Big 10 NCAA football betting action heads to Ann Arbor this week, where the Little Brown Jug will be awarded to the winner of the clash between the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Michigan Wolverines.
It’s been a woeful first season for Head Coach Jerry Kill in his transition from the Northern Illinois Huskies here to Minneapolis. His team has already been beaten this year by both the New Mexico State Aggies and North Dakota State Vikings, and there is no doubt that the hometown crowd has to be getting restless about when this program is finally going to play like a Big 10 school should. Now, Kill is up against it, trying to reverse a trend that dates back quite some time. The Gophers haven’t held the Little Brown Jug since 2005, and that was the only year that they had it dating back to the 1990s. The offense hasn’t scored even 30 points in a game this year, and though that doesn’t sound like it is the end of the world, we have to remember that this is a case of playing against a schedule that has been absolutely atrocious. There is no way that any of these teams are going to end up bowling this year, though we know that the USC Trojans are at least legitimately one of the best 30-40 teams in the country. Neither QB MarQueis Gray nor QB Max Shortell has proven that he can be the leader of this team, as neither is completing more than 50 percent of his passes. The two only have a total of five TD passes against five picks.
Michigan has no doubt who its quarterback is going to be this year, as QB Denard Robinson has taken every single snap from under center and in the shotgun. Robinson proved to be a potential Heisman Trophy candidate last year under Head Coach Rich Rodriguez, and though he has been slowed down just a bit and forced to stay in the pocket more often under new Head Coach Brady Hoke, there is no doubt that Robinson still has that Heisman flare. Last week, he had nearly 200 yards on the ground against the team that Hoke used to coach, the San Diego State Aztecs. He now has 624 passing yards and 552 rushing yards. Sure a 6/6 TD/INT ratio isn’t very good at all, but we also know that he has more than made up for it with his five TDs on the ground. The defense for Big Blue has truly made the difference this year between last season’s iffy year than ended in a bowl blowout against the Mississippi State Bulldogs and one that thinks it could legitimate be a Top 25 team. This unit has only allowed 12.8 points per game on the campaign. Still, there has to be some legitimate concern, knowing that this is about the time of year the Michigan usually starts to swoon.
Minnesota Golden Gophers @ Michigan Wolverines Pick: Though we don’t think that the Wolverines are going to be beaten on Saturday, we do think that there could be some modest problems in the Big House. Minnesota is terrible, but conference games are conference games. Expect this one to stay in the 14-17 point range for a margin of victory.
College Football Pick: Minnesota Golden Gophers +20 at Bookmaker Sportsbook.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.