Big 10 Tournament Preview: Penn State Looking To Defy 14-1 Odds To Win

Written By Nathan Frederick on March 11, 2020 - Last Updated on March 12, 2020
Penn State long shot to win Big 10 conference tournament

Editor’s Note: The Big Ten Conference on Thursday announced it had cancelled the remainder of the Big 10 Tournament.

It’s anyone’s game.

Okay, maybe the Big 10 has a few favorites, but the way the season has gone, a number of teams could surprise.

Case in point, the tournament favorite Michigan State (+320), which tied for the regular season title, still had six losses in conference play. And Wisconsin (+450), the tournament’s top seed, is third in terms of futures odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.

So perhaps a bet on Penn State, which has 14-1 odds at FanDuel, is not entirely unreasonable. It seems it’s almost anyone’s game.

Here’s a quick rundown of the Big Ten Tournament and all the related PA sports betting odds heading into Wednesday’s tip-off at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Penn State pricing varies across PA sportsbooks

Penn State enters the Big Ten Tournament as a No. 6 seed with its spot in the NCAA Tournament seemingly safe. The Nittany Lions will take the court for the first time on Thursday, facing the winner of Nebraska and Indiana in the late game.

PSU is +800 at DraftKings Sportsbook, +1000 over at FOX Bet, and +1400 on FanDuel.

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Indiana fighting to get off the NCAA tourney bubble

The first games in the Big Ten Tournament tip off on Wednesday, starting with Northwestern (200-1) vs. Minnesota (65-1) at 6 p.m. on the Big Ten Network. Both of those teams are expected to be out of the NCAA Tournament.

But Wednesday’s nightcap at 8 p.m. features Nebraska (200-1) vs. Indiana (45-1), which is currently one of the last four teams in the NCAA Tournament according to Joe Lunardi‘s ESPN Bracketology.

The Hoosiers could move away from the bubble with some big wins in Indianapolis. But an early loss might knock them out of the bracket.

Thursday’s games feature big name programs

The Big 10 action starts even earlier on Thursday, with No. 9 Michigan (10-1 odds) taking on No. 8 Rutgers (28-1 odds) at noon.

No. 5 Iowa (11-1 odds) plays the winner of Northwestern and Minnesota after that.

Then at 6:30 p.m, No. 11 Purdue (36-1 odds) takes on No. 7 Ohio State (9-1 odds), which has played well in recent weeks. The Buckeyes got beat up by Michigan State in a loss last Sunday, but have gone 7-3 in their last 10 games.

If Ohio State wins its first round game, the Buckeyes will earn a rematch with the tournament favorite Spartans on Friday.

Top seeds tip off Friday

Finally, on Friday, the Big Ten tournament’s top seeds take the court. No. 1 seed Wisconsin plays at noon against the winner of Michigan and Rutgers.

At press time, the Badgers have slightly different futures odds across PA betting apps, returning +450 at FanDuel, +400 at DraftKings, and +600 at FOX Bet.

Upstart Illinois offers good return on futures odds

No. 4 seed Illinois, which had a bounce-back season in the Big Ten, follows next on Friday, facing the winner of Iowa’s game. The Illini are +1100 on FanDuel, +900 at FOX Bet, and +1400 on DraftKings.

Once again, with prices varying across PA’s sportsbooks, bettors would be wise to search a few different sites to obtain the best odds.

Michigan State, Maryland tip off late Friday

As mentioned previously, Michigan State takes on the winner of Ohio State/Purdue on Friday. The No. 2 seed Spartans begin their tournament play at 6:30 p.m. They are +320 on FanDuel and FOX Bet and +350 at DraftKings.

Maryland, which tied Wisconsin and Michigan State for a share of the Big Ten regular season title,  takes the court in the final game on Friday night. The Terrapins will face the winner of Penn State’s game on Thursday night. Maryland’s pricing across the industry ranges from +350 on DraftKings to +400 on FanDuel and +450 at FOX Bet.

In general, odds seem somewhat volatile for the Big Ten Tournament, so bettors may want to check their favorite sportsbook frequently for pricing changes.

CBS will televise Saturday and Sunday’s action

The early rounds of the tournament will be broadcast on the Big Ten network, but Saturday and Sunday’s action shifts to CBS. The semifinals begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday’s final tips off at 3:30 p.m.

Throughout the season, the Big 10 has been considered one of college basketball’s most balanced conferences. Almost any team could win on any given night. And that should make for an exciting tournament.

It’s anyone’s game.

Nathan Frederick Avatar
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Nathan Frederick

Nathan Frederick is an award-winning writer with more than 1,000 published bylines and two decades of journalism experience. His work has won awards from the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Journalists, the Keystone Press Association, and the Associated Press Sports Editors. He has also authored three books, one of which debuted as an Amazon No. 1 New Release.

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