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NCAAB: Michigan State Is the Betting Favorite to Win the Big Ten

Tom Izzo's Spartans are favored in the Big Ten Conference Championship Odds

With the college basketball season on the horizon, now is the perfect time to take a look at the odds for which team will be crowned the regular-season champion of the Big Ten Conference.

Last year, the Michigan State Spartans and Purdue Boilermakers finished with identical 16-4 conference records to be co-regular-season champs, and Sparty is pegged as the +150 favorite to win a third straight regular-season title.

Online sportsbook BetOnline has the Michigan State Spartans as the favorites at +150. They’re followed by the Maryland Terrapins and Purdue Boilermakers at +600, the Michigan Wolverines at +700, the Ohio State Buckeyes at +800, the Wisconsin Badgers at +1600, the Illinois Fighting Illini, Iowa Hawkeyes, Indiana Hoosiers and Minnesota Golden Gophers at +2500, the Penn State Nittany Lions at +3300 and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Nebraska Cornhuskers and Northwestern Wildcats at +5000 to round out the Big Ten teams on the oddsboard.

Why is Michigan State the Favorite?

Not only is Michigan State favored to win the Big Ten regular season, but it is also atop the national championship oddsboard at +650. Last season, the Spartans peaked at the right time, winning 10 of their last 11 games in the regular season following a three-game slide in late January into early February. They continued their strong play with a conference championship victory over Michigan and an Elite Eight win over Duke before ultimately losing to Texas Tech in the Final Four.

On the heels of last year’s success, MSU returns impactful players in guard and captain Joshua Langford, guard Kyle Ahrens, forward Xavier Tillman and guard Cassius Winston. The latter, Winston, is also the favorite to win the Naismith Player of the Year Award at +140. Additionally, head coach Tom Izzo is entering his 25th season and is one of the best in the game. With the return of several starters and the addition of forward Joey Hauser from Marquette, this team is very skilled and is rightfully the favorite.

Who Has the Best Chance to Knock Off Sparty?

I think quite a few of the teams in the conference took a step backward from last year due to departing players and coaches. Most notably, Michigan and Purdue, in my opinion, won’t be as competitive this year. The team that stands out to me for value is the Ohio State Buckeyes at +800.

Ohio State was ranked as high as 13th in the AP Top 25 Poll last year but drastically underperformed after non-conference play ended, going just 8-12 in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes were pounded by Michigan State in the conference tournament semifinal; although the final deficit was only seven points, Ohio State was down by a lot before Izzo brought in his bench players. The Buckeyes have a highly talented center in Kaleb Wesson and recruited five-star point guard D.J. Carton to help in the backcourt. Add in another year of experience for 2018 four-star recruit Luther Muhammad and Ohio State could have a quick turnaround from 2018-19.

Be sure to check Odds Shark’s NCAA Basketball section often for full college hoops coverage.  

2019-20 Big Ten Regular Season Betting Odds
Michigan State Spartans+150
Maryland Terrapins+600
Purdue Boilermakers+600
Michigan Wolverines+700
Ohio State Buckeyes+800
Wisconsin Badgers+1600
Illinois Fighting Illini+2000
Iowa Hawkeyes+2500
Indiana Hoosiers+2500
Minnesota Golden Gophers+2500
Penn State Nittany Lions+3300
Rutgers Scarlet Knights+5000
Nebraska Cornhuskers+5000
Northwestern Wildcats+5000

Odds as of October 30 at BetOnline

How to Read Big Ten Odds

Check out any betting site and you’ll see prop bet odds for each conference laid out like this:

Michigan State Spartans +120

Purdue Boilermakers +300

Wisconsin Badgers +600

Indiana Hoosiers +1000

For other betting types, you’d look for the team with the minus sign (-) beside its odds. In this scenario, each school has plus signs (+) beside their respective odds. When there is no clear frontrunner, the team with the lowest odds is the fave (Michigan State), and the rest are dogs.

Let’s say you like the Spartans and bet $100 on them, you’d get a payout of $220 – your original money is returned along with your winnings of $120. On the other hand, if you think the Hoosiers are going to turn it around and put on a skill display on the court leading up to March Madness, that same $100 on them would get you $1100 – you get your $100 back coupled with your prize of $1000. Bets on underdogs are riskier which is why they come with a bigger reward.

To see how much your payout would be based on the odds and amount bet, use our Odds Calculator.

What is a Big Ten Prop Bet?

This is a bet on the occurrence or nonoccurrence of specific team or player milestones that may not relate directly to the outcome of a certain game. In this case, the prop is a bet on a college basketball team’s chances of winning their conference.

When oddsmakers create the betting lines, they are subject to change as the season progresses. If a team climbs in the standings, their odds will reflect that. If a squad plays poorly for a stretch of games, their odds will reveal that too.