Juwan Howard and the Michigan Wolverines aren’t off to the best start season, sitting at 6-4 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten Conference after losing to Minnesota at home last weekend as 14.5-point favorites. The team hasn’t lived up to its full potential, despite having highly-regarded players across the starting lineup and on the bench.
Despite all that, the oddsmakers still believe in the Wolverines to bounce back and have a shot at winning the conference. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Wolverines have +350 odds to win the Big Ten, good for the second-best odds. Purdue is currently the favorite at +150. Right behind Michigan is Ohio State at +600, Michigan State at +700 and Illinois at +800. Nebraska and Minnesota are tied for last with +15000.
DraftKings is also giving Michigan a fair shot at making the Final Four, with the Wolverines currently sitting at +425 odds. Above them in that category are Gonzaga (+100), Duke (+180), Purdue (+180), Kansas (+300), UCLA (+350), Villanova (+350) and Baylor (+380). Texas also has +425 odds.
As for the NCAA Championship, Michigan sits at +2000 odds, tied with Alabama, Kentucky and Texas. Gonzaga leads the pack at +500, followed by Purdue (+750), Duke (+800), Kansas (+1200), UCLA (+1400), Villanova (+1400) and Baylor (+1800).
With the way the team is playing as of right now, I don’t think I would take any of those odds. The Wolverines have only covered a couple occasions this season, so I wouldn’t be comfortable putting money down on a future bet like that. Hell, I wouldn’t be too surprised if later this season they were on the bubble to even make the NCAA Tournament.
At this very moment, as much as it pains me to say it, if I were to put any money down on a Big Ten winner, I would throw some cash on Ohio State to win it. The Buckeyes have a solid mix of veterans and youth, lead by E.J. Liddell, and have taken down a No. 1 team in the country already this season in Duke. Part of my answer for this may be due to the fact I love putting some money down on emotional hedge bets, but part of the answer is because they look the part and have been among the more consistent teams in the conference so far.
As for the NCAA Tournament, I would put some money on Kansas winning it all. The Jayhawks have looked like a complete team up to this point and their lone loss was by a single point to Dayton on a buzzer-beater. Purdue knows a thing or two about that, and the Boilermakers would probably be one of my next teams to put money on winning the Big Ten and winning the whole thing. I really like what Matt Painter has done with his team and he’s got them playing really solid basketball this year so far.
What say you? Would you put down a bet on Michigan to win the conference? To make it to the Final Four? Win the championship? Let us know!