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Big Ten Conference Tournament: Four-Team Scramble

The Big Ten Conference is packed with teams good enough to make a run for the national championship.

However, first they’ll need to win the Big Ten championship and it’s a wide-open race.

College basketball lines have Purdue as the favorites to win, but hot on their heels is Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.

We look at which teams are best to wager on for the tournament, which starts on Wednesday.

Team to Beat

Purdue Boilermakers

  • Record: 25-6
  • Big Ten record: 14-6
  • Last Big Ten Tournament title: 2017
  • Odds to win Big Ten Tournament: +175
  • Odds to win national title: +1200

What you should know: The Purdue Boilermakers were once the top-ranked team in the nation. We thought they had a chance to post a much better record than 25-6, but it’s a quality record in its own right.

Despite not being a great bet for against-the-spread bettors at 13-16-2, the Boilermakers are the deserved favorite to win the Big Ten championship.

Bettors get fair odds of +175 with the sportsbook and that’s well worth including in your college basketball wagers.

Challengers to Watch

Illinois Fighting Illini

  • Record: 22-8
  • Big Ten record: 15-5
  • Last Big Ten Tournament title: 2021
  • Odds to win Big Ten Tournament: +400
  • Odds to win national title: +3000

What you should know: The Illinois Fighting Illini scored an important 74-72 win over Iowa and that momentum could be enough to win the Big Ten Conference championship

They enter with three consecutive wins over the likes of Michigan, Penn State and Iowa, so they’re the biggest threat to the Purdue Boilermakers.

They have firmed into +400, so there has been plenty of attention in NCAAB betting markets.

Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Record: 22-9
  • Big Ten record: 12-8
  • Last Big Ten Tournament title: 2006
  • Odds to win Big Ten Tournament: +400
  • Odds to win national title: +8000

What you should know: The Iowa Hawkeyes have drifted slightly in betting markets, mostly because of their loss to Illinois.

It was only a two-point game, so bettors shouldn’t feel deterred from betting on the Hawkeyes.

They have been an excellent bet at 19-12 ATS, so they could be worth following throughout the Big Ten tournament and throughout March Madness.

Wisconsin Badgers

  • Record: 24-6
  • Big Ten record: 15-5
  • Last Big Ten Tournament title: 2015
  • Odds to win Big Ten Tournament: +600
  • Odds to win national title: +5000

What you should know: Wisconsin has gone about its business under the radar and the Badgers could be a dangerous pick for the Big Ten conference championship

They have a positive ATS record at 17-13 and they are the second-highest ranked team in the conference.

Bettors could find good value with the Badgers and they have been specked at +5000 to win the national championship, which is intriguing.

Ohio State Buckeyes

  • Record: 19-10
  • Big Ten record: 12-8
  • Last Big Ten tournament title: 2013
  • Odds to win Big Ten Tournament: +900
  • Odds to win national title: +6600

What you should know: It hasn’t been an easy road to the Big Ten Conference tournament for the Ohio State Buckeyes, who lost to Michigan 75-69 in the regular-season finale.

They have only one win from their last four games, but they are capable of pulling off an upset. The Buckeyes defeated Illinois 86-83 last month and anything close to that performance could see them contending for the title.

It’s a risky bet, but the +900 odds are generous.

Michigan Wolverines

  • Record: 17-13
  • Big Ten record: 11-9
  • Last Big Ten tournament title: 2018
  • Odds to win Big Ten Tournament: +1400
  • Odds to win national title: +15000

What you should know: Odds for the Michigan Wolverines to win the national title have drifted considerably after going only 11-9 in Big Ten Conference play.

It has been a wildly inconsistent season, which included coach Juan Howard getting suspended for the last few games of the regular season.

Pressure hasn’t been kind to the Wolverines and they could struggle to find their best in the tournament, hence the +1400 NCAAB odds.

Michigan State Spartans

  • Record: 20-11
  • Big Ten record: 11-9
  • Last Big Ten tournament title: 2019
  • Odds to win Big Ten Tournament: +1600
  • Odds to win national title: +8000

What you should know: Despite being at longer odds than Michigan to win the Big Ten Conference, the Michigan State Spartans are paying shorter odds to win the national championship.

They are good enough to win the Big Ten title at a price and coach Tom Izzo will have them primed and ready to fire.

“We’ve had a few ups and downs, but it’s March and March around here is special,” Izzo told ESPN. “We’re good enough to beat a lot of people.”

So You’re Saying There’s a Chance?

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

  • Record: 18-12
  • Big Ten record: 12-8
  • Odds to win Big Ten Tournament: +1400
  • Odds to win national title: +17500

What you should know: The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are only 4-9 on the road, which could be a problem throughout the tournament.

They are a solid bet on their day, but we can’t see them making much of an impression in the Big Ten tournament.

Indiana Hoosiers

  • Record: 18-12
  • Big Ten record: 9-11
  • Odds to win Big Ten Tournament: +2800

What you should know: The overall record of the Indiana Hoosiers is solid, but they have struggled in conference play.

Most of their best games have come at home, so winning on the road will be problematic and we don’t think they have enough firepower to keep up.

Their low ranking sees them play tough teams early on and we can’t see them getting past the second round.

Maryland Terrapins

  • Record: 15-16
  • Big Ten record: 7-13
  • Odds to win Big Ten Tournament: +6600

What you should know: There hasn’t been much money for the Maryland Terrapins and it’s not hard to see why.

They have upset potential, but it has been a dismal Big Ten season. The +6600 is a fair price for the Terrapins, and although they could progress past the first round, we don’t see them going much deeper.

Northwestern Wildcats

  • Record: 14-15
  • Big Ten record: 7-13
  • Odds to win Big Ten Tournament: +8000

What you show know: The Northwestern Wildcats haven’t been a bad spread bet, but their chances of winning the Big Ten title are slim.

There just aren’t the big-name recruits to make a deep tournament run and that’s reflected in the betting markets.

Penn State Nittany Lions

  • Record: 12-16
  • Big Ten record: 7-13
  • Odds to win Big Ten Tournament: +10000

What you should know: Despite owning a poor head-to-head record, the Penn State Nittany Lions are 16-12 ATS.

It’s an excellent record for the 12-16 team, which realistically has little chance of winning the Big Ten title. However, they could be worth backing in spread markets in the opening round against Nebraska.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

  • Record: 13-16
  • Big Ten record: 4-16
  • Odds to win Big Ten Tournament: +12500

What you should know: Winning only four conference games isn’t going to win you any fans.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have struggled and they’ll have minimal impact in March Madness betting markets. They won’t be getting any of our money in moneyline markets, but there is a case to be made for their 13-15-1 ATS record.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

  • Record: 10-21
  • Big Ten record: 4-16
  • Odds to win Big Ten Tournament: +15000

What you should know: They face the Northwestern Wildcats in the opening round, which isn’t a bad matchup.

However, they won’t be making much of an impact and that’s reflected in betting markets.

Here’s your chance to win $1,000,000. Shoot your shot in the BetUS March Mayhem Bracket Contest.

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