Big Ten Betting Odds Preview
Last year’s Michigan State Spartans team went 27-9 SU during the regular season and advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. Returning four starters from that team, Tom Izzo’s group is poised to be among the elite teams in the nation this season.
Michigan State is going off at +175 to win the Big Ten Championship at 5Dimes. The Spartans rank No. 2 in both the AP and Coaches Polls, and unlike No. 1 Kentucky will be relying on veterans instead of newcomers to chase a National Championship. Forward Adreian Payne and shooting guard Gary Harris lead a team that will once again be sound on both sides of the court.
The Ohio State Buckeyes (+250 to win the Big Ten at 5Dimes) will have to figure things out on offense after losing Deshaun Thomas and his 19.8 points per game this offseason. LaQuinton Ross averaged 17.7 points per game in tournament play, and if he can carry that momentum into this season to lead the offense while the Aaron Craft led defense shuts down opposing teams, the Buckeyes should be fine.
Trey Burke (18.6 points per game last season) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (14.5 points per game) won’t be easy to replace, but the Michigan Wolverines (+350) feel that they have their next star guard in freshman Derrick Walton Jr. With a loaded front court returning, Walton could end up playing the role of facilitator this season if Michigan can dominate teams down low.
The Indiana Hoosiers (+500) lose both Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller, two of the top four picks in the 2013 NBA Draft. Fortunately for the Hoosiers, their success last season led to an excellent recruiting class this offseason led by freshman forward Noah Vonleh. If the freshman all play to their potential, Indiana should once again be a major threat in the Big Ten.
The Wisconsin Badgers (+625) are always tough on defense, but could be better offensively this season with Ben Brust, Sam Dekker and Josh Gasser (returning from an ACL tear) all returning.
Rounding out the Big Ten (with lines provided by 5Dimes):
Penn State +5000