Here's a look at the Big Ten's top five odds on the board, complete with our thoughts and predictions on who will be the NCAA Champion
Michigan State (29-6, 13-5 B10)
The Spartans lost their three top scorers from last season: Denzel Valentine (19.2 ppg), Bryn Forbes (14.4 ppg) and Matt Costello (10.7 ppg). Valentine, in fact, was the Associated Press National Player of the Year. Head coach Tom Izzo, however, pulls one of the top recruiting classes each season. Five-star freshmen SF Miles Bridges and SG Josh Langford will look to fill the void. Izzo's team will be much more athletic, but may lack resolve late in games due to its inexperience. Expect the team to drop a couple of games early, and then be undervalued in the betting market headed into conference play. It went 12-6 ATS in Big Ten play last season, posting nearly 79 points per game. A top five seed in the dance is all but a given, but the price to win it all too steep. Big Ten odds will likely be too chalky to repeat as conference champs, too.
National Champion Odds: +1600 at BetOnline
Indiana (27-8, 15-3 B10)
The Hoosiers lost top scorer Yogi Ferrell, but are teeming with talent down low between sophomores F OG Anunoby and C Thomas Bryant primed to have breakout seasons. Bryant may be the best player in the conference outside of Maryland's Melo Trimble, and is arguably one of the top postmen in the nation. Rolling out a star player in this day and age of college basketball is a luxury, and he'll help Indiana immensely nearer March. Indiana posted the Big Ten's best record but carry a hex into the conference championship tournament every year. It's finished runner-up once since 1998 and never won it all. Expect a top five bid for March Madness, but the team lacks depth and guile to succeed in tourney play. Pass on these Championship odds.
National Champion Odds: +3950 at BetDSI
Wisconsin (22-13, 12-6 B10)
Head coach Greg Gard returns his entire starting five. The Badgers were young last year but gathered a ton of experience and confidence at the end of last season. They finished 13-4 SU and 12-5 ATS to close out the year. Forward Ethan Happ, 2015 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, is a force under the rim on both ends of the court. Defense and game management is Wisconsin's forte, which gives te team a chance against any opponent in any game. Odds of +3000 is intriguing to win it all, but we're not keen on the national champ coming out of the Big Ten as a whole. Expect some value when conference odds are release, and be sure to check the SBR's best sportsbooks list along with the bonuses they offer. All and all, the Badgers are our favorite to win.
National Champion Odds: +3000 at SportsInteraction
Maryland (27-9, 12-6 B10)
Point guard Melo Trimble can carry any team on his back, but the Terps lost his four starting companions from last season. The backcourt is deep (Dion Wiley, Kevin Huerter), but questions remain underneath. Forward L.G. Gill, a transfer form Duquesne, will look to improve on his 10.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game average in a tougher conference. Chemistry is lacking, and if Maryland slips up early, missing the dance entirely is not out of the question. Odds of +5000 is not even worth it. Pocket your cash with this college football pick.
National Champion Odds: +1749 at BookMaker
Purdue (26-9, 12-6 B10)
Purdue lost it's top scorer center A.J. Hammons (15.0 ppg) to the NBA but retain a veteran-heavy lineup. That's good news for a team that went 26-9 last season. The frontcourt is still loaded with Vincent Edwards, Caleb Swanigan and Isaac Haas in the mix. Backcourt play has to improve. Head coach Matt Painter seems to always get the best out his talent. We wouldn't advise risking the coin on any March Madness run, but long odds for a Big Ten title will offer some value.
National Champion Odds: +3800 at Heritage