Big Ten 2011 Odds Preview
The Big Ten now consists of 12 teams with the addition of Nebraska - and the Cornhuskers are the favorites to win the conference their first time around.
* Editor Note: See the current Big Ten season betting odds here
However, the Wisconsin Badgers and transfer QB Russell Wilson might have something to say about that, as might the scandal-rocked Ohio State Buckeyes.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (Odds to Win Big Ten at Bovada 7/4)
The Cornhuskers return 12 starters, including QB Taylor Martinez and seven on defense, from a team that won 10 games last year. Big Red opens its Big Ten venture with a visit to Madison and later plays at Penn State, but gets Ohio State, Michigan State, and Iowa all at home.
Wisconsin Badgers (Odds to Win Big Ten at Bovada 13/5)
After making it back to the Rose Bowl last year Wisconsin returns six starters on each side of the ball, and adds QB Wilson (28/14 TD/INT last year with North Carolina State). The Badgers get Nebraska and Penn State at home but play at Michigan State and Ohio State.
Ohio State Buckeyes (Odds to Win Big Ten at Bovada 5/1)
OSU has won or shared the last six Big Ten titles, but because of some funny business they've fired head coach Jim Tressel, lost QB Terrelle Pryor, and have to deal with a bunch of early-season suspensions. New head coach Luke Fickell inherits 10 returning starters from a 7-1 conference team of last year, and while the Buckeyes play at Nebraska they get Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Penn State all at home.
Penn State Nittany Lions (Odds to Win Big Ten at Bovada 11/2)
Penn State gets seven starters back on both sides of the ball from a team that went 4-4 in the conference last year. But while the Lions get Nebraska at home they finish at Ohio State and at Wisconsin.
Michigan State Spartans (Odds to Win Big Ten at Bovada 10/1)
After going 7-1 in the conference last year the Spartans gets back six starters on each side of the ball, including QB Kirk Cousins (20/10 TD/INT) and 1,200-yard rusher Edwin Baker. But the schedule is a bit unkind, with games at Ohio State, Nebraska, and Iowa.
Iowa Hawkeyes (Odds to Win Big Ten at Bovada 15/1)
Iowa only returns nine starters from a team that went 4-4 in the Big Ten last year.
Michigan Wolverines (Odds to Win Big Ten at Bovada 15/1)
Big Blue gets 16 starters back for its first season under new head coach Brady Hoke, including nine on an offense that averaged 33 PPG last year.
Northwestern Wildcats (Odds to Win Big Ten at Bovada 20/1)
The Wildcats return 16 starters after going 3-5 in the Big Ten last year, including QB Dan Persa - although he's coming off an Achilles injury.
Illinois Fighting Illini (Odds to Win Big Ten at Bovada 25/1)
The Illini get 13 starters back after going 4-4 in the conference last year.
Purdue Boilermakers (Odds to Win Big Ten at Bovada 85/1)
Purdue returns 15 starters, including four on the o-line and nine on defense, after going 2-6 in the conference last season. However, they lost QB Rob Henry to a knee injury in August.
Indiana Hoosiers (Odds to Win Big Ten at Bovada 125/1)
Indiana returns six starters on both sides of the ball for its first season under new head coach Kevin Wilson.
Minnesota Gophers (Odds to Win Big Ten at Bovada 125/1)
Minnesota has 14 starters back for its first season under new head coach Jerry Kill.