Now that the nonconference season has wrapped up for Michigan and Michigan State, both teams turn their attention to Big Ten Conference play in Week 4.
Nearly a month into the season, the outlook of the conference hasn’t shifted too much. Now, with B1G games getting into full swing, we will start to see some changes week to week.
Where are the Wolverines and the Spartans sitting in the conference outlook according to Michigan sportsbooks?
Do either present promising value for Michigan sports bettors?
Current Big Ten Odds
Six teams in the conference have played a single conference game thus far. However, none have been terribly Earth shattering when it comes to impacting the futures market.
Ohio State still remains the favorite across the board with varying odds. Michigan is a clear second in the odds race, while Michigan State has turned into more of a distant longshot.
The Buckeyes are No. 3 in both College Football Rankings polls. Michigan sits at No. 4 in both. Penn State is the only other Big Ten team ranked in both polls. MSU is No. 21 in the current Coaches poll.
Value in Michigan football Big Ten odds
Michigan is coming off a dominant non-conference season. The Wolverines are 3-0, outscoring opponents by a total score of 166-17. Problem is, U-M football hasn’t truly played anyone of note.
The Wolverines’ three opponents in Colorado State, Hawaii and UConn all find themselves in ESPN’s Bottom 10.
We don’t really know what Michigan has to offer in a tough game yet. However, we may not have to for a while.
Michigan’s conference schedule is very favorable. It includes five home games. Both Penn State and MSU will have to come to Ann Arbor.
Road games include Iowa, Indiana and Rutgers. None of which have been overly impressive in 2022.
Michigan’s Big Ten championship hopes could likely rest solely on its trip to Ohio State on Nov. 26. For that reason, Michigan’s odds in the Big Ten seem to have some good value.
The Buckeyes own a win over Notre Dame, which was No. 5 at the time, but now is unranked. It’s unclear just what Ohio State is right now, as well.
Michigan State flying under the radar
Michigan State’s odds would probably be a little stronger had it not lost 39-28 at Washington last week.
The Spartans’ pass defense gave up 397 yards to the Huskies and looked overmatched from the start.
Despite the loss, MSU still controls its own fate in the Big Ten as play begins this week with Minnesota.
Unlike Michigan, MSU has a pretty challenging schedule. The first half of the season will really tell us where the Spartans are at.
- Sept. 24: vs. Minnesota
- Oct. 1: at Maryland
- Oct. 8: vs. Ohio State
- Oct. 15: vs. Wisconsin
- Oct. 29: at Michigan
Does it seem likely the Spartans will make it through these five games unscathed? No. But, MSU has shocked the Wolverines in recent years and owns some memorable wins over Ohio State as well.
As such a longshot, the odds will only improve with each win. MSU may not have better value than right now.
What the public thinks
Nationally, the public betting is going with the favorites right now in the Big Ten.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook MI, Ohio State is getting 84.2% of the handle and 77.5% of the wagers to win the Big Ten title this season.
Michigan is a distant second with 12.5% of the bets and just under 8% of the handle. MSU is next with 2.5% of the wagers and 2.3% of the handle.
Locally, in-state bettors are a little more behind the Spartans and Wolverines.
According to BetMGM Michigan, Michigan is the most-bet on for the Big Ten title in the state. The Wolverines are getting 35.7% of the handle and 32.8% of the wagers in the market. MSU sits second in tickets at 29.6% and third in handle at 18.9%.
BetMGM has Michigan State as its biggest liability to win the Big Ten right now, followed by Michigan and then Penn State.
What’s ahead for the Big Ten in Week 4
Week 4 of the college football season has some intriguing Big Ten matchups on its schedule.
- Maryland at No. 4 Michigan, Noon (FOX)
- Minnesota at Michigan State, 3:30 p.m. (BTN)
- Wisconsin at No. 3 Ohio State, 7:30 p.m. (ABC)
Both Michigan and Ohio State find themselves as more than 2-touchdown favorites right now, while MSU is actually a slight underdog at home.
The Wolverines will have to contend with a Maryland offense that should provide the U-M defense with its toughest test yet. The Terrapins rank 19th nationally in total offense (502 ypg) and passing yards (311.7 ypg).
After getting beat in the air last weekend, MSU will be tested heavily on the ground against Minnesota. The Gophers are second in the nation in rushing yards (312.7 ypg). Minnesota’s defense also has allowed the second-fewest yards in the country (170.3 pg).
Ohio State will put its nation-leading offense (565.3 ypg) up against a Wisconsin defense that is 11th in yards allowed (246 ypg).