College Football Betting Trends- 2013 BCS Big Ten Futures
With March Madness still in full swing for college basketball, it is a bit early for Bookmaker to release its futures odds to win the Big Ten Conference for the 2013 football season. However, by using its current BCS Championship odds as a guide, we can still get a good idea which teams are the favorites, contenders and possible longshots to win the Big Ten title next season.
The Ohio State Buckeyes have been opened at 7/1 third-favorites to win the national title next season, so it is safe to say they will open as the prohibitive favorites to win the 2013 Big Ten title. In his first season as the Buckeyes’ new head coach, Urban Meyer immediately recreated some of the same magic that led to two national titles during his tenure in the same position at Florida. The only difference is the perfect 12-0 record during the regular season added-up to nothing due to the one-year postseason ban as part of NCAA sanctions leveled against the program.
None the less, Ohio State is expected to have nine starters back on offense including quarterback and Heisman hopeful Braxton Miller. Meyer will have to plug some holes on defense with just four starters returning, but one of the four is All-American cornerback Bradley Roby.
It was a lean year when it came to the other 11 teams in the Big Ten in 2012 with Northwestern (No.17), Michigan (No.24) and Nebraska (No.25) the only other conference teams listed in the AP’s final Top 25 poll of the year. Looking at Bokmaker’s BCS futures list, the next best team in the Big Ten is the Michigan Wolverines at 35/1. They will have quite a few new faces on both sides of the ball next season with just 12 starters returning from last year’s squad.
Devin Gardner is poised to step in as their starting quarterback after backing up Denard Robinson last season and Fitzgerald Toussaint should become a much bigger part of the running game after posting 514 yards on 130 carries in 2012.The key to the Wolverines’ success still lies with a defense that was ranked 20th in the nation in points allowed last season.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers are next on the list to win a national title at 50/1. They will need a number of things to go right just to make it back the Big Ten title game after getting blown-out by Wisconsin 70-31 in last season’s championship game. Taylor Martinez will be back under center for opening day and he will have a couple of quality targets back as well in wide receivers Kenny Bell and Quincy Enunwa.
The problem could be replacing seven starters on a defense that was already suspect at times last year. This unit gave up an average of 27.6 points game and was torched for 45 points in a loss to Georgia in the Capital One Bowl.
Top Value Longshot
Wisconsin would be the logical choice in this category given its 50/1 odds to win the BCS title, but the Badgers will have to contend with a bowl-eligible Ohio State to win the Leaders Division this year. Michigan State is another good choice at 100/1 to win a national title, but the team to watch as a longshot to win the Big Ten is Northwestern Wildcats. They do not even have odds listed on Bookmaker’s board to win a BCS title, but they do have quite a few players back from a team that won 10 games last year and were a couple of plays away from beating Nebraska and Michigan.
With no dominant team in the Legends Division in 2013, the door could be wide open for the Wildcats to sneak into the top spot. They should have a solid defense that returns seven starters from 2012 and All-Conference running back Venric Mark, who led the team in rushing with 1,366 yards on 226 carries.
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.