Monday, November 06, 2006

NCAA Football Betting? Big Ten

I know gambling's for mugs, but it's sometimes fun...until you lose.

The Big Ten is arguably the strongest conference in all of college football. It makes for great ''smash mouth'' action and opportunity to cash. Below is a look at the ranked Big Ten teams who play Saturday.

(1) Ohio State @ Michigan State

The Buckeyes are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a SU win, and on the road they've fattened the wallets of their investors where they are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 away games.

The last time these Big Ten rivals met, Ohio State won and that victory sparked the Buckeyes' current 14-game win streak which is the longest in the nation.

The Buckeyes (6-0 SU & 5-1 ATS) have kept that streak intact this season, ripping off six consecutive SU wins, including three over ranked opponents. The last Ohio State team to begin the season 6-0 was the '02 National Championship team.

The Buckeyes again appear to be a championship-caliber team. They are averaging 32.8 ppg and 386.7 yards this season, led by senior QB Troy Smith, whose 170.6 passer rating leads the Big Ten. In last weeks non-cover victory Smith complete 17 of his 20 passing attempts. The completion percentage of 85% was the third-best mark in team history.

Ohio State leads the all-time series over Michigan State 24-12, including an 11-5 advantage in East Lansing, and has won four consecutive meetings SU and are 3-0 ATS in the last 3 clashes. The Buckeyes are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as a road favorite.

The Spartans (3-3 SU & 2-4 ATS) haven't been as successful at the ticket window where they are a dismal 1-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games as a home underdog.

(4) Michigan @ Penn State

The Wolverines (6-0 SU & 3-2-1 ATS) have won seven straight over the Nittany Lions (4-2 SU & 2-2-1 ATS). The Wolverines have a legitimate shot at the national championship, as they look to extend their winning streak over PSU by continuing its dominant play on both sides of the ball this weekend.

When Michigan takes the field Saturday, QB Chad Henne will not have WR Mario Manningham available. The sophomore underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday after injuring his knee in Michigan's 31-13 win over Michigan State last week. However, Henne should be able overcome his absence using his raw talent under center. He's completed 80 of 129 passes (62%) for 1,103 yards, 13 TDs and only four picks this year.

The Wolverines have outscored opponents 201-85 this season and lead the series with PSU 8-3 SU, having won the last three matchups at State College both SU & ATS. Overall, the Wolverines are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings.

(15) Iowa @ Indiana

The 15th-ranked Hawkeyes (5-1 SU & 1-4 ATS) are second in the conference with 236.3 passing ypg, but are eighth among the 11 teams with 163.0 rushing ypg. However, Iowa should be able to better that state against Indiana, which is allowing a conference-worst 172.0 rushing ypg. The Hoosiers have surrendered at least 200 rushing yards in their last four contests.

Iowa has won three straight over Indiana (3-3 SU & 2-3 ATS) after losing three consecutive games in the series SU. The Hawkeyes are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings.

The Hawkeyes haven't visited the Hoosiers since coming away with a 24-8 victory on Oct. 19, '02. But away from home Iowa is 0-3 ATS in their last 3 road games and are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games as a road favorite.

Minnesota @ (25) Wisconsin

Badgers QB P.J. Hill's impressive start to his career is a big reason Wisconsin (5-1 SU & 4-0-1 ATS) climbed to No. 25 in this week's poll, joining the rankings for the first time under first-year coach Bret Bielema.

This will be Hill's first chance to play for the Paul Bunyan Axe against Minnesota (2-4 SU & 2-3-1 ATS), awarded to the winner of this matchup between cross-state rivals. It's the 116th installment, including every season since 1907, and Minnesota leads the series 59-49-8.

With 847 rushing yards this season, Hill ranks second among Division I-A players behind Northern Illinois' Garret Wolfe (1,343 yards). Hill is averaging 5.7 yards per carry and has 10 total TDs, nine rushing.

The Golden Gophers are a money-shredding 7-19-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and are 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall. As well, they are 0-3 ATS in their last 3 meetings in Wisconsin and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 overall.