After watching the Ohio State Buckeyes overcome all odds – and two higher seeded playoff opponents – to improbably win it all last season, college football betting aficionados everywhere want to know if the Buckeyes or another Big Ten ballclub can potentially win it all in 2015. This expert betting breakdown on the NCAA football odds to win the Big 10 in 2015 will give you some insight into what could lie ahead for each Big Ten team long before the 2015 season ever gets started. Okay, with that said, let’s get started.
Let’s Look at the 2015 Big Ten Championship Season NCAA Football Odds Overview
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Ohio State -150
The Buckeyes (14-1 SU, 10-5 ATS) have, not one, not two, but three, outstanding quarterbacks on their roster, not to mention one of the best head coaches in all of college football. Throw in seven returning starters on both sides of the ball, an elite running back and an opportunistic defense and you have the makings of a team that could win their second straight national championship in 2015.
Michigan State +300
Michigan State (11-2 SU, 9-4 ATS) has a half-dozen returning starters on offense and seven more on defense, but the Spartans will have to replace their two biggest playmakers from last season in wide receiver Tony Lippett and running back Jeremy Langford. Michigan State’s defense could also take a step backwards after standout defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi left to take the head coaching position at Pittsburgh.
I know the Badgers (11-3 SU, 6-8 ATS) lost superstar running back Melvin Gordon, but they’ve got another elite rusher in junior Corey Clement. However, I’m going on record right now to say that new head coach Paul Chryst will need to figure out how to help quarterback Joel Stave and Wisconsin’s anemic passing attack or the Badgers’ unbalanced offense could suffer.
New head coach Mike Riley has talent to work with, but I believe Nebraska (9-4 SU, 8-4-1 ATS) will only go as far as quarterback Tommy Armstrong takes them. The Steele High School (TX) product is as athletic as they come, but he also completed an underwhelming 53.3 percent of his passes last season, so clearly, there’s room for growth. The Cornhuskers will also have to overcome the loss of elite defensive end Randy Gregory.
The Gophers (9-4 SU, 8-4-1 ATS) won nine game last season thanks mostly to their powerful rushing attack. Unfortunately, Minnesota will have to find a new starting running back following the graduation of starter David Cobb. Minnesota will also need more production out of quarterback Mitch Leidner but needs to find suitable replacements for both starting wide receivers and their starting tight end.
Michigan (5-7 SU, 5-7 ATS) may have won just five games last season, but I fully expect new head coach Jim Harbaugh to make a huge difference for the Wolverines right from the jump. First however, Harbaugh will need to find a new starting quarterback and replacements for wide receiver Devin Funchess and linebacker Jake Ryan. The good news is that Harbaugh inherits a player with elite talent in USC transfer running back Ty Isaac.
Penn State +1700
Penn State (7-6 SU, 6-6-1 ATS) had a solid first season under head coach James Franklin and I believe they could take a huge step forward in Year 2 with eight returning starters on offense and six on defense. The Nittany Lions have an elite quarterback in Christian Hackenberg but Franklin needs to upgrade an offensive line that gave up a whopping 44 sacks last season. Penn State must also replace defensive ends Deion Barnes and C.J. Olaniyan after the pair combined for nine sacks last season.
Iowa (7-6 SU, 6-7 ATS) won seven games last season, but the Hawkeyes will have problems if they don’t address their muddied quarterback situation and find suitable replacements for starting tackles Brandon Scherff and Andrew Donnal. Scherff will be a first round draft pick in the 2015 NFL Draft while Donnal made 13 starts in 2014.
The Scarlet Knights (8-5 SU, 8-5 ATS) managed to record eight wins a year ago, but with just nine returning starters, Rutgers is undeniably in the midst of change. Rutgers will need to find out whether Chris Laviano or LSU transfer Hayden Rettig will put a stranglehold on the starting quarterback position and they’ll also need to improve a defense that ranked dead last in the conference in yards per play allowed (6.4).
Maryland’s (7-6 SU, 6-7 ATS) first order of business will be finding a replacement for quarterback C.J. Brown and upgrading an offensive line that allowed 36 sacks last season. The Terrapins also need to find a slew of new starters on defense to replace defensive ends Andre Monroe and Keith Bowers, defensive tackle Darius Kilgo and linebackers Cole Farrand and L.A. Goree.
Rounding out the 2015 Odds to win the Big Ten are, Northwestern (5-7 SU, 5-7 ATS, +5500), Illinois (6-7 SU, 5-8 ATS, +6000) Indiana (4-8 SU, 4-7-1 ATS, +6000) and Purdue (3-9 SU, 6-5-1 ATS, +8000).