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College Football Betting: Big Ten Outrights

After Michigan reached the College Football Playoffs while Ohio State and Michigan State joined the Wolverines as Top-10 ranked teams in the final polls, the Big Ten has a tough act to follow.

There were plenty of transfers although for the top programs, many of the biggest losses came from the promising prospects yet to work their way onto the field. That was certainly not the case when it came to the NFL draft picks.

Big Ten Outright
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images/AFP

Ohio State starts the season as the favorite in the Big Ten and the Buckeyes currently have the third best odds to win the national title.

Here’s a look at how the college football lines see the Big Ten race at the current time.

Ohio State Buckeyes

  • 2021 record: 11-2
  • 2021 conference record: 8-1
  • Head coach: Ryan Day
  • Odds to win conference title: +185

There might not be a team that can match a quarterback-running back-receiver trio like Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, TreVeyon Henderson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Stroud (+175) is listed by the sportsbook as the Heisman Trophy favorite.

Ohio State had two receivers (Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave) taken in the top half of the first round in the NFL Draft so it will be worth watching to see who steps up at that position.

Seven of the top eight tacklers from 2021 were either freshmen or sophomores as the defense is in great shape as well.

Cornerback Tanner McCallister joins the Buckeyes after playing the last four seasons at Oklahoma State. DeaMonte Trayanum is a former running back at Arizona State who will play linebacker for Ohio State.

The departure of highly touted quarterback Quinn Ewers to Texas dominated the headlines but Ohio State had at least 20 players transfer since the end of last season including defensive backs Craig Young, Sevyn Banks and Ryan Watts

Michigan Wolverines

    • 2021 record: 12-2
    • 2021 conference record: 8-1
    • Head coach: Jim Harbaugh
    • Odds to win conference title: +950

Michigan lost many of its defensive stars to the NFL including the pass rushing tandem of Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo as well as safety Daxton Hill. The offense might look to throw a little more in 2022 with quarterback Cade McNamara and most of his top receivers returning.

The defense added defensive lineman Cam Goode from UCF while former Virginia offensive lineman Victor Oluwatimi is another key transfer. Michigan lost safeties Sammy Faustin and Jordan Morant to UMass and Duke and offensive lineman Chuck Filiaga to Minnesota. There will be those who bet online who will be going with Michigan to repeat as Big Ten champions.

Wisconsin Badgers

  • 2021 record: 9-4
  • 2021 conference record: 6-3
  • Head coach: Paul Chryst
  • Odds to win conference title: +950

The defense was the best in the country as season ago but it will look a little different following the loss of some key players, including leading tackler Leo Chenal. The secondary will feature plenty of transfers with the addition of Kamo’i Latu from Utah, Jay Shaw from UCLA, Justin Clark from Toledo and Cedric Dort from Kentucky although Wisconsin lost twice as many transfers as they brought in.

Running back Braelon Allen had quite the freshman season and with him being the starter from the start of the season, look out.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

  • 2021 record: 3-9
  • 2021 conference record: 1-8
  • Head coach: Scott Frost
  • Odds to win conference title: +1200

The Nebraska defense will have a different look thanks to an influx of Power 5 transfers.

Safety Kaine Williams and defensive lineman Stephon Wynn come in from Alabama  and defensive lineman Devin Drew comes in from Texas Tech and defensive end Ochaun Mathis from TCU and defensive back Tommi Hill from Arizona State. One of the higher rated defensive transfers is former Northern Iowa cornerback Omar Brown.

On offense, quarterback Casey Thompson and receiver Marcus Washington transferred from Texas, receiver Trey Palmer comes in from LSU while Kevin Williams (Northern Colorado) and Hunter Anthony (Oklahoma State) were added to the offensive line.

Nebraska did lose quarterback Adrian Martinez to Kansas State and he was the team’s leading passer and rusher in 2021. Linebackers Wynden Ho’ohuli (Hawaii) and Will Honas (Kansas State) also left while defensive lineman Casey Rogers and Jordon Riley headed to Oregon. Another key loss was receiver William Nixon who is now at Washington.

Penn State Nittany Lions

  • 2021 record: 7-6
  • 2021 conference record: 4-5
  • Head coach: James Franklin
  • Odds to win conference title: +1200

Penn State had one of the top defenses in the Big Ten a season ago. Eight of the top 12 tacklers were seniors so there are some holes to fill.

Receiver Mitchell Tinsley, who had 87 catches for 1402 yards a season ago at Western Kentucky, joins linebacker Demeioun Robinson (Maryland) and offensive lineman Hunter Nourzad (Cornell) as some new faces. Cornerback A.J. Litton and running back Noan Cain are among the players moving on.

Iowa Hawkeyes

  • 2021 record: 10-4
  • 2021 conference record: 7-2
  • Head coach: Kirk Ferentz
  • Odds to win conference title: +1600

Iowa wasn’t as impacted by transfers coming and going as most of its conference rivals. Replacing leading rusher Tyler Goodson will be no easy task and the transfer of fourth-leading receiver Charlie Jones doesn’t help. Fellow receiver Tyrone Tracy stayed within the conference when he transferred to Purdue. Former Lafayette tight end Steven Stillanos could be a newcomer to keep an eye on.

There are a lot of contributors to build the defense around. After advancing to the Big Ten title game a season ago, can the Hawkeyes do it again?

Purdue Boilermakers

  • 2021 record: 9-4
  • 2021 conference record: 6-3
  • Head coach: Jeff Brohm
  • Odds to win conference title: +2200

The Boilermakers will need to replace their top passer and receiver and there was plenty of movement both ways on the transfer portal.

Marvin Grant, Purdue’s second-leading tackler, has transferred to Kansas. Linebacker Khalil Saunders is also on the way out while quarterback Jack Plummer is now at Cal. The highest-rated transfers coming to Purdue are Indiana cornerback Reese Taylor, Auburn receiver Elijah Canion and FIU offensive lineman Sione Finau along with Penn State defensive lineman Cole Brevard.

Michigan State Spartans

  • 2021 record: 11-2
  • 2021 conference record: 7-2
  • Head coach: Mel Tucker
  • Odds to win conference title: +2500

Losing leading rusher Kenneth Walker is a big blow. However, the passing attack should be even better with the return of quarterback Payton Thorne and leading receiver Jayden Reed.

Eight freshmen and sophomores had at least 18 tackles a season ago while the Spartans added UNLV’s leading tackler Jacoby Windmon (119 tackles, 6.5 sacks in 2021), linebacker Khris Bogle from Florida, linebacker Aaron Brule (53 tackles, three sacks) from Mississippi State and defensive back Ameer Speed from Georgia.

One of the biggest departures is Quavaris Crouch, who had 160 tackles for the Spartans over the last three seasons.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

  • 2021 record: 9-4
  • 2021 conference record: 6-3
  • Head coach: P.J. Fleck
  • Odds to win conference title: +2500

The 247sports.com site listed 18 outgoing transfers including both the No. 1 and 2 rushers on the 2021 team. Ky Thomas headed to Kansas while Mar’Keise Irving landed at Oregon.

The Golden Gophers did help their offensive line by landing Quinn Carroll from Notre Dame and Chuck Filiaga from Michigan.

Eight of the top nine tacklers on the 2021 were seniors so there are questions on both sides of the ball.

Illinois Fighting Illini

  • 2021 record: 5-7
  • 2021 conference record: 4-5
  • Head coach: Bret Bielema
  • Odds to win conference title: +10000

The Fighting Illini welcome former Syracuse quarterback Tommy Devito. who threw for nearly 2,400 yards in 2019 but moved down the depth chart in the next two seasons. Receiver Jonah Morris comes in from Northern Colorado while former Furman tackle Dylan Davis should help the Illinois offensive line.

Defensive linemen Raashaan Wilkins and Te-Rah Edwards come in from Vanderbilt and Northwestern.

Maryland Terrapins

  • 2021 record: 7-6
  • 2021 conference record: 3-6
  • Head coach: Mike Locksley
  • Odds to win conference title: +10000

Taulia Tagovailoa completed nearly 70% of his passes for 3,860 yards and 26 touchdowns and his top target Rakim Jarrett is also back. Florida’s top receiver Jacob Copeland (41 catches for 642 yards) has transferred to Maryland so this should be a fun offense to watch.

Receivers Brian Cobbs (Utah State), Darryl Jones (North Carolina State) and Carlos Carriere (Central Michigan) are among the large exodus of players. Maryland also loses defensive tackle Darrell Jackson to Miami and linebacker Demeioun Robinson to Penn State and linebacker Branden Jennings to Kansas State.

Indiana Hoosiers

  • 2021 record: 2-10
  • 2021 conference record: 0-9
  • Head coach: Tom Allen
  • Odds to win conference title: +15000

Transfer Connor Bazelak had some turnover issues in his two seasons at Missouri but he also threw for nearly 5,000 yards in those two seasons. He’ll replace Michael Penix who is now at Washington.

The senior-laden defense will need to be rebuilt and losing cornerback Reese Taylor who transferred to Purdue won’t help.

Northwestern Wildcats

  • 2021 record: 3-9
  • 2021 conference record: 1-8
  • Head coach: Pat Fitzgerald
  • Odds to win conference title: +15000

Evan Hull returns after rushing for more than 1,000 yards. The passing attack, led by Ryan Hilinski, needs to be better after averaging 177 yards a season ago.

Reserve quarterback Hunter Johnson has transferred to Clemson, freshman receiver Jordan Mosley is now at Mississippi State, safety and third-leading tackler Brandon Joseph headed to Notre Dame.

The Wildcats added defensive end Ryan Johnson from Stanford and linebacker Wendell Davis from Pittsburgh.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

  • 2021 record: 5-8
  • 2021 conference record: 2-7
  • Head coach: Greg Schiano
  • Odds to win conference title: +15000

Noah Vedral had his moments during the 2021 season but 16 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions in two seasons as the Rutgers starting quarterback is not good enough.

Rutgers certainly used the transfer portal to address the offensive line bringing in Mike Ciaffoni (Colorado State), Willie Tyer (Louisiana-Monroe), Curtis Dunlap (Minnesota) and J.D. DeRenzo (Sacred Heart). Rutgers also added Sean Ryan, who was fourth in receiving yards for West Virginia in 2021, and former Syracuse receiver Taj Harris.

Five freshmen had at least 20 tackles a season ago so if they make a jump as sophomores, that could help Rutgers move up in the Big Ten standings.

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