The 2021 college football season kicks off on Saturday, August 28, and in the midwest, Big Ten football predictions seem to be all over the map after a truncated 2020 season. BetRivers.com has a wide variety of Big Ten game lines, futures odds, and team markets to choose from. BetRivers is one the best Pennsylvania online sports betting Sportsbooks.
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Ohio State is, again, the cream of the Big Ten crop, entering the season as the No. 4 team in the country. The Buckeyes are backed by 54% of the total handle and 60% of the total bets to win the Big Ten Conference. Ohio State is also the most wagered-on Big Ten team to win the CFB Playoff National Championship, thanks to 3% of the handle and 3% of the bets. But after the Buckeyes, things get very interesting, which makes Big Ten football predictions tough to make. Was Indiana’s 2020 season a mirage or are the Hoosiers for real? Will Michigan take a step forward or another step back? Is this the season Nebraska finally gets things going?
The good news is that we won’t have to wait long to find out. The very first game of the college season takes place in the Big Ten Conference as Nebraska heads to Illinois to take on the Illini at 1 p.m. ET.
Read below for the full list of Big Ten football predictions, futures odds and win totals.
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Big Ten Football Predictions: Futures, Odds & Betting Preview
BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS:
Ohio State (-230), Wisconsin (+650), Penn State (+1000), Iowa (+1400), Indiana (+2200), Michigan (+2500), Minnesota (+3300), Nebraska (+4000), Northwestern (+5000), Rutgers (+10000), Michigan State (+10000), Purdue (+10000), Maryland (+10000), Illinois (+25000)
BIG TEN EAST ODDS:
Ohio State (-400), Penn State (+500), Indiana (+1200), Michigan (+1600), Rutgers (+3300), Maryland (+3300), Michigan State (+4000)
BIG TEN WEST ODDS:
Wisconsin (-155), Iowa (+200), Minnesota (+900), Nebraska (+1400), Northwestern (+1600), Purdue (+3300), Illinois (+4000)
BIG TEN WIN TOTALS:
Ohio State (11), Wisconsin (9.5), Penn State (9), Iowa (8.5), Indiana (7.5), Michigan (7.5), Minnesota (7), Maryland (6), Northwestern (6), Purdue (5), Rutgers (4.5), Michigan State (4.5), Illinois (3.5), Nebraska (OFF)
BIG TEN TEAM PREVIEWS
INDIANA HOOSIERS ODDS:
Win Total: 7.5 wins
Big Ten East: +1200
Big Ten: +2200
National Champion: +20000
The 2020 season was a historic one for the Hoosiers, as Indiana scored three wins over ranked opponents, and came up seven points short of beating Ohio State in one of the best games of the season. Michael Penix Jr. returns from a late-season injury and is a darkhorse Heisman Trophy candidate for 2021. But with success comes expectations. Indiana enters the 2021 college football season ranked No. 17, the first time the Hoosiers entered a season ranked in the Coaches Poll since 1968. It’s going to be tough sledding for Indiana, with a road game at No. 18 Iowa to begin the season, and a marquee matchup with No. 8 Cincinnati just two weeks later. Indiana has the fourth-highest win total of any Big Ten team (7.5), and while the front-half of their schedule is treacherous, the Hoosiers end the season with Rutgers, Minnesota and Purdue, three very winnable games.
Do you have faith in the Hoosiers? Does the public? VSiN’s Danny Burke previews Indiana’s schedule and the betting profile of a surging Hoosiers team.
IOWA HAWKEYES ODDS:
Win Total: 8.5 wins
Big Ten West: +200
Big Ten: +1400
National Champion: +20000
The Hawkeyes started the 2020 season with disappointing losses to Purdue and Northwestern, but rebounded to win six in a row, finishing the truncated season 6-2, including double-digit victories over Minnesota, Penn State and Wisconsin. Not many teams in the country will begin their 2021 season with a harder set of opponents, as Iowa opens the season against No. 17 Indiana, followed the CyHawk Game at No. 7 Iowa State. Iowa’s schedule is built like three ice cream sandwiches. Tough, outer shells with a soft filling inside. After opening against two ranked teams Iowa faces Kent State, Colorado State, and Maryland, each a very winnable game. But then it’s a date with No. 19 Penn State, followed by Purdue, then a trip to No. 12 Wisconsin. But that’s finally when things slow down, as Iowa finishes its season with a four-game stretch at Northwestern, Minnesota, Illinois, and the season finale at Nebraska. There are seven games on the schedule the Hawkeyes should win, and 2-3 games Iowa should probably win.
The Hawkeyes are currently backed by 8% of the money (4th) and 4% of the bets (7th) to win the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes are backed by 23% of the money to win the Big Ten West, trailing just Wisconsin (46%) in public favor.
MICHIGAN WOLVERINES ODDS:
Win Total: 7.5 wins
Big Ten East: +1600
Big Ten: +2500
National Champion: +12500
The Michigan Wolverines are the most wagered-on team to win the 2021 CFB National Championship that is not ranked in the preseason Top 25. Michigan is backed by a larger handle to win the national championship than every Big Ten team not named Ohio State. The same goes for the Big Ten Championship handle, as the Wolverines are backed by 22% of the total money, second-most behind the Buckeyes.
The Wolverines were a disappointment in the truncated 2020 season, finishing 2-4, which makes for a tense fall up north. Jim Harbaugh enters his seventh season in Ann Arbor with a 49-22 overall record and 34-16 Big Ten record. The Wolverines open the season against Western Michigan before facing No. 20 Washington in a highly anticipated non-conference matchup on Sept. 11. Five of the Wolverine’s 12 games come against teams ranked in the Top 25, leaving little room for error if Michigan is to hit OVER 7.5 wins.
VSiN’s Danny Burke breaks down the Michigan schedule on Rush Hour, presented by BetRivers.
NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS ODDS:
Win Total: TBD
Big Ten West: +1400
Big Ten: +4000
National Champion: +30000
Since returning to his alma mater in 2018, Scott Frost has led the Cornhuskers to just 12 wins, which is one less than the number of wins he had in his final season at Central Florida. That’s not to say that Nebraska was ever expected to go undefeated, but it is to say that Frost has failed to meet expectations and is on the hot seat entering the 2021 season. There is some good news, however. The Cornhuskers open the season with three very winnable games: At an Illinois, team picked to finish last in the Big Ten, then home games against FCS opponent Fordham and Buffalo out of the MAC. It’s very possible Nebraska is 3-0 entering Week 4, when they travel to Oklahoma to take on the No. 2 Sooners.
Although the Cornhuskers are +4000 to win the Big Ten (8th shortest), they are backed by the second largest percentage of Big Ten Championship bets (9%), behind Ohio State. But in terms of championship money, the public is backing Nebraska with just 1.5% of the total handle.
Watch below as VSiN’s Danny Burke breaks down Nebraska’s schedule and touches on the keys to finding value on Cornhusker bets.
WISCONSIN BADGERS ODDS:
Win Total: 9.5 wins
Big Ten West: -155 (Favorite)
Big Ten: +450
National Champion: +8000
Aside from the shortened 2020 season, Wisconsin has failed to win 10 games just three times in the past ten years. The Badgers are the favorites to win the Big Ten West, and are backed by 46% of the money and 59% of the bets to do so. Wisconsin is the second-most wagered on team to win the Big Ten (11.1% money), behind Ohio State, and represent the second shortest odds (+450) to do so.
Wisconsin’s schedule is frontloaded with three challenging games in the first four weeks. The Badgers open the season at home against No. 19 Penn State. After a date with Eastern Washington in Week 2, Wisconsin then faces No. 9 Notre Dame and Michigan in back-t0-back weeks. How should you bet on Wisconsin this season? Watch below as VSiN’s Danny Burke breaks down the Badgers’ schedule and touches on the keys to victory.