Closer than you thought? ESPN's SP+ metric projects final score for B1G Championship Game
If you were asked to pick Ohio State vs Northwestern on the football field off the top of your head, what might you guess?
Would it be 50-0 Buckeyes? 100-0? Maybe something a little tighter, like 55-10?
Many guesses would go something like that, but in the upside down season of 2020 they might be way off. The Northwestern Wildcats have upset their way into the Big Ten Championship game, knocking off both Iowa and Wisconsin on the road there, and find themselves a -20.5 point underdog to the Buckeyes for Saturday’s big game.
But ESPN’s Bill Connelly says, according to his SP+ formula for projecting outcomes, the championship game might be a lot closer than the experts, or blind guessers, think.
🔥 WEEK 16 SP+ PICKS 🔥— Bill Connelly (@ESPN_BillC) December 16, 2020
* 13 of 22 games projected within 1 score!
* Oregon: 40% chance of becoming a 4-2 conference champ #2020
* Let's get stupid, Ole Miss-LSU
* SP+ is underestimating the CRAP out of Buffalo and Bama (which is scary since Bama's still an easy #1 overall) pic.twitter.com/D1D5DME9l2
While Connelly’s formula is not calling for anything ludicrous, it is giving Northwestern an edge on the point spread, claiming the game will go down 34-16 in favor of the Bucks, giving Northwestern a two-point cover and victory for those who put cash on the barrelhead for the B1G Cats to beat the line.
Last time here in 2018, Ohio State defeated Northwestern 45-24, good enough to beat tomorrow’s spread. In four appearances in the title game, the Buckeyes have outscored their West Division opponent 41-16 on average, making for a 25 point advantage. But for those who feel the mystic power of the SP+ formula, tomorrow’s money must go down on the Wildcats.
The Big Ten Championship game kicks off tomorrow at Noon ET on FOX.