Big Ten Division and Championship Odds - Legends Division

Yesterday, I covered the odds for teams winning the Big Ten Leaders Division and the Big Ten Championship. Today, I’ll cover the odds for teams winning the Big Ten Legends Division and the Big Ten Championship.

If you aren’t familiar with how futures work, check out an article I wrote a while back, which can be found here.

I’ll help you look at how each team has performed against conference opposition over the last 15 years and give some insight on teams who I think have a great shot at making the trip to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and who could bring home the Big Ten Title in 2012.

(1) Iowa Hawkeyes – +1000 Legends/+2500 Big Ten

Schedule analysis: Iowa avoids Ohio State and Wisconsin out of the other division, making this probably the easiest schedule of any Big Ten Legends contender. They do travel to BOTH Michigan schools, though, which offsets the ease of the crossover games.

vs. Minnesota – Home team is 11-4, but Iowa is 9-6 (6-1 at Iowa). – Lean Iowa

at Michigan State – Road team is 2-9, but Iowa is 6-5 (1-4 at Michigan State). – Slight lean Michigan State

vs. Penn State – Home team is 6-5, but Iowa is 8-3 (4-1 at Iowa). – Slight lean Iowa

at Northwestern – Road team is 5-8, but Iowa is 6-7 (2-4 at Northwestern). – Toss up

at Indiana – Road team is 5-8, but Iowa is 8-5 (3-3 at Indiana). – Lean Iowa

vs. Purdue – Home team is 9-2, but Iowa is 7-4 (5-0 at Iowa). – Lean Iowa

at Michigan – Road team is 5-6, Iowa is 5-6 (2-3 at Michigan). – Slight lean Michigan

vs. Nebraska – Home team is 2-1, but Iowa is 0-3 (0-1 at Iowa). – Toss up

Verdict: Iowa is an interesting situation. Betting on them to win the division is very tempting, especially considering their recent success over Michigan. Theoretically, if they beat Michigan and split the Michigan State/Nebraska games, they could be in very good shape to win the division, considering both the Spartans and the Cornhuskers play Ohio State AND Wisconsin. Personally, I would consider putting a small amount on Iowa, they should be considered a dark-horse to win this division, especially if a strong running back(s) emerge.



(2) Michigan Wolverines – +120/+180


Schedule analysis: Michigan avoids Wisconsin and has Michigan State at home. They do play at Nebraska and Ohio State, though.


at Purdue – Road team is 4-7, but Michigan is 8-3 (3-2 at Purdue). – Lean Michigan

vs. Illinois – Home team is 4-7, but Michigan is 8-3 (3-2 at Michigan). – Lean Michigan

vs. Michigan State – Home team is 9-6, Michigan is 9-6 (5-2 at Michigan). – Slight lean Michigan

at Nebraska – Road team is 1-0, but Michigan is 1-1 (0-0 at Nebraska). – Toss up

at Minnesota – Road team is 6-5, but Michigan is 10-1 (5-0 at Minnesota). – Strong lean Michigan

vs. Northwestern – Home team is 5-6, but Michigan is 9-2 (4-1 at Michigan). – Lean Michigan

vs. Iowa – Home team is 6-5, Michigan is 6-5 (3-2 at Michigan). – Slight lean Michigan

at Ohio State – Road team is 5-10, Michigan is 5-10 (1-6 at Ohio State). – Slight lean Ohio State


Verdict: I can comfortably say I see at least 4 conference wins for the Wolverines. But I do have two games at a toss up (Nebraska) or worse (Ohio State). Michigan should run the table at home, but wait to see how they play at Purdue before doing anything. Chances are, if you wait until after the Nebraska game to place a wager, the odds could become prohibitive. Note that the odds really aren’t that much different for Michigan winning the Big Ten. If you are even considering placing a bet on them to win the division, might as well throw down on the Big Ten Championship for them, as well.



(3) Michigan State Spartans – +300/+500


Schedule analysis: Michigan State picks up both Ohio State and Wisconsin, arguably two of the better teams in the Leaders. They offset a trip to Ann Arbor by hosting Nebraska. Two of the weaker Big Ten opponents – Indiana and Minnesota – are on the road.


vs. Ohio State – Home team is 5-6, but Michigan State is 3-8 (1-4 at Michigan State). – Toss up

at Indiana – Road team is 5-6, but Michigan State is 9-2 (4-1 at Indiana). – Strong lean Michigan State

vs. Iowa – Home team is 9-2, but Michigan State is 5-6 (4-1 at Michigan State). – Slight lean Michigan State

at Michigan – Road team is 6-9, Michigan State is 6-9 (2-5 at Michigan). – Slight lean Michigan

at Wisconsin – Road team is 3-8, but Michigan State is 5-7 (1-4 at Wisconsin). – Slight lean Wisconsin

vs. Nebraska – Home team is 1-0, but Michigan State is 0-2 (0-0 at Michigan State). – Slight lean Michigan State

vs. Northwestern – Home team is 5-8, but Michigan State is 8-5 (3-3 at Michigan State). – Lean Michigan State

at Minnesota – Road team is 3-8, but Michigan State is 5-6 (1-4 at Minnesota). – Slight lean Michigan State


Verdict: The biggest issues for the Spartans are the loss of Cousins and key players on the defensive side. Still, the defense should be solid and MSU has one of the most experienced offensive lines in the Big Ten. Expect more running, especially early in the conference slate. I feel that the Spartans have the potential for as many as six losses in conference or as many as eight conference wins. Don’t expect either to happen, but I’d be surprised if MSU returned to the title game this year. Circle the Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nebraska games – tough stretch. If they emerge from the first two with at least one win (preferably against UM), think about throwing down money on MSU to win the division.



(4) Minnesota Golden Gophers – +5000/+15000


Schedule analysis: Minnesota gets both Michigan and Michigan State at home, but has to travel to Iowa, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. The Gophers avoid Ohio State and get Northwestern and Purdue at home.


at Iowa – Road team is 4-11, but Minnesota is 6-9 (1-6 at Iowa). – Lean Iowa

vs. Northwestern – Home team is 5-6, Minnesota is 5-6 (2-3 at Minnesota). – Toss up

at Wisconsin – Road team is 6-9, but Minnesota is 2-13 (0-7 at Wisconsin). – Strong lean Wisconsin

vs. Purdue – Home team is 8-5, but Minnesota is 3-10 (2-4 at Minnesota). – Lean Purdue

vs. Michigan – Home team is 5-6, but Minnesota is 1-10 (0-5 at Minnesota). – Strong lean Michigan

at Illinois – Road team is 6-5, but Minnesota is 8-3 (4-1 at Illinois). – Lean Illinois

at Nebraska – Road team is 1-0, but Minnesota is 0-1 (0-0 at Nebraska). – Strong lean Nebraska

vs. Michigan State – Home team is 8-3, but Minnesota is 6-5 (4-1 at Minnesota). – Slight lean Michigan State


Verdict: Just looking at the odds, you know Minnesota is a long shot, not only to win the conference, but also the division. In fact, Minnesota has the worst chance at winning the conference. In case you are wondering, the MSU game is only a slight lean because of the Spartans poor play in recent years in Minneapolis. So why should you bet them? I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t, but on the off chance you do, lay down a SMALL amount. Even $5 could have a huge return ($250 payout to win the division and $750 payout to win the conference). Then again, the Gophers could be winless in conference. Stay far away.



(5) Nebraska Cornhuskers – +300/+550


Schedule analysis: Nebraska has to play both Wisconsin and Ohio State in their first two conference games, and doesn’t play Indiana or Purdue. They do get the Badgers and Michigan at home, but travel to Michigan State and Iowa.


vs. Wisconsin – Home team is 1-0, but Nebraska is 0-1 (0-0 at Nebraska). – Toss up

at Ohio State – Home team is 1-0, Nebraska is 1-0 (0-0 at Ohio State). – Slight lean Ohio State

at Northwestern – Road team is 1-0, but Nebraska is 1-1 (0-0 at Northwestern). – Lean Nebraska

vs. Michigan – Home team is 0-1, but Nebraska is 1-1 (0-0 at Nebraska). – Toss up

at Michigan State – Road team is 0-1, but Nebraska is 2-0 (0-0 at Michigan State). – Slight lean Michigan State

vs. Penn State – Home team is 2-1, Nebraska is 2-1 (1-1 at Penn State). – Lean Nebraska

vs. Minnesota – Home team is 0-1, but Nebraska is 1-0 (0-0 at Nebraska). – Strong lean Nebraska

at Iowa – Road team is 1-2, but Nebraska is 3-0 (1-0 at Iowa). – Toss up


Verdict: Nebraska suffered a pair of blowout losses last season, at the hands of Michigan and Wisconsin. Don’t expect that this season as both are at home. The Huskers could end up beating both Michigan and Michigan State and not winning the Legends Division, largely because of their tough road schedule. Hold off on the Huskers until after the first two weeks, or at least one week. Unfortunately, that could mean a lower payout if they win those games.



(6) Northwestern Wildcats – +1500/+4000


Schedule analysis: The Wildcat avoid both Wisconsin and Ohio State out of the Leaders Division. On the downside, they face Michigan and Michigan State on the road. The front part of the schedule is very forgiving, but one the Wildcats hit late October, things could be very tough.


vs. Indiana – Home team is 8-3, Northwestern is 8-3 (5-0 at Northwestern). – Lean Northwestern

at Penn State – Home team is 5-6, Northwestern is 2-9 (1-4 at Penn State). – Toss up

at Minnesota – Road team is 6-5, Northwestern is 6-5 (3-2 at Minnesota). – Toss up

vs. Nebraska – Home team is 0-1, but Northwestern is 1-1 (0-0 at Northwestern). – Lean Nebraska

vs. Iowa – Home team is 8-5, but Northwestern is 7-6 (4-2 at Northwestern). – Toss up

at Michigan – Road team is 6-5, but Northwestern is 2-9 (1-4 at Michigan). – Lean Michigan

at Michigan State – Road team is 8-5, but Northwestern is 5-8 (3-3 at Michigan State). – Lean Michigan State

vs. Illinois – Home team is 7-8, but Northwestern is 8-7 (4-3 at Northwestern). – Toss up

Verdict: Northwestern is the one team I have no real read on. For that reason alone, I would stay away from the Wildcats. Their schedule overall is pretty favorable though, despite games at Michigan and Michigan State. Home games against Nebraska and Iowa help. I talked about the high risk-high reward associated with Minnesota. The Wildcats are a bit lower risk, but a bit lower reward ($5 bet wins $75 if the ‘Cats win the division, the same bet wins $200 if they win the conference). A token amount on the Wildcats may not be a bad idea, if you feel so inclined.



(Toss up = 50% chance; Slight lean = 51-67% ; Lean = 68-84%; Strong lean = 85%-100%)


What are your thoughts on the Big Ten Legends Division and the Big Ten Championship odds? Tweet to us @BVTSB.

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