Big Ten College Basketball Prediction, Odds and Preview

Mar 28, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan Wolverines center Hunter Dickinson (1) reacts during
Mar 28, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan Wolverines center Hunter Dickinson (1) reacts during / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The college basketball season is right around the corner. We’ve already wrote about national championship oddsNaismith Player of the Year odds, and our Iain McMillian released the first edition of my top 20 power rankings.

We started our season preview content with a look at the ACC, and I'll take over with the a Big Ten preview.

The conference is loaded at the top with the likes of Michigan and Purdue, and full of quality teams such as Ohio State, Illinois, Michigan State, and Maryland.

What is the preseason outlook for the conference? Let's take a look at the odds to win the regular season title, courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook.

Odds to win the Big Ten

  • Michigan: +250
  • Purdue: +300
  • Ohio State: +550
  • Illinois: +650
  • Michigan State: +900
  • Maryland: +1100
  • Indiana: +1750
  • Rutgers: +2000
  • Wisconsin: +3000
  • Iowa: +4000
  • Nebraska: +10000
  • Northwestern: +10000
  • Penn State: +10000
  • Minnesota: +25000

Michigan and Purdue Are a Cut Above

The two favorites are rightfully at the top of the board. Michigan brings back a host of key contributors such as guard Eli Brooks and National Player of the Year candidate Hunter Dickinson. The team was a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and lost in the Elite Eight to UCLA, but are ready for another deep March run.

This is a National Championship threat again with Brooks and Dickinson back, the top recruiting class in the country and a high level transfer point guard in DeVante' Jones from Coastal Carolina.

I love the Wolverines this year and think they are worthy of lofty expectations.

Purdue also brings back talent, including veteran big man Trevion Williams, 7'4" Zach Edey, and budding star Jaden Ivey.

Matt Painter has thrived during the regular season in the past, leading the Boilermakers to three regular season titles and a .500 or better record in six of the team's last seven seasons.

There's a ton of optimism in West Lafayette, and they are right behind Michigan to start the year, both in the preseason top 10.

Painter brings back more talent with the Boilermakers, but Michigan has more upside. While it may take some time to gel, I expect Juwan Howard and his team in Ann Arbor to pull away in the Big Ten race.

Who is the Real Dark Horse?

Ohio State is a worthy third choice and has a ton of depth, but let's look further down the board for a sleeper.

How about one of the most verteran teams in the country, the Rutgers Scarlett Knights?

Rutgers has their two most important contributors back in guard Geo Baker and forward Ron Harper Jr., who are hoping to put together a more complete offensive effort. They lost big man Myles Johnson, but have a worthy replacement in Clifford Omoruyi, who backed him up last year.

Omoruyi headlines a deep front court that includes San Jose State transfer Ralph Agee and sophomore Dean Reiber. The Scarlett Knights struggled on offense last season, but have been lockdown on defense in the past; the team was 82nd in Ken Pom's offensive rating, 16th in defense.

If the team can take a step forward on offense with better free throw shooting, the Scarlett Knights can be a mix for the Big Ten crown.

Stay Away from Wisconsin and Iowa

After living at the top of the conference the past few years, Wisconsin (+3000) and Iowa (+4000) are far down the board, and for good reason.

Both teams lose a ton of production, including Iowa's National Player of the Year Luka Garza. Wisconsin has soured around coach Greg Gard and had an exodus of talent after another down year, losing the likes of D'Mitrik Trice, Nate Reuvers, and Micah Potter.

There's a reason these teams are listed so far down, steer clear of them as they figure out their new identity.

ACC Champion Prediction: Michigan +250

It's not the sexiest pick, but the Wolverines are legit.

I see them as a worthy favorite for the conference crown and a threat to cut down the nets in New Orleans. I also am looking into playing Dickinson for NPOY. He is +750 at WynnBET Sportsbook, and I see Michigan putting up a strong regular season record behind his post presence.

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