Big ten basketball odds

Big Ten Tournament odds 2020: Michigan State the betting favorite in competitive field

There’s no disputing that the Big Ten was the best conference in college basketball this season. The quality of competition meant that no team could emerge as head and shoulders better than the rest in the conference, and that has led to a veritable logjam when it comes to Big Ten Tournament betting odds.

At least nine teams will make the NCAA Tournament, and those nine teams all have odds of 10-1 or less to earn the Big Ten’s automatic bid into March Madness.

2020 Big Ten Tournament odds

  • Michigan State +250
  • Maryland +425
  • Michigan +600
  • Wisconsin +600
  • Iowa +800
  • Ohio State +800
  • Rutgers +800
  • Illinois +900
  • Penn State +1000
  • Purdue +2000
  • Minnesota +2800
  • Indiana +4000
  • Nebraska +15000
  • Northwestern +15000

Tom Izzo’s Spartans were the consensus No. 1 team in the country entering the season, but they fell far short of expectations. Michigan State lost nine games by mid-February, but it won five straight to close out the season on a high note and earn a share of the Big Ten regular season title. The Spartans knocked off other contenders like Iowa, Maryland, Penn State, and Ohio State during that stretch, so bettors are back aboard the Michigan State bandwagon.

Cassius Winston is knocking down 43.2 percent of his threes and leads the Spartans with 18.6 points per game, and big men Xavier Tillman Sr. and Aaron Henry have been playing better in the paint. The defense has been sharp, ranking third in the nation in effective field goal percentage, but the Spartans will likely have to face a very difficult opponent in the quarterfinals. Ohio State is rated the eighth-best team in the nation according to Ken Pomeroy’s numbers, and the Buckeyes are likely to top Purdue in the second round on Thursday.

Maryland was in the driver’s seat in the Big Ten last month with a 12-3 record in conference play, but the Terrapins dropped three of their final five games to miss out on an outright Big Ten regular season title. That led to the Terps being a No. 3 seed due to their sub-.500 record against Wisconsin and Michigan State.

Jalen Smith has been one of the best offensive weapons in the Big Ten this season. Smith is averaging a double-double with 15.5 and 10.5 rebounds per game, and he is hitting 53.8 percent of his field goals and 36.8 percent of his threes. Anthony Cowan Jr. can create his own shots too, and his ability to help in other ways makes Maryland dangerous.

The No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament is Wisconsin, but the oddsmakers don’t believe in the Badgers. They will only be a short favorite per the CBB betting odds against either Michigan or Rutgers in the quarterfinals, and this team is rated behind four other teams in the conference according to Pomeroy.

Greg Gard has done an excellent job getting the most out of this team. This season could have gone off the rails after Kobe King made the decision to transfer in late January, but the Badgers closed out the campaign with eight straight wins. Micah Potter has been excellent despite missing 10 games in the regular season, hitting 52.8 percent from the floor and 45.1 percent from beyond the arc, and he has been the best sixth man in the conference.

The Wolverines may be the No. 9 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, but there are plenty of believers in Juwan Howard and Michigan. They are tied with Wisconsin as the team with the third-lowest odds to win the conference tournament, and their metrics show that this team is rather unlucky to be 19-12. Michigan hammered conference winners Creighton and Gonzaga in non-conference play, and the Wolverines will be sizable favorites against Rutgers in the second round.

Iowa and Ohio State are each 8-1 to win the Big Ten Tournament, but both teams will have to win four games in four days to claim the title. The Hawkeyes have a Wooden Player of the Year contender in Luka Garza, while the Buckeyes are seen as one of the top-10 teams in the country by Pomeroy’s ratings. There is considerably more value in Ohio State at these odds, as the Buckeyes have a strong interior defense and they shoot well from distance.

Rutgers is poised to make its first NCAA Tournament appearance in nearly three decades, but the Scarlet Knights aren’t likely to advance past Friday in the Big Ten Tournament. They will face Michigan on Thursday, and if they win that game, they will face a rested Wisconsin side on Friday. This is the best defense in the conference, but the Scarlet Knights have some trouble scoring.

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