Big Ten Week 6: Previews, Predictions, and Best Bets for the Biggest Games of the Week


Betting stats are provided by BetMGM.*

Takeaways from Week 5

Last week answered some questions in the Big Ten – namely, that Michigan is the real deal, Wisconsin’s athletic department has had enough, and Michigan State is worse off than we thought.

The biggest news of the week is Paul Chrysts surprise firing by Wisconsin after the team’s 34-10 loss to Illinois, which brought their season record to 2-3. Chryst was reportedly blindsided and multiple members of the team, including star running back Braelon Allen, posted messages of support for their former coach.

Defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard, long seen as a rising star in the coaching ranks, will serve in that role on an interim basis for the remainder of the season. Leonhard and the Badgers have a pair of winnable road games the next two Saturdays at Northwestern and Michigan State – Wisconsin should be favored in each. Winning those two games could help begin calming the Wisconsin faithful.

Questions arose about Michigan after the Wolverines eked out a sloppy home win against Maryland in Week 4, but the team responded well, earning its first win at Iowa since 2005. Jim Harbaugh’s squad methodically wore down the stout Iowa defense with a persistent run game led by junior RB Blake Corum. After turning the ball over twice against Maryland, quarterback J.J. McCarthy rebounded to enjoy a turnover-free outing in Iowa City.

Meanwhile, Michigan State did not rebound from its recent struggles, losing its third straight game in a road tilt at Maryland. The Spartans move to 2-3 with no wins in conference play, a stark contrast to earlier expectations that ranked the team in the top 15 for the first three weeks of the season.


Previews and Predictions for the Biggest Games of Week 6

No. 3 Ohio State likely to stay unbeaten at Michigan State (OSU -27, o/u 64.5)

Best Bets: Ohio State -27, Over 64.5

The Buckeyes (5-0) have yet to face anything remotely close to a formidable opponent this season. That streak is expected to continue as Ohio State takes its high-powered offense on the road to East Lansing for their first road game of the season. To put it mildly, expect Michigan State’s (2-3) struggles to continue against arguably the top offense in the nation.

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day was quick to give Michigan State its due earlier this week: “It’s going to be hard to win up there,” he said. “We’re expecting a top ten team… well coached, really good players.”

Speaking of good players, Buckeyes QB C.J. Stroud’s case for Heisman is getting stronger by the week. Day says the prospect of an individual award doesn’t affect the team’s gameplan, nor Stroud’s mindset. “I think what C.J. would tell you is that all he wants to do is win.”

After three consecutive losses, that’s all Michigan State coach Mel Tucker wants, too. On Tuesday, he called the Spartans’ loss to Maryland a “death of inches.” He noted that he felt the defense played better in the second half of that game and that he’s seeing improvements in practice. “Our best football is ahead of us.”

That may be so, but it’s unlikely that even Michigan State’s very best football will faze Ohio State this week.

Prediction: With Michigan State having issues on both sides of the ball, Ohio State shouldn’t face much resistance this week. The Buckeyes cover -27 and even without much offense from Michigan State, expect the Over of 64.5 to be in play.


No. 4 Michigan faces Indiana in second straight road conference game (Mich. -22.5, o/u 59.5)

Best Bets: Indiana +22.5, Over 59.5

Michigan (5-0) is on the road for the second straight week, this time against an Indiana team (3-2) that’s coming off two consecutive losses to Cincinnati and Nebraska. After its impressive win at Iowa, Michigan will look to continue Week 5’s execution on offense.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh called the Hoosiers a “really good challenge” on Monday, saying he expects Indiana to throw the ball a lot as they have all season and to make the Michigan offense work for every yard. “Defensively, they’re really good. They mix things up a lot.”

The Indiana passing game Harbaugh expects will hinge on the health of a couple players. Both of the team’s top wide receivers, Cam Camper (illness) and D.J. Matthews (hamstring), were out last week when the Hoosiers lost to Nebraska. Head coach Tom Allen says both will be game-time decisions this weekend. Camper and Matthews have combined for 50 catches and over 600 yards this season.

Prediction: Michigan wins this one easily, but a backdoor cover by the Hoosiers is not out of the question. The Wolverines have given up a combined 41 points in the last two weeks, including 14 to the conference’s (and one of the nation’s) most ineffective offense in the Iowa Hawkeyes. Michigan is also in a potential letdown spot with this game sandwiched between Iowa and No. 10 Penn State, who comes to Ann Arbor next week.


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When will UCLA, USC join the Big Ten Conference?


The Big Ten has served as one of the nation’s premier intercollegiate athletic conferences for over 125 years. Originally founded by a group of seven universities led by Purdue president James H. Smart, the group has grown by leaps and bounds since its formation in 1896. The conference that was originally comprised of seven teams grew to an eventual 14, and is now set to expand to 16 with the groundbreaking addition of UCLA and USC to the Big Ten.

RELATED: Big Ten primetime football finds a home in NBC and Peacock

When will USC, UCLA join the Big Ten?

Crosstown rival programs USC and UCLA both announced in summer 2022 that they will leave the Pac-12 Conference for the Big Ten on August 2, 2024.

The move rocked the college football world, considering the length of time that both schools were members of their previous conference. USC had held Pac-12 membership since 1922, winning a total of 39 conference football titles and nine basketball titles in that span. The UCLA Bruins were a part of the group since 1928, taking home 16 football and 32 basketball conference titles in those years.

UCLA and USC’s transition was announced on the heels of Oklahoma and Texas confirming their departure for the SEC last season, a move that is set to transpire ahead of the 2025 college football season.

Come 2024, the Pac-12 will be comprised of only 10 members, while the Big Ten will stretch from coast to coast.

RELATED: Click here for NBC coverage of college football

What schools are in the Big Ten Conference?

  • University of Michigan
  • Ohio State University
  • Penn State University
  • University Maryland
  • Michigan State University
  • Indiana University
  • Rutgers University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Wisconsin
  • University of Nebraska
  • Northwestern University
  • USC (will join in 2024)
  • UCLA (will join in 2024)

Why is it called the Big Ten?

Despite its current 14 members, the conference retains its title of “Big Ten” to this day. The name originated after Michigan rejoined in 1917, bringing the membership from nine to 10 teams. Media members were the first to dub the group the “Big Ten”, which was eventually confirmed as the conference’s official name in 1987.

RELATED: Purdue, Penn State to battle for Big Ten basketball title

How can I watch Big Ten football, basketball and more?

While Big Ten football coverage for the 2023 season will be split among NBC, Fox and CBS, NBC and Peacock will be the home of the conference’s biggest game every week with Big Ten Saturday Night. NBC Sports’ new agreement with the Big Ten will also feature coverage of several men’s and women’s basketball games, Olympic sports, golf and more.

It became official in August of 2022 that NBC will air Big Ten Saturday Night on NBC and Peacock, with a primetime football game each fall weekend.

How to watch the 2023 All-American Bowl: TV channel, live stream info, start time, rosters, and more


The 2023 All-American Bowl takes place this Saturday, January 7 inside the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas as 100 of the nation’s top senior football players will go head-to-head in this highly anticipated all-star game.

Live coverage begins at 1:00 PM ET on NBC and Peacock. See below for additional information on how to watch the 2023 All-American Bowl.

RELATED: Finalists Named for 2023 All-American Bowl’s Player of the Year Award

The All-American Bowl made its debut in December 2000 at Highlander Stadium in Dallas, Texas and since then has become one of the most-watched high school sporting events in America. Notable alumni that have participated in the event include NFL Wide Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (2011), Dallas Cowboys Running Back Ezekiel Elliot (2013), Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence (2018), former Broncos QB Tim Tebow (2006), former Cleveland Browns OT Joe Thomas.

RELATED: 2023 All-American Bowl Rosters

How to watch the 2023 All-American Bowl:

RELATED: Finalists Named for 2023 All-American Bowl’s Player of the Year Award

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Sign up for a Peacock Premium plan to start watching. With Peacock Premium, you can watch all our live sports like Premier League, Sunday Night Football, and cycling; next-day airings from channels like NBC, USA Network, and Telemundo; plus all the movies and TV you want on Peacock.

If you want to watch everything ad-free,* choose our $9.99/month Peacock Premium Plus plan.

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