2014 College Football: Big Ten Odds, Pick, Predictions, Dark Horses
Predicting Who Wins The Big Ten
2014 College Football Preview
The Line: See the Latest Odds
Here I will be breaking down the odds of each team to win the Big Ten conference this season. The Ohio State Buckeyes enter the year as the favorites to walk away with the title, but there are some interesting odds on some other teams that could provide you with a sweet pay day.
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Here are some of the teams you should consider when picking to win the Big Ten.
Michigan Wolverines – Michigan does have a tough schedule with road games against Michigan State, Notre Dame and Ohio State. However, the Wolverines also have an offense that should put some points on the board with an improved Devin Gardner at quarterback and a beast of a running back in Derrick Green. New offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier will run a better system for those guys and should help the Wolverines production on the offensive side of the ball. Defensively, Michigan is loaded with talent and depth, and has one of the better linebacker corps in the country with Jake Ryan, James Ross and Desmond Morgan. The Wolverines pack great value to win the Big Ten with odds of +1000.
Iowa Hawkeyes – Iowa had a productive season last year that resulted in eight wins, and that was with an offense that finished 81st in the country in points scored. Well, Iowa’s offense should be in much better hands considering its top quarterback, running back and receiver from a year ago returns. A backfield of Mark Weisman and Jordan Canzeri has the potential to be one of the best in the Big Ten. Defensively, Iowa has some holes to fill with six starters missing but the Hawkeyes have shown in the past that they have talent on that side of the ball and are pretty good at replacing guys. Overall, I like the progress Iowa has made the past couple of seasons and odds of +1200 to win the Big Ten is nearly irresistible.
Michigan State Spartans – Michigan State proved that it’s by far the toughest team in the Big Ten and is more than capable of beating its opponent into submission. With a defense led by one of the best defensive end duos in Marcus Rush and Shilique Calhoun, the Spartans will once again be one of the best defensive teams in the country. Offense is the reason you should like Michigan State more than last season, as it returns seven starters on that side of the ball. Connor Cook should improve at quarterback and running back Jeremy Langford returns after topping 1,000 yards. Michigan State has odds of +350 to win the Big Ten, and I suggest pounding it before those odds go down.
As for the rest of the pack:
Ohio State Buckeyes – Ohio State may be the favorite but there’s no value to odds of -105.
Nebraska Cornhuskers – Nebraska is mildly inconsistent and lost a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. Odds of +750 looks good on paper but it won’t be long before the Cornhuskers let you down.
Wisconsin Badgers – Wisconsin allowed less than 17 pints per game last season but returns only three starters on that side of the ball. The Badgers also have lingering issues at quarterback. You can do better than odds of +400.
Minnesota Golden Gophers – I liked Minnesota last year and with seven starters returning on both sides of the ball, the Golden Gophers have the potential to keep turning heads. However, Minnesota still has issues at quarterback and doesn’t have enough top level talent to surpass some of the top teams in this conference. Still, odds of +7500 may be worth a few dollars if you really like this squad.
Northwestern Wildcats – Northwestern should be better than last season with 17 starters returning but it’s still a team that finished 1-7 in conference play. You can keep the odds of +3000.
Indiana Hoosiers – Indiana returns 18 starters from last year, which is the most in the Big Ten. But we’re talking about a program that has reached just one bowl game since 1993. Baby steps. Odds of +10000 aren’t worth it.
Illinois Fighting Illini – Illinois finished 106th in the country last season in points allowed and had limited offensive weapons. Don’t expect much of a change. Odds of +20000 really speak for themselves.
Purdue Boilermakers – Purdue may be the worst team in the Big Ten, winning just on game last season and going winless in the conference. Don’t waste your money on odds of +40000.
Maryland Terrapins – Maryland struggled to compete in the ACC. The Big Ten will likely make things worse. Avoid odds of +10000, as they should be even higher.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights – Rutgers has an underrated team that could quietly make some noise this year, but winning the Big Ten is a different story. Odds of +20000 aren’t worth anything.
Penn State Nittany Lions – There are currently no odds for Penn State to win the Big Ten. However, consider dropping something down on the Nittany Lions once odds pop up. Christian Hackenberg is a hell of a quarterback and James Franklin is a hell of a coach.