OddsShark Top Sportsbooks

Purdue Big Ten Favorites Thanks To Swanigan’s Dominance

What a difference a regular season can make. Entering the season, everyone paying attention to the Big Ten was tabbing Wisconsin, Indiana or Michigan State to win the conference. As we enter the Big Ten conference tournament, it was overlooked Purdue that finds itself as the favorite.

The biggest reason for Purdue’s dominance this season has been Caleb “Biggie” Swanigan. Biggie has 25 double-doubles on the season, which includes four 20-20 performances. His ability to dominate down low, the second-best rebound percentage in the country and his improved 3-point shot have made the big man almost unstoppable.

Wisconsin has the next-best odds to win the conference tourney but has stumbled down the stretch. The Badgers have lost four of their five games between February 12 and 26 while averaging just 67 points per game. The trio of Ethan Happ, Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes is good but the lack of depth has proven to be an issue.

The hottest team in the conference is Minnesota. The Golden Gophers have won eight of their final nine regular season games while scoring 80 or more points five times. Sophomore forward Jordan Murphy has been putting up ridiculous numbers during that span, averaging 14.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game in the past nine.

2016-17 NCAAB Big Ten Conference Championship Odds

Odds as of March 6 at BetOnline

  • Purdue +200
  • Wisconsin +260
  • Minnesota +750
  • Michigan +800
  • Maryland +900
  • Michigan State +1100
  • Indiana +1100
  • Northwestern +1400
  • Iowa +1800
  • Ohio State +3300
  • Illinois +4000
  • Nebraska +5000
  • Penn State +5000
  • Rutgers +15000

Archived Articles

The first half of last season was rocky for the Wisconsin Badgers, but they went 11-3 in their final 14 regular season games and made it to the Sweet 16. With the Badgers returning 99 percent of their minutes from last season, they enter the 2016-17 campaign as the favorites to claim the Big Ten crown.

The Badgers (+250) will be buoyed by a defense that finished in the top 15 in defensive efficiency last season. Offensively, the team will be paced by the frontcourt, which is nothing new for the Badgers. Nigel Hayes and Ethan Happ combined to average 28.1 points and 13.7 rebounds per game last season, numbers that should increase as Happ enters his sophomore season.

Tom Izzo will have his work cut out for him if Michigan State wants to win the Big Ten, as the Spartans lost their top three scorers from last season in Denzel Valentine, Bryn Forbes and Matt Costello. Include the loss of one-and-done Deyonta Davis and Michigan State will look completely different from last season. With a tough opening slate, we will quickly find out what the team is made of.

Though plenty of attention in Indiana will focus on Thomas Bryant and OG Anunoby, it could be the guard combo of James Blackmon Jr. and transfer Josh Newkirk that makes the Hoosiers a threat to win the conference. Blackmon is a high-volume shooter and Newkirk is an incredibly fast point man who could run a lethal fast-break attack.

2016-17 NCAAB Big Ten Conference Championship Odds

Odds as of November 9 at BetOnline

  • Wisconsin +250
  • Michigan State +300
  • Indiana +500
  • Purdue +550
  • Michigan +800
  • Maryland +1000
  • Ohio State +1200
  • Iowa +1400
  • Illinois +4000
  • Minnesota +5000
  • Northwestern +5000
  • Nebraska +6600
  • Penn State +10000
  • Rutgers +25000