Despite winning the Big Ten in 2021 and 2022, the Michigan Wolverines currently aren’t favorites to win the conference or their own division.
In the narrowest of margins on DraftKings Sportsbook, Ohio State are the favorites to win the Big Ten Championship and Big Ten East with the Wolverines with the second-best odds in both instances.
All odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
- Michigan’s odds of winning the Big Ten Championship are at +175 while Ohio State is at +170
- Michigan’s odds of winning the Big Ten East are at +120 while Ohio State is at +110.
- Penn State has the third-best odds of winning the Big Ten East at +450 and the Big Ten Championship at +550.
The odds are interesting in the sense that it’s Michigan who has a returning quarterback (J.J. McCarthy), and two returning lethal running backs (Blake Corum, Donovan Edwards). In fact, Michigan has some of the most returning production in all of college football.
Per ESPN.com back in February, Michigan ranks No. 5, returning 81 percent of its production, the fifth-most. Michigan returns 84 percent of their offensive production (fourth) and 78 percent of their defensive production (16th). The sky is the limit for a Michigan team with many players returning and the addition of an abundance of impactful transfer players such as linebacker Ernest Hausmann, cornerback Josh Wallace, center Drake Nugent, tight end AJ Banrner, edge rusher Josaiah Stewart, tackle LaDarius Henderson to name a few. In short, Michigan’s loaded.
Ohio State on the other hand ranked No. 48 in returning production in the same ESPN.com release in February with a rate of just 67% — this accounts for bringing back only 57% of their players on offense which ranked No. 97, and 77% of their defense which ranked No. 20. The Buckeyes bring back one of the most electric players in receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. but head coach Ryan Day has yet to name a starting QB between Devin Brown and Kyle McCord. McCord will likely get the nod as a former five-star recruit and high school teammate of Harrison Jr., but the fact of the matter is it’ll be hard to replace the production of C.J. Stroud, who was the No. 2 overall pick in April’s NFL Draft.
Then there’s the home-field advantage factor, which Michigan has this year as they host the Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium. The Big Ten East winner has come down to the Michigan-Ohio State game the past two years, and that could be the same case this November. Michigan fans will be rowdy for The Game.
Michigan will have challenging games on the road against Penn State and Michigan State, but their chances of winning the Big Ten are high. They’ll have to take care of business the whole season through, but beating the Buckeyes ultimately remains paramount.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.