College Football

Early Big Ten 2021 Football Conference Champion Pick


The 2021 Big Ten football conference always offers a competitive slate and this year it looks like the title race is going to be wide open. The 2020 Big Ten Championship was won by The (perennially dominant) Ohio State, but since Justin Fields has moved onto the NFL (Chicago Bears) the Buckeyes chances look a lot different this year. Let’s take a look at some of the teams that could be contenders.

Picks for the 2021 Big Ten Football Championship

Ohio State Buckeyes (-167)

The Ohio State Buckeyes are the favorites to win the title, and for good reason, this is a team that has won each of the last four titles. Ryan Day has a loaded team back from last season, but there is also one big question, who is going to be the starting quarterback. C.J. Stroud, Jack Miller III, and Kyle McCord are all expected to compete for starting quarterback. Whoever does get the starting position is going to have plenty of playmakers to throw the ball to. On defense, the interior defense looks like they will be the x-factor, and could be the difference if they win this title.

Penn State Nittany Lions (+700)

The 2020 season for Penn State was not good. They finished with a 4-5 record overall, but there is reason for optimism for this team. The Nittany Lions finished second in total offense last year, it was mostly the defense that let them down. Sean Clifford was inconsistent as quarterback last season, but Penn State is going to need to lean on him heavily if they want to win the title. On defense, Penn State is young which could lead to some growing pains, but they are talented on that side of the ball. 

Wisconsin Badgers (+800)

The West Division favorites are the Wisconsin Badgers who are looking to bounce back after a down year in 2020. The Badgers offense is a run first team, but they struggled on the ground last year and they need to improve on that this year. Under center for Wisconsin is Graham Mertz, who got out to a fast start but then came down with COVID and the offense was never the same. Mertz is talented though, and he could be the big quarterback in the Big Ten at the end of the season. 

Minnesota Golden Gophers (+1800)

The Minnesota Golden Gophers were also disappointing during the 2020 season, but this is a veteran led team. Gone is Rashod Bateman, but they do have quarterback Tanner Morgan under center and he still has plenty of options left to throw to. Chris Autman-Bell has had a backseat the last few years, but he should be ready to take one the number one receiver role. Minnesota kicks off their season Ohio State so everyone should know very early, what exactly this Gophers team offers.

Maryland Terrapins (+4000)

Maryland is really a long shot, but this is a team that has potential. Taulia Tagovailoa was inconsistent last season, but he showed flashes of success, and if they can be consistent, this can be a team that shocks the college football world. 

The Rest of the Conference Odds:

  • Michigan Wolverines (+1100)
  • Iowa Hawkeyes (+1200)
  • Indiana Hoosiers (+1800)
  • Nebraska Cornhuskers (+1800)
  • Northwestern Wildcats (+3300)
  • Michigan State Wolverines (+5000)
  • Purdue Boilermakers (+5000)
  • Illinois Fighting Illini (+10000)

The Pick: Ohio State seems like the obvious choice, but they really don’t offer a whole lot of value with their odds. Graham Mertz is going to have a big year for the Wisconsin Badgers and he is going to lead them to a title. Back the Wisconsin Badgers +800. 

Shane Mickle's Free Pick:
Wisconsin Badgers +800
Free Bet Match Up To $1,001; Use code DAWGZRF

Shane Mickle

I have been following sports for as long as I can remember and started writing about them back in high school. My favorite sports include MLB, NBA, NFL, CFB, CBB, and the UFC. Follow me on Twitter at @shanemickle

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