2022 Big Ten College Basketball Betting Preview: Will Indiana Reach Elite Status Under Mike Woodson?

Indiana's Trayce Jackson-Davis (23) gets instructed by head coach Mike Woodson during the second
Indiana's Trayce Jackson-Davis (23) gets instructed by head coach Mike Woodson during the second / Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times / USA TODAY

The Big Ten has been an intriguing case study in recent seasons with highly touted teams, but underwhelming NCAA Tournament results.

The conference hasn't had a representative in the Final Four since 2019 and now may be down relative to recent years in terms of talent. After the past few years have been dominated in the preseason by the likes of Illinois, Purdue and Michigan, a new team has become the preseason darling in the conference: Indiana.

Keep reading for our preview ahead of the 2022-2023 Big Ten season as we determine if the Hoosiers are a justified favorite heading into the season.

2022-2023 Big Ten Preseason Poll

  • Indiana, 377 (19)
  • Illinois, 339 (6)
  • Michigan, 328 (1)
  • Michigan State, 281
  • Purdue, 279 (1)
  • Ohio State, 253
  • Iowa, 235 (1)
  • Rutgers, 202
  • Wisconsin, 191
  • Maryland, 153
  • Penn State, 118
  • Minnesota, 86
  • Northwestern, 56
  • Nebraska, 42

First place is in parenthesis

Preseason polls do not mean everything, but it shows the market sentiment heading into the season, and it is coming up all Indiana this season. The Hoosiers made a late season push into the NCAA Tournament and now are the conference favorite under second year head coach Mike Woodson.

The team returns the likes of Trayce Jackson-Davis, Race Thompson and guard Xavier Johnson, to name a few. While the team may not reach their Final Four ceiling if they don't become more of a threat from the perimeter, the team's defense should have them firmly in the mix for a Big Ten crown.

Big Ten KenPom College Basketball Ranking

  • Illinois: 33
  • Indiana: 12
  • Iowa: 23
  • Maryland: 56
  • Michigan: 26
  • Michigan State: 31
  • Minnesota: 109
  • Nebraska: 108
  • Northwestern: 70
  • Ohio State: 32
  • Penn State: 46
  • Purdue: 25
  • Rutgers: 50
  • Wisconsin: 55

Big Ten Favorite: Illinois (+4000)

We spoke about Indiana above, but I actually think the new look Illinois team is the best team in the Big Ten.

The Illini did lose key contributors including Kofi Cockburn, Trent Frazier and Alfonso Plummer, but Brad Underwood crushed the transfer portal, bringing in Texas Tech guard Terrance Shannon Jr and Baylor wing Matthew Mayer to join the likes of Coleman Hawkins and and R.J. Melendez.

The two Big 12 imports will make up for some of the defensive losses the team lost, while the offense should have good spacing around five star freshman Skyy Clark, who looks to run the point this season.

While KenPom has the team taking a step back in it's early projections, down from 20 to 33, other metrics like Bart Torvik has the Illini as the No. 14 team in the country.

I think they have a higher ceiling than Indiana and by the time conference play starts could be the clear favorite.

Big Ten Dark Horse: Ohio State (+11000)

The Buckeyes defense has been a big issue for the team to take the next step as a Final Four contender, but can they find some by way of transfer Isaac Likekele from Oklahoma State? He is one of three key transfers along with sharp shooting Sean McNeil from West Virginia and Tanner Holden from Wright State, who scored 20 points per game last season.

Those three are likely starters with returning forwards Justice Sueing and Zed Key.

However, the team will lose their two top scorers from last season in E.J. Liddell and Malakhi Branham, so while the defense may take a step forward, the offense is sure to regress. The team is leaning on a top 10 recruiting class to hopefully have some some scoring punch, including Brice Sensabaugh a four star recruit at forward.

The Big Ten could be down relative to typical expectations, but Ohio State has a high ceiling if the freshmen can become instant impact players.

Big Ten Team to Fade: Michigan (+3500)

Hunter Dickinson is awesome and should have the Wolverines as a Tournament team, but this number is absurd given how unproven the roster is. It appears that Juwan Howard has regressed as a coach, unable to bring the star studded Wolverines of 2021 together for a National Championship run as they were expected to compete for, and now he has his most green roster in Ann Arbor.

Kobe Bufkin will hope to crack the rotation this season and the team will hope Jett Howard can make an instant impact as a wing threat for Dickinson to kick the ball out to, but at 35-1 I'd rather have more proven commodities than a relative unknown in Michigan.

KenPom has a fairly stable rating for the Wolverines, who finished 27th last year and enter 26th this year, but there are some serious question markets off the bench.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.