College Football: Big Ten Betting Preview
The Big Ten has been left out of the College Football Playoff each of the last two seasons, but the conference champion will certainly at least be in the playoff conversation and should have a very good chance to make the playoff.
The East Division has won all five conference titles since the conference realigned in 2014, and three of those titles have gone to this year’s league favorite, Ohio State. The odds from FanDuel Sportsbook reflect the East's dominance.
Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska all have a decent shot to make the conference title game, but they all project to be fringe top-25 teams and would be a sizable underdog against whoever they would have to play in the title game.
That leaves us with Ohio State and Michigan as the two teams most likely to win the conference. If we look at the betting odds, it seems to be a two-horse race for the title between Ohio State and Michigan.
Perhaps Penn State has a puncher's chance, but they will be replacing quarterback Trace McSorely and running back Miles Sanders while facing a difficult league schedule (away games at Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota and Ohio State).
Everyone remembers the 62-39 game at Ohio State last season, and the Wolverines will be looking to avenge that loss this season. Jim Harbaugh brings back eight starters on offense, including his senior quarterback, Shea Patterson, and unlike last season, Michigan will get Ohio State at home this year in a game that could very well decide the Big Ten champion.
Ohio State will be loaded with talent as always, but they will be breaking in a new quarterback, Justin Fields, after Dwayne Haskins was drafted by the Washington Redskins. Fields is a highly regarded transfer from Georgia, but with Haskins and seven other starters leaving on offense, there are certainly questions as to whether the Buckeyes' offense will finally take a step back this season.
Michigan at +225 seems to be the best value play, especially considering they have home-field advantage in the all important game against Ohio State. There are a few other teams that could make a run at it, but ultimately, the winner of Michigan-Ohio State on November 30th will likely be the winner of the Big Ten conference.