2013 Futures Odds to Win the Big Ten
College Football Betting Trends- 2013 Futures Odds to Win the Big Ten
The start of the 2013 college football season is well over two months away but it is not too early to take a closer look at BetOnline’s futures odds for all the major conferences in term of winning the title this year. As part of an ongoing series, College Football Betting Trends is zeroing-in this week on the top teams in the Big Ten.
BetOnline did not release its odds for winning the Big Ten title just yet, but seeing how the Ohio State Buckeyes have been opened as prohibitive -750 favorites to win the Leaders Division, it is probably safe to assume that they are also heavy favorites to punch their ticket to Rose Bowl. That is if they are not already one of two teams playing in the BCS title game as +700 third-favorites to win it all this year.
The Buckeyes would have probably won the conference title last season after going 8-0 in Big Ten play as part of an undefeated 12-0 run through the regular season, but they were serving out a one-year NCAA suspension from postseason play. It was Urban Meyer’s first year at the helm as head coach and with nine starters back on offense including quarterback Braxton Miller, look for even bigger and better things on this side of the ball in 2013. There will be quite a few new faces on defense with just four starters returning from 2012, but Meyer should have little problem filling these holes with a strong recruiting effort this past year.
The team with the next best odds to win this division is the Wisconsin Badgers at +400. They backed into the division title last season at 4-4 in conference play, but made the most of the opportunity with a 70-31 romp over Nebraska in the Big Ten Championship. The Badgers went on to lose the Rose Bowl in a 20-14 defeat to Stanford, but you have to give them credit for keeping that game so close.
They return eight starters on offense and seven on defense but gone is running back Montee Ball and two-thirds of Wisconsin’s defensive secondary. Joel Stave should get the call at quarterback and running back James White has been pegged to try and fill Ball’s shoes. The strength of this team remains up front with a solid line on both sides of the ball. Circle Saturday, Sept.28 on the calendar when the Badgers take a trip to Columbus to face Ohio State.
Penn State is still serving a postseason suspension so the odds to win the division for the other three teams have Purdue listed at +1200, Illinois at +1300 and Indiana at +1700.
This division remains up for grabs with three or four teams in serious contention for the title starting with last year’s champion, the Nebraska Cornhuskers listed at +200. They went 7-1 in conference play last year before getting waxed in the title game. There will be quite a few new faces on both sides of the ball for Nebraska this season with just 12 starters back from 2012.
One key player that will be back is quarterback Taylor Martinez. While he did struggle with consistency at times last season, he also showed flashes of greatness on his way to passing for 2,871 yards and 23 touchdowns while adding another 1,019 yards and 10 scores with his legs. Nebraska will have to address a defense that finished the 2012 season ranked 58th in the nation in points allowed (27.6).
The other team listed at +200 to win the Legends Division is the Michigan State Spartans. They stumbled their way to just three victories in the Big Ten last season against five losses and finished 7-6 overall. They are expected to have eight starters back on offense including quarterback Andrew Maxwell as well as wide receivers Keith Mumphrey and Bennie Fowler, who combined for 83 receptions for 1,039 yards in 2012.
The Spartans’ defense finished the regular season ranked ninth in the country in points allowed (16.3), but they lost quite a bit of talent from that squad. They will be hit hard up front with both nose tackle AR White and defensive end William Gholston gone. The good news is that the secondary, led by All-Big Ten cornerback Darqueze Dennard remains pretty much intact.
The Michigan Wolverines at +250 and the Northwestern Wildcats at +400 could easily fit into the mix with Iowa (+600) and Minnesota (+900) rounding-out the field.
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