Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:54 AM

2020 Big Ten Tournament Odds, Preview and Picks - Maryland and Michigan State made favorites

Maryland and Michigan State Installed as the Favorites in the Big Ten Tournament

The Big Ten has been the best conference in college basketball this season. Joe Lunardi is currently projecting 10 of the conference’s 14 teams into the NCAA Tournament, and they will certainly secure more at-large bids than any other conference. ESPN’s foremost bracketologist has nine of those teams being comfortably in the field of 68 with Indiana being the biggest question mark.

These teams beat up on one another all season, and they will have one final chance to get a leg up on their conference rivals this week before March Madness starts in earnest. More than half the schools finished with a conference record between 11-9 and 14-6, so these teams seem to be very evenly matched going into Indianapolis.

2020 Big Ten Tournament Odds at FanDuel

Maryland +300
Michigan State +350
Wisconsin +440
Michigan +950
Ohio State +950
Iowa +1100
Illinois +1300
Penn State +1400
Purdue +3600
Indiana +4900
Minnesota +6500
Nebraska +15000
Northwestern +15000
(Rutgers excluded)

Odds provided by FanDuel (IN, NJ, PA & WV only)
Subject to Change - T&C's Apply, 21+

2020 Big Ten Tournament Odds Overview

Maryland, Michigan State, and Wisconsin are the favorites to win the tournament and claim the Big Ten’s automatic bid per the Big Ten betting odds at FanDuel. All three teams earned a share of the conference title in the regular season with a record of 14-6, and there is a clear gap between these programs and everyone else in the eyes of the oddsmakers.

The best nine teams in the Big Ten are all being given somewhat of a chance to win the tournament, but there is a major gap between Penn State and Purdue.

The Favorites

The top four teams in the Big Ten earn a double bye into the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. That works out nicely for Maryland, Michigan State, and Wisconsin, as they don’t have to play until Friday and will be facing an opponent that played on Thursday.

Maryland will likely face Penn State, but there’s an outside chance that the Terrapins take on either Indiana or Nebraska. The latter teams would be ideal as that would be the third game in three days for either the Hoosiers or the Cornhuskers, but the Terps will be favored either way. The Terrapins are mostly well-balanced, but they are only hitting 31.1 percent of their threes collectively, and they have lost three of their last five games coming into the tournament.

At the start of the season, the No. 1 team in the nation was Michigan State. The Spartans were shaky for the vast majority of this year’s campaign, but they seemed to figure it out over the last two weeks and won five straight games to clinch a share of the Big Ten. Cassius Winston is knocking down 43.2 percent of his threes, and Xavier Tillman and Aaron Henry are both big men that can ball in the low post. This team is peaking at just the right time, and Michigan State shouldn’t have trouble with either Ohio State or Purdue in the quarters.

The Badgers were squarely on the bubble last month, but eight straight wins against Big Ten foes punched Wisconsin’s ticket to March Madness and gave the program a share of a conference championship. They are back to playing the stingy Wisconsin defense of old, especially in the paint, and their depth will help them in a tournament where the best teams must win three games in three days.

Other Contenders

Despite earning a double bye, Illinois is seen as an also-ran in the Big Ten race at 13/1. The Fighting Illini might be an underdog per the CBB betting odds against Iowa on Friday (assuming the Hawkeyes aren’t upset by either Minnesota or Northwestern), and they were somewhat fortunate to finish fourth thanks to a 5-2 conference record in one-possession games.

There is considerable value in Ohio State at almost 10/1 to win the Big Ten Tournament. The Buckeyes are rated the eighth-best team in the country per Ken Pomeroy’s ratings, and Michigan State is the only school rated ahead of OSU. This team is superb in most phases of the game, and the Buckeyes are a great bet if you aren’t a believer in the Spartans.

Michigan is the other team with nice value despite a 19-12 record in the regular season. The Wolverines are a veteran squad with four upperclassmen in the starting lineup, and that will bode well in a tournament with such a quick turnaround like the Big 12 Tournament.

2020 Big Ten Tournament Free Picks
Michigan State +350; Ohio State +950; Michigan +950

Odds provided by FanDuel (IN, NJ, PA & WV only)
Subject to Change - T&C's Apply, 21+

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