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4 Big Ten Teams That Will Go Over Projected NCAAF Win Totals

It’s a new era for Big Ten football, with the additions of USC, UCLA, Washington and Oregon to the conference. No longer will there be two divisions but instead a pack of 18 teams trying to reach the top of the standings, with the top two advancing to the Big Ten Championship Game.

But what teams are going to thrive and go over the college football odds for wins in this inaugural “bigger” Big Ten season? Especially in a conference that now features both teams – Michigan and Washington – that played in the national championship game last season?

4 Big Ten Teams That Will Go Over Projected NCAAF Win Totals
Cal Haladay #27 of the Michigan State Spartans - Mike Mulholland/Getty Images/AFP

Let’s take a closer look at just a few Big Ten teams that could exceed their projected win total this fall.


Michigan State Spartans (5 Wins)

The 2023 season was one to forget for the Spartans, from the firing of head coach Mel Tucker for off-the-field improprieties to a 4-8 overall record that included a six-game skid to losing to arch-rival Michigan 49-0 – and then watching the Wolverines go on the win the national title. The offseason couldn’t arrive fast enough for fans in East Lansing.

That offseason brought the hiring of former Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith, which has given the program a jolt of good will. Smith had a number of players transfer out of the program, but he also has brought in a number of transfers, including quarterback Aiden Chiles, who played for Smith with the Beavers.

Chiles is a dynamic player who has a ton of potential and should be the starter come the fall. The sophomore had 309 yards and four touchdowns passing in limited duty in his first collegiate season in 2023. He’ll also have running back Nate Carter (798 yards, four touchdowns) to hand the ball to when he’s not making plays himself.

Michigan State’s defense must improve as well, though Smith has building blocks in linebackers Cal Haladay (team-high 91 tackles, including 5½ for loss) and Jordan Hall, who had 72 tackles, including two tackles for loss. The secondary must be better, but Smith has been working on fortifying that unit with transfers.

A non-conference schedule that has Florida Atlantic, Prairie View A&M and Boston College should get the Spartans at least two wins, and the Big Ten slate gets somewhat easier after back-to-back dates with Ohio State and Oregon in late September/early October.


Penn State Nittany Lions (10½ Wins)

The Nittany Lions have reached double-digit wins in five of the last eight seasons, including a 10-3 mark in 2023. Coach James Franklin lost some pieces to that puzzle, most notably both his offensive and defensive coordinators. Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich was fired and defensive coordinator Manny Diaz left to become head coach at Duke.

One piece Franklin has back is quarterback Drew Allar, who could be the best signal caller in the conference heading into the 2024 season. Allar threw for 2,631 yards and 25 touchdowns while having just two interceptions in 2023, rushing for 210 yards and four scores as well. The junior will need to step up his game this season, but he’s shown the ability to do so.

The running back duo of Kaytron Allen (902 yards, six touchdowns) and Nicholas Singleton (752 yards, eight touchdowns) will help the Nittany Lions eat up yardage and clock, keeping the pressure off Allar to do it all with his arm.

After a season opener on the road against West Virginia, Penn State gets four straight home games against teams that it will be favored against. The Nittany Lions avoid facing Michigan and Oregon and get their biggest test, Ohio State, at home in early November. If Penn State plays up to its potential, topping 10½ wins is a very good possibility.


Minnesota Golden Gophers (5 Wins)

The Golden Gophers are coming off a 6-7 campaign in 2023 that snapped a two-season streak of nine victories. Coach P.J. Fleck is certainly working hard to get back to that point as this was only his third losing season since becoming coach of the program in 2017.

Minnesota should be back to at least .500 in 2024, assuming that New Hampshire transfer Max Brosmer can adapt to the Big Ten in a hurry. Brosmer thrived in FCS play, starting 31 career games at New Hampshire and finishing with over 8,000 yards with 69 touchdowns, including 3,498 passing yards in 2023.

The Golden Gophers are hoping for a full season from running back Darius Taylor, who appeared in only six contests in 2023 but still led the squad in rushing with 799 yards and five scores. After sitting much of the regular season with a leg injury, then-freshman Taylor showed his potential with 208 yards against Bowling Green in the Quick Lane Bowl.

Fleck must get his defense to play better if the Golden Gophers are going to beat the college football predictions and compete for another bowl berth and a top-half finish in the conference standings. Minnesota allowed 26.7 points per game in 2023, ranking 10th in the Big Ten.

The Golden Gophers start the campaign with four straight home games, including North Carolina in the opener and Iowa for the Big Ten opener, before a trip to Michigan in late September signals a more difficult schedule.


Wisconsin Badgers (7 Wins)

Coach Luke Fickell had his problems with injuries in his inaugural season with the Badgers in 2023, especially at the quarterback position. Fickell has brought in Tyler Van Dyke as a transfer from Miami to hopefully take over as the starter under center.

Van Dyke made 10 starts in 2023 for the Hurricanes, passing for 2,703 yards and 19 touchdowns, though he had 12 interceptions as well. Some stability at quarterback could go a long way for Wisconsin this season.

The defensive side of the ball has to get better until the offense can get more consistent. The Badgers allowed 20.2 points per game in 2023, ranking sixth in the Big Ten, but not being as dominant as in previous seasons.

Getting to more than seven wins this season will be very possible for the Badgers. They don’t play Michigan or Ohio State, and they face Oregon and Penn State at home. An early test for the team will be a visit from Alabama in mid-September, with a win potentially propelling the team into College Football Playoff contention.

This is going to be a new-look Big Ten this season, so predictions of how the season will go are going to be varied. Still, we like the four teams above to exceed their projected win totals and give you some good futures options when doing your college football betting.



Odds and information are accurate at the time of writing. Please check with official sources for the latest updates before placing any bets.


Questions of the Day

Who won the Big Ten Championship Game in 2023?

The Michigan Wolverines defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes 26-0 in the Big Ten Championship Game in 2023.

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