Last week, betMGM (New Jersey) updated their Big Ten West odds for 2020. For whatever reason, the Scott Frost (over)hype train is still going strong, Purdue still paid way too much for Brohm and everyone is still sleeping on Minnesota.
Odds will likely move again, before the season kicks off. Oddsmakers still haven’t learned from last year, when they picked the Gophers to finish 6th in the West. After going 11-2 and coming one win over Iowa OR Wisconsin away from winning the division last year, Vegas shows that the disrespect for Minnesota continues to run deep.
The Big Ten East has absolutely dominated in Indianapolis recently, winning the past seven title games. The West seems to be up for grabs this year, after Wisconsin lost Jonathan Taylor to the draft and many others to graduation. So, which team will bring the title back west? Let’s break down what Vegas thinks.
|Big Ten West||Odds to Win (MGM)|
Of course it’s Minnesota. Are you kidding me? A $100 bet pays $550… We’re talking long-shot odds on a team returns weapons Rashad Bateman, Mohamad Ibrahim and Heisman favorite, Tanner Morgan? In the trenches, the Gophers also return five starters on the Offensive line.
The gophers schedule is also extremely favorable because it lacks Ohio State and Penn State. The Iowa and Michigan games are both at home, which could be massive (coronavirus pending). Meanwhile, Wisconsin has a trip to the Big House and Iowa has to play Penn State and Ohio State on the road.
There is no other choice other than Nebraska +325.
We’re talking about a team that lost to Purdue’s backup QB last year, missed a bowl game (is that possible these days?), AND had an elite offensive weapon enter the transfer portal. Their head coach also despises hooded sweatshirts.
Yet, Vegas says Nebraska still has 3rd-best odds to win the West, at +325. The oddsmakers were clearly impressed with wins over South Alabama, Northern Illinois and that close loss to Purdue. Oh, and don’t forget their brutal schedule in November. The line should be more like +800 at best for the Huskers… but I still wouldn’t take it.
Happy New Year!— Sam McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) January 1, 2020
The 2020 Nebraska football schedule:
Sept. 5 Purdue
Sept. 12 Central Michigan
Sept. 19 SDSU
Sept. 26 Cincinnati
Oct. 3 at NW
Oct. 10 Illinois
Oct. 24 at Rutgers
Oct. 31 at Ohio St.
Nov. 7 Penn St.
Nov. 14 at Iowa
Nov. 21 at Wisconsin
Nov. 27 Minnesota pic.twitter.com/xkhrdpFOcx
National experts would put Minnesota as their sleeper here, but we didn’t sleep on the Gophers last year and we won’t this year, either. Finding a legit sleeper in this group is tough. Northwestern is rolling in with IU transfer Peyton Ramsey at QB, a new OC and some optimism.
Illinois has momentum, after their first bowl game since 2014… but PJ Fleck keeps swiping all Lovie’s best in-state recruits, and Purdue…. well, never mind. Purdue beat Ohio State at home once in 2018, then they paid Brohm a ton of money… and they haven’t done anything since.
I guess, we’ll take Illinois and the momentum at +3000. Maybe Brandon Peters can finally be the reliable QB Jim Harbaugh thought he could be at Michigan (probably not). Maybe the Illini defense will continue to progress (probably not). Really, it’s a 3-horse race between Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota.
While the oddsmakers are still sleeping, some national outlets that have already grabbed an oar. 247Sports recently put the Minnesota Gophers in their conversation for national title contenders..
GoldyLocks | Minnesota Sports Fan