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Black Shoe Degenerates: Week Six Brings Several Elusive Lines

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Penn State vs Iowa is the big one, but Michigan, Nebraska bring intrigue too.

Sean Clifford avoid Iowa defenders while trying to make a play. Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

As fun as last week was for all of us, week six proves to be even more fun with a couple of games that will decide the pecking order for the Big Ten in the next couple of weeks. Is Michigan ready to content for a Big Ten title? Can Maryland rebound from its dismal performance and give Ohio State a game? Can Rutgers?

And, of course, there’s the game of the week, between Penn State and Iowa, one that has not only Big Ten implications, but College Football Playoff implications as well. Let’s get right to it!

Maryland at No. 7 Ohio State (-21.5)

The early hiccup against Oregon is squarely in the rearview mirror, and after two beatdowns in a row, Vegas once again likes Ohio State to put the hurting on Big Ten opponents moving forward. Can Ohio State beat Maryland by three touchdowns and more? Absolutely. But this line screams “overreaction to last week” to me.

Clay: Ohio State 48, Maryland 20
Dylan: Ohio State 51, Maryland 23
Tim: Ohio State 52, Maryland 21
Lando: Ohio State 48, Maryland 17
Jared: Ohio State 47, Maryland 24
Eli: Ohio State 45, Maryland 28

No. 11 Michigan State (-5.5) at Rutgers

This line is even more of a trap than the last one. Michigan State, in its game against Nebraska, needed everything to beat Nebraska in overtime. Rutgers gave Michigan a game. So of course everyone will be inclined to believe this game will be closes. It might be, but Michigan State should easily win by at least a touchdown.

Clay: Michigan State 30, Rutgers 17
Dylan: Michigan State 27, Rutgers 13
Tim: Michigan State 24, Rutgers 17
Lando: Michigan State 31, Rutgers 14
Jared: Michigan State 28, Rutgers 17
Eli: Michigan State 28, Rutgers 21

Wisconsin (-11) at Illinois

If Wisconsin can avoid a fourth quarter collapse, they might be able to actually cover this line. I’m not sure Wisconsin can avoid a fourth quarter collapse. This also happens to be their first true road game of the season.

Clay: Wisconsin 31, Illinois 13
Dylan: Wisconsin 24, Illinois 14
Tim: Wisconsin 28, Illinois 13
Lando: Wisconsin 27, Illinois 10
Jared: Wisconsin 24, Illinois 10
Eli: Wisconsin 17, Illinois 10

No. 4 Penn State at No. 3 Iowa (-2)

With the rare exception, games between Penn State and Iowa tend to be close. Vegas seems to agree here. The line grew as big as 3 at one point, but it’s since settled at two for most of the week. Both defenses are great so far, with offenses leaving something to be desired at times. The last time Penn State lost a game, however, it was against Iowa. I’m sure the Lions remember that.

Clay: Iowa 17, Penn State 13
Dylan: Penn State 23, Iowa 16
Tim: Penn State 20, Iowa 16
Lando: Iowa 24, Penn State 21
Jared: Penn State 13, Iowa 10
Eli: Penn State 56, Iowa 17

No. 9 Michigan (-3) at Nebraska

Michigan passed its most recent test with flying colors, earning themselves their first victory as an underdog under Jim Harbaugh. Their reward? A road trip to a Nebraska team that may have figured out, at least somewhat, how to avoid shooting themselves in the foot. Given how the Huskers were able to contain Michigan State’s potent running attack, don’t be surprised if they manage to do the same here.

Clay: Michigan 28, Nebraska 13
Dylan: Michigan 24, Nebraska 17
Tim: Michigan 24, Nebraska 21
Lando: Michigan 28, Nebraska 24
Jared: Michigan 27, Nebraska 17
Eli: Michigan 23, Nebraska 21