Illinois— Lovie Smith is 9-27 SU at Illinois, 4-10 vs spread as a home underdog; with 17 of 22 starters back this year, if they don’t show improvement this year, then what? Illini is 9-18 vs spread as an underdog under Smith; their last bowl was in 2014, last bowl win in 2011.
Indiana— Under Allen, Hoosiers are 5-1 vs spread as a home favorite, 2-5 as a home dog; they’ve got seven starters back on both sides of the ball this year. Indiana has two new coordinators this season, with their new OC coming in from Fresno State.
Iowa— Last four years, Iowa is 37-16 SU, with a +33 turnover margin; they won their last couple bowls. Since 2013, Hawkeyes are 15-2-1 vs spread as a road favorite. Iowa has only four starters back on defense this year.
Maryland— Mike Locksley went 3-31 as HC of New Mexico from 2009-11, somehow got this job. Terps lost their last three bowls; their last bowl win was in 2010. Last five years, Maryland is 5-19 vs spread coming off a win.
Michigan— Under Harbaugh, Wolverines are 7-12 vs spread on road, 4-7 vs spread coming off a loss- they lost last three bowls, giving up 33.3 ppg. Michigan has a senior QB (23 starts) and a new OC who ran a no-huddle offense at his last stop.
Michigan State— Last four years, Spartans are 8-13 vs spread as a home favorite; they’ve got 17 of 22 starters back this year, with a senior QB (25 starts). In their last four bowls, MSU scored 42-0-42-6 points. TO margin from 2013-15: +46. From 2016-18: -1.
Minnesota— Gophers have 9 starters back on offense this year; both soph QB’s (split time LY) are also back. Minnesota won its last three bowls, allowing 14-12-10 points. Under Fleck, Minnesota is 6-1 vs spread in non-conference games.
Nebraska— From 2009-14, Nebraska was 57-24, but Cornhuskers had losing seasons three of last four years; since 2013, they’re 13-20-1 vs spread as a home favorite, but last two years, they’re 7-2 as road underdogs. Last seven years, Nebraska’s turnover ratio: minus-41.
Northwestern— Wildcats are 3-2 in last five bowls; they were underdog in four of those five games- they’ve had a plus TO ratio the last seven years (+45 total). New QB this year, with one candidate a transfer from Clemson.
Ohio State— Day is the new HC; over last decade, Buckeyes are 10-1 vs spread as an underdog. OSU has only 4 starters back on offense; QB Fields is a transfer from Georgia. Since 2015, Buckeyes are 11-16 vs spread as a home favorite.
Penn State— Under Franklin, Nittany Lions are 17-11-1 vs spread as a home favorite, 7-8 as road favorite, 5-8 as an underdog, 4-13 coming off a loss. Average total in their last three bowls: 75.0. PSU will have a new starting QB this fall.
Purdue— Last five years, Boilermakers are 14-4 as road underdogs; they were favored in all their road games LY. Purdue is 8-3 vs spread in last 11 non-league games. Split bowls last two years, with totals of 73-77, their first bowls since 2012.
Rutgers— Scarlet Knights’ last bowl was 2014; under Ash, they’re 7-29 SU. Rutgers had a -14 turnover ratio LY; their last positive TO ratio was in 2012. Last two years, Knights are 7-4 vs spread as a home underdog.
Wisconsin— Badgers are 5-0 in bowls the last five years; they were underdog in three of the five games. Over last decade, they’re 11-5 vs spread as an underdog. Under Chryst, Wisconsin is 11-3 vs spread as a road favorite.