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Big Ten Odds: Ohio State Favored To Four-Peat

Big 10 NCAAF Betting Odds Justin Fields scrambling in the pocket

The Ohio State Buckeyes are the clear favorite to win the Big Ten Conference and opened their pursuit of a fourth straight title with a 52-17 win over Nebraska in their season opener.

The Michigan Wolverines are the second favorites to win the conference, followed by Wisconsin, Minnesota and Penn State. Here’s a look at the odds:

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2020 Big Ten Championship Odds

Ohio State Buckeyes-500
Michigan Wolverines+1100
Wisconsin Badgers+1200
Minnesota Golden Gophers+1600
Penn State Nittany Lions+1600
Purdue Boilermakers+1600
Indiana Hoosiers+5000
Iowa Hawkeyes+5000
Nebraska Cornhuskers+8000
Northwestern Wildcats+8000
Illinois Fighting Illini+20000
Michigan State Spartans+20000
Maryland Terrapins+30000
Rutgers Scarlet KnightsOTB

Odds as of October 29 at Bovada

New to the college football scene? Check out our handy college football betting guide to help you get in the action. Also, keep an eye on our College Football Odds page for the latest up-to-date betting lines.

How Will COVID-19 Affect Big Ten Odds?

The 2020 college football landscape has been tumultuous, to say the least. At the time of writing, there have been roughly 40 games canceled and/or postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions. The Big Ten has been no exception, with the Wisconsin-Nebraska game most recently falling victim to the pandemic and being canceled.

Why not postponed? The Big Ten left no room in its format, having created an outline of eight games in eight weeks, with no byes and no extra week for possible schedule changes.

How does this affect futures odds? One game altered and now that potentially opens the door to other teams you may not have ever considered in a non-pandemic year. Though Ohio State should win the Big Ten East to make their way into the Big Ten title game, there’s no value from a betting perspective on laying such a big number. You are one COVID case and a canceled game away from having that ticket put in jeopardy of cashing.

Big Ten East Division Odds

The Buckeyes close out their season facing Michigan, which after Week 1 all of a sudden is looking to be an intriguing matchup. Ohio State has won eight straight vs the Wolverines and prior to Week 1, there was no reason to think a different outcome could transpire. At this point, aside from Michigan, there’s no other team that could contend in the East. For that reason, +1100 could offer up some value for Michigan.

What benefits the Wolverines is that they play host to both Wisconsin and Penn State before closing as the visitor to Ohio State. One nugget for the Wisconsin at Michigan game: The home team has won four straight in the series. Michigan has not lost to Penn State at the Big House since 2009.

The Buckeyes have won three straight Big Ten championship titles and very well could make it four this season.

Keep An Eye On Big Ten West Teams

The Big Ten West is all that more interesting with the cancellation of the Wisconsin-Nebraska game. Suddenly, I see value in teams like Northwestern and Purdue. Here’s why: Both teams had solid Week 1 victories and neither will face Ohio State, Michigan or Penn State this season.

Per Big Ten rules, infected players will need to sit out 21 days from the date of their original positive test. Coaches will be out a minimum of 10 days. With the Badgers’ season now in jeopardy, and with Iowa and Minnesota having already lost one game, both Northwestern and Purdue become intriguing long shots.

Could either upset Ohio State or Michigan in a title game? Perhaps not. However, do either have a shot at making it to the title game? Yes. Based on their schedules, the pandemic as a factor, and both having good starts, that slim chance now becomes a little more viable.

Minnesota is a team that has already been affected, having some key players out of its season opener. However, if things work out accordingly, the Gophers will face a tough test in November hosting the Iowa Hawkeyes, then visit Wisconsin two weeks after.

Iowa also faces a difficult schedule playing back-to-back road games at Minnesota and Penn State before closing out its season by hosting the Badgers. Really, the Big Ten West is open so putting a few dollars on some of those long shots is not a bad idea.

Reading Big Ten Championship Odds

At any NCAAF sportsbook, you’ll see futures odds that look something like so:

Ohio State -105

Michigan +250

Penn State +500

Wisconsin +900

The school with the minus sign (-) is the favorite. The rest are underdogs. When there are no minus signs and only plus signs (+), the team with the lowest odds is the fave. If Ohio State was at +105 instead of -105, they would still be the favorite in this scenario.

If you were to bet $100 on the Buckeyes, you’d get a payout of $195.24 – your $100 comes back along with your winnings of $95.24. Or, that same $100 on the Badgers would give you $1,000 – your original money is returned along with your prize of $900. Bets on dogs are riskier, which is why they come with bigger rewards. However, do your research before making any futures bet. Don’t take the underdog just because you think you’ll get a huge payday. Only take them if it makes the most sense.

To see how much you’d win based on the odds and bet amount, check out our Odds Calculator.

What is a College Football Futures Bet on Championship Odds?

This is a bet made on events that have yet to happen. It can be argued that all bets are on events that will occur in time, but futures bets can be made weeks or even months in advance. As soon as the odds are released, you can place your bet on a team in the Big Ten to win the conference. If you can take the odds early, it’s best to do so. The lines will move as teams slip and climb in the standings and you don’t want to be stuck with odds that have no value.