- The Ohio State Buckeyes are -180 favorites to win the Big 10.
- Their closest competition on the odds boards are the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Wisconsin Badgers.
- The Buckeyes are likely going to start a QB who has not thrown a pass in college.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Big 10 conference has had mixed luck in recent years, with the Ohio State Buckeyes consistently putting up good results, but the rest of the conference performing at uneven levels.
Entering the 2021-2022 college football season, the Buckeyes are once again in the driver’s seat in the conference according to the online sportsbooks. Despite losing QB Justin Fields and nine other players to the NFL Draft, the Buckeyes are expected to rebound well in the wake of a College Football Playoff Championship defeat to Alabama.
Much of this is due to the lack of quality opposition in the conference, with Penn State and Wisconsin set to provide the most opposition to them.
However, while Ohio State is coming off of a championship appearance, Penn State had a lackluster 4-5 season and Wisconsin’s season was canceled due to COVID-19 outbreaks among the team.
BIG Ten Conference Odds 2021-22
- Ohio State -180
- Penn State +750
- Wisconsin +800
- Iowa +1200
- Michigan +1200
- Indiana +1700
- Minnesota +3000
- Nebraska +3000
- Northwestern +3000
- Michigan State +5000
- Maryland +7500
- Purdue +8000
- Illinois +10000
Ohio State’s status as the favorite on the online sportsbooks does seem to be contingent on no other challengers emerging from the pack. They will be bringing back WR Chris Olave, one of the most dominant pass-catchers in college football, which should help ease the post-Fields transition.
The problem is that it’s unclear who exactly will be throwing the ball to him. C.J. Stroud has been widely regarded as the favorite to start on opening day, but Jack Miller and Kyle McCord are also potential options for the Buckeyes.
The root of the potential problem is that all three of those players have combined for zero passes at the college level.
Of course, the upside for Ohio State is that all of these players were elite prospects, some of the best in the country. If anyone can figure out how to create an offensive identity from elite prospects with limited experience, it’s OSU Head Coach Ryan Day.
Day’s system has seen Ohio State become something of a QB factory in recent years. Ohio State’s starting quarterback has won the title of best QB in the Big 10 for five straight years.
Thus, the question for online gambling fans is twofold. First, do they believe that Day’s system will hold up in the face of inexperienced but talented QB play? Second, do they believe that the rest of the Big 10 will remain unable to challenge Ohio State’s talent?
Time will tell, but if this year is like previous years, it could be a good time to gamble on the Buckeyes to win the Big 10 - before they get rolling.