2023 Big Ten Preview and Odds: Can Anyone Challenge Michigan and Ohio State?

By Sidelines Staff   August 25, 2023 

2023 Big Ten Preview and Odds: Can Anyone Challenge Michigan and Ohio State?

Since 2017, Michigan and Ohio St. are the only two teams that have won the Big Ten and/or appeared in the College Football Playoff from the league. Both squads are once again the favorites to win the conference, but will this be the year another team captures the title? Let’s take a look at some of the best NCAAF futures bets in the conference as we analyze the 2023 Big Ten odds.

2023 Big Ten Odds and Best Bet: Ohio State Over 10.5 Wins

Since 2012, Ohio St. has won at least 11 games every season, excluding the 2020 COVID-19-shortened season. The Buckeyes have won the Big Ten five times in that span and won the 2014 National Championship. 

Ohio St.’s over/under win total for 2023 is 10.5, with the best odds coming from Caesars Sportsbook at +100 to bet the over. This is a slam-dunk bet even with a new starting quarterback coming in. 

The Buckeyes’ starting quarterbacks over the past several years have included C.J. Stroud, Justin Fields, and Dwayne Haskins. All of those guys were picked in the first round of the NFL Draft. The projected starting quarterback for Ohio St. this season is either Kyle McCord or Devin Brown. Both were top recruits, and whoever wins the job will have arguably the best weapons in the nation.

The centerpiece of the Buckeyes’ offense is Marvin Harrison Jr. The son of the All-Pro was an All-American last season and figures to follow in the footsteps of Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Garrett Wilson, and Chris Olave. Ohio St. also has a phenomenal number-two receiver in Emeka Egbuka, and two potent running backs. The Buckeyes should once again have a powerful offense combined with a defense that ranked top-25 in points-per-game overall last season.

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Sleeper Heisman Trophy Winner Pick: Wisconsin RB Braelon Allen

Quarterbacks typically dominate the Heisman Trophy with six of the past seven winners coming from that position. The award is usually given to a player on a good team that plays a significant role in the offense – hence why it goes to a quarterback. The last running back to win the award is Alabama’s Derrick Henry in 2015. 

Braelon Allen is Wisconsin’s top running back and his best odds to win the Heisman Trophy are +8000 at Fanduel Sportsbook and PointsBet Sportsbook. Allen could have a massive 2023 season, which gives him an outside chance to win the Heisman this year.

The Badgers RB is the successor to Jonathan Taylor, who was an NFL All-Pro in 2021. He has compiled over 2,500 yards and 23 touchdowns in his first two seasons. The Badgers love to run the football, and Allen is the man who carries the load. Wisconsin has two unproven wide receivers set to start, and a new quarterback under center after Graham Mertz transferred to Florida. These factors suggest Allen could be due for an uptick in volume.

Arguably the biggest impact is team success. Wisconsin’s over/under for 2023 is at 8.5 wins which means it should be a formidable squad. The Badgers have the benefit of playing on the weaker side of the conference with only two ranked opponents currently on their schedule. We’re not saying Allen is a lock to win the Heisman in 2023, but he does have great value.

As Usual, the Big Ten Title Comes Down to ‘The Game’

In all likelihood, the Big Ten is going to come down to Michigan and Ohio St. once again. Both the Wolverines and Buckeyes have similar rosters to last season. They’re also highly ranked in the national title picture. Michigan does have continuity at quarterback with J.J. McCarthy back in the fold, but it lost more players to the 2023 NFL Draft.

Often, Michigan vs. Ohio St. determines who wins the conference. The Wolverines have won the last two meetings, leading to winning the last two conference championships. Michigan hosts the rivalry game this season, which should give it an advantage. 

Ohio St.’s best odds to win the Big-Ten are +175 at Caesars Sportsbook and Michigan’s are +180 at Fanduel Sportsbook and Caesars Sportsbook. This season, we believe the Buckeyes exact revenge and win the game. As a result, Ohio St. will go on to win the Big-Ten. 

There’s technically no guarantee that the winner wins the conference because it’s not the championship game. However, it’s at least had a hand in the winner 37 times. It’s the biggest rivalry in college football and we believe it’ll help decide the winner again.

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