Brandon Birkhead is on fire ladies and gentlemen. It was only a month ago that Birkhead found himself in last place, with little to no hope of catching up to the rest of us.
But then he went on a run.
In the last three weeks Birkhead has gone 13-2 in his picks. The next best record in that span has been Primiano's 9-6 mark. And it's because of his run that Birkhead now finds himself in first place in both record and bankroll.
Though the race is tighter than ever before. Because while Brandon may now be in first place, the rest of us are all tied for second, only one game behind.
WHICH MEANS THESE GAMES HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE IMPORTANT.
If you aren't sure how this competition works, or just need a refresher, here you go.
Each participant will bet on every Big Ten game being played that weekend, and they can bet either the point spread or the over/under.
The participant will assign an amount to their bet, which can be either $25, $50 or $100. Each participant is allowed only one $100 bet per week. Everybody starts with a $0 balance, and balances can be negative.
Let the battle reconvene.
Minnesota (-2.5) vs. Penn State, Over/Under: 48.5
Fornelli: $25 on Penn State +2.5
Primiano: $25 on Minnesota -2.5
Birkhead: $25 on Over 48.5
Cassidy: $25 on Minnesota -2.5
From Primiano: Penn State showed me nothing impressive last week and the Gophers have the momentum.
From Fornelli: I just don't think this is a good matchup for Minnesota. The Gophers don't pass the ball well enough to really take advantage of the Penn State defense.
Purdue vs. Iowa (-15), Over/Under: 46
Fornelli: $50 on Under 46
Primiano: $50 on Iowa -15
Birkhead: $50 on Under 46
Cassidy: $50 on Iowa -15
From Cassidy: Purdue's final two games times are listed at TBA, as if we don't already know they're 11:00 a.m. games. Nothing good ever happens at an 11:00 a.m. game, and Purdue is one of those things.
From Fornelli: I already know Purdue can't score, so I'm relying on Iowa's love of punts as well here.
Indiana (-9.5) vs. Illinois, Over/Under: 76
Fornelli: $50 on Under 76
Primiano: $25 on Illinois +9.5
Birkhead: $25 on Illinois +9.5
Cassidy: $100 on Under 76
From Birkhead: I heard Tyler Griffey is playing.
From Cassidy: A 38-37 game gets me the money on this game. I'm playing odds.
Michigan (-7) vs. Nebraska, Over/Under: 58
Fornelli: $25 on Nebraska +7
Primiano: $50 on Over 58
Birkhead: $50 on Over 58
Cassidy: $25 on Nebraska +7
From Primiano: Two whiny and entitled fan bases in the midst of angst-ridden seasons! We all win!
From Fornelli: I have no fucking idea what is going to happen in this game and you don't either.
Wisconsin (-7.5) vs. BYU, Over/Under: 55
Fornelli: $100 on Wisconsin -7.5
Primiano: $50 on Wisconsin -7.5
Birkhead: $25 on BYU +7.5
Cassidy: $50 on Wisconsin -7.5
From Birkhead: I don't know if any of y'all heard, but BYU is pretty damn good.
From Cassidy: I saw the BYU matchup and thought back to other times Big Ten teams played late season non-conference games. Primary memory: terrible Illinois team playing Fresno State in 2009 and losing on the most bizarre last-second deflection play. Remember that garbage? If not, look it up, it's worth it.
From Fornelli: Listen, BYU is good, but it hasn't faced a team like Wisconsin yet. Plus the Badgers are 7-1 against the spread this season, including a 4-0 mark at home.
Money On The Line This Week
Standings (Last Week)
1. Birkhead 40-34, $500 (5-1, $100)
2. Cassidy 39-35, $325 (2-4, -$125)
2. Primiano 39-35, $300 (4-2, $75)
2. Fornelli 39-35, $200 (2-4, -$100)