The Big Ten has a lot of interesting storylines this year with teams like Michigan and Penn State coming off of disappointing seasons. We will either see a shift in the second tier of the conference and some coaching changes or things will return to “normal.”
Ohio State's Run Continues
Ohio State is -175 on MyBookie and quite simply, that price is well too low. The sportsbooks love stats and numbers and the best way to win on futures bets is to have a better understanding of where numbers may not exist yet. Ohio State is recruiting as good as any team in the history of college football right now and while Vegas “knows” that, it's just not priced in here. By this time next year, Ohio State will have the 1st or 2nd best raw talent rating in the recruiting ranking era of college football and the rest of the Big Ten is getting worse.
Penn State is the team that has given the Buckeyes the most trouble consistently, especially when it comes to raw talent. However, Penn State has struggled a bit on the recruiting trail recently and I don't think that roster is as talented as their rosters before 2020. This is the case with Michigan as well. I want to bet on talent and this team isn't priced as a historically talented team.
I expect CJ Stroud to be the starter for the Buckeyes and he is a former 5-star late riser that will have no problems with what is undoubtedly the deepest receiver room in the recruiting era of college football. The high-end talent on the Ohio State team are simply too much for the conference to handle at this point and we have seen that since Ryan Day took over 2 years ago. The Buckeyes have run through the Big Ten twice and I expect the same.
Hedge Out Options
When we look for other options in the Big Ten, I really want to hone in on a true longshot, not someone like Wisconsin at +800. The reason for this is simple, hedging out against Ohio State will not be cheap. For reference, last year Northwestern was +800 in the title game vs. the Buckeyes and Wisconsin was +500 in 2019.
This is why I will be back on the Wildcats this season at +2500 on MyBookie. Northwestern loses key players, but we are betting on culture and a new QB to help the Wildcats compete in the Big Ten West compared to Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa at lower numbers. Northwestern isn't a flashy team and isn't going to steamroll their schedule by any means, but I think they could easily appear as the opponent for the Buckeyes in Indianapolis.
Vegas doesn't like what they haven't seen and losing guys like Paddy Fisher for unproven backups that were never elite recruits will not make you feel comfortable when betting the median outcome, but former 5-star transfer and Pat Fitzgerald's culture are what I want to bet on here.
Ohio State at -175 is by FAR my favorite bet of the conference champion slate and that is my play here. If you want to sprinkle on a team late, let it ride with the Wildcats at +2500.