2023 Big Ten college football preview: Odds to win conference, win totals and predictions

Michigan has closed the gap with Ohio State after back-to-back Big Ten Championships, but how does a loaded Penn State roster figure into the mix? Our Big Ten betting preview!
Dec 31, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) makes a
Dec 31, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) makes a / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After four straight Big Ten championships, Ohio State doesn't enter as the surefire top choice to win the conference, it's the back-to-back champions, Michigan.

The Wolverines enter neck-and-neck with Ohio State to win the Big Ten behind the return of 2022 Heisman contender Blake Corum at running back and quarterback J.J. McCarthy. With Ohio State needing to replace No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft C.J. Stroud and other key contributors, there is more competition in the Big Ten then ever before.

While Penn State lurks as another contender in the division, there is plenty of intrigue in the Big Ten West as Wisconsin enters as the favorite with a new coach in Luke Fickell, who hired Phil Longo from North Carolina to embrace an up-tempo pass-heavy offense, a departure from the typical Badgers offense.

Keep reading for the full list of odds this season for every Big Ten team as well as the odds to win the conference before we get to the dark horse and best bet to win the title.

Big Ten Win Totals

  • Illinois: 6.5 (Over -120/Under +100)
  • Indiana: 3.5 (Over -145/Under +125)
  • Iowa: 8 (Over -130/Under +110)
  • Maryland: 7 (Over -105/Under -115)
  • Michigan: 10.5 (Over -125/Under +105)
  • Michigan State: 5.5 (Over +135/Under -155)
  • Nebraska: 6 (Over -130/Under +110)
  • Northwestern: 3.5 (Over +125/Under -145)
  • Ohio State: 10.5 (Over -105/Under -115)
  • Penn State: 9.5 (Over -135/Under +115)
  • Purdue: 5.5 (Over +125/Under -145)
  • Rutgers: 4.5 (Over +105/Under -125)
  • Wisconsin: 8.5 (Over -130/Under +110)

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook

Big Ten Conference Winner Odds

Big Ten Dark Horse Pick: Penn State (+600)

Penn State has College Football Playoff upside in 2023, but the team is being priced far below the likes of Michigan and Ohio State in the futures market. However, I believe that the team's very good the past few years ceiling is weighing down its upside in the betting market.

The team moves on from veteran Sean Clifford to five star recruit Drew Allar, who is flanked by arguably the best running back group in the country in Nicolas Singleton and Kaytron Allen. While the team lacks experience, the team brings back five offensive linemen who started five games last year, including first round prospect Olumuyiwa Fashanu.

The offense has a far more upside than last year and the defense brings back 75% of its production from a team that was top 10 in yards per play allowed, points per drive allowed, tackles for loss and turnovers gained. Sure, the team loses Joey Porter Jr to the NFL, but the team has future pro Kalen King back who defended 16 passes last season.

Getting past Michigan and Ohio State is tricky with the talent on hand there, but the team is at Ohio State and home for Michigan. To have a puncher's chance, the team needs to win at least a game and hope the team they beat beats the other one later in the year in 'The Game.'

For what it's worth, Ohio State plays at Purdue and at Wisconsin before and after the Penn State game, and also hasn't decided on its quarterback just yet, but it'll be an unproven blue-chip prospect.

Meanwhile, Michigan has to come to the always difficult Happy Valley for a game. The gap between Penn State and the other two teams at the top of the Big Ten is closer than ever.

Big Ten Championship Pick: Michigan (+165)

Michigan should have the clear edge over Ohio State in this betting market with all the talent coming back to Ann Arbor. This is a team fresh off back-to-back College Football Playoff appearances that brings back the team's starting quarterback and two future pros at running back.

The defense was even better than the offense last year, top five in yards per play and sacks while also completely stifling the run game. Jim Harbaugh hit the portal to bring in Josiah Stewart, one of the highest recruited G5 transfers from Coastal Carolina, who had 16 sacks over the last two seasons.

Overall, the team returns 80% of its production on defense and 75% of it on offense. This team is going to be a wagon.

Compared to Ohio State, who had a worse defense last year and now must replace its two-year starter at QB who was a Heisman Trophy finalist in both years, I'm not sure the case is there for the two teams to be viewed as equals with the Buckeyes traveling to Ann Arbor in the final game of the season.

It's CFP or bust for Michigan yet again, and this is the team's best group yet. While Wisconsin is going over some scheme changes that raises the ceiling of its team as the favorite in the West, all teams are looking up at Michigan and the market still doesn't refelct that fully.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.