expected. Pick: Under 58.5
Purdue at No. 21 Illinois
Purdue let Iowa's Kaleb Johnson run for 200 yards on 9.1 yards per carry last week in a 24-3 loss. Everything about that is deeply concerning for the Boilermakers as they travel to face an Illinois team that outgained Michigan State by nearly 150 yards in a loss last week. The frustration of that outcome should spur the Illini this week. Look for running back Chase Brown to have a monster game as Illinois creeps closer to a division title. Pick: Illinois -6.5
Wisconsin at Iowa
Don't be deceived by Iowa's combined 57 points over the last two weeks. Those offensive outbursts came against the struggling defenses of Northwestern and Purdue. Wisconsin just reasserted itself defensively by holding Maryland to under 200 yards and can limit the Hawkeyes rushing attack. Iowa's defense remains elite, though, and Wisconsin's offense should struggle as well. Graham Mertz completed just 5 of 18 passes last week, and it's hard to imagine the Hawkeyes letting Badgers running back Braelon Allen get loose. Pick: Under 35
Rutgers at Michigan State
Blowout losses against Minnesota and Michigan over the past two weeks have skewed the perception of Rutgers' defense. the Golden Gophers ran the football against the Scarlet Knights in a way that Michigan State cannot. While the Spartans are understandably favored, this is a big number for them to cover in a game between two bad offenses. Pick: Rutgers +9.5
Northwestern at Minnesota
Minnesota's defense has been great against bad offenses, and Northwestern's offense is certainly bad. The Wildcats have averaged just 11.6 points per game against league foes since their season-opening win over Nebraska. The Gophers rely heavily on the run and should be content to bleed some clock while relying on their defense on a frigid afternoon in Minneapolis. Pick: Under 40.5
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 11, and which top-25 teams will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $3,000 in profit over the past six-plus seasons -- and find out.