Ohio State is arguably the best team in the country, and six Big Ten schools finished last season ranked inside the top 20. Whether fans in the South want to admit it or not, the Big Ten is sneaking up on the SEC as the most complete conference in college football.
The Buckeyes appear to be the best team of the bunch heading into 2020, but don’t tell that to Paul Chryst and the boys in Madison.
I promise you the football players in Ann Arbor and the men inside James Franklin’s locker room are far from convinced that Ohio State already has this conference wrapped up.
How do you envision things panning out?
Here come my Big Ten Conference football predictions.
Big Ten Winner – Odds for 2020
Ohio State -125
Penn State +500
Taking everything into account, I was expecting to see Ohio State in the -200 range when it came to the Big Ten football odds in 2020. Seeing Ryan Day and company hanging out at -125 to scoop the Big Ten had me perked up.
If you are wondering why Michigan State was left off the Big Ten odds above, that was by design. The Spartans are +15000 to emerge as the Big Ten champs — a far cry from what I would call a legitimate contender. It’s the same reason Illinois, Maryland, and Rutgers aren’t highlighted either.
In terms of genuine challengers to the squad from Columbus, three teams come mind. As far as betting on who wins the Big Ten in 2020 goes, there’s only one logical place to start.
Ohio State Buckeyes
2019 Record: 13-1 (Lost in Fiesta Bowl)
Best Player: Justin Fields, QB
Justin Fields’ stock is rising fast. Installed as a co-favorite when the 2020 Heisman Trophy odds were originally released, the Ohio State quarterback has now surged to the top of the betting sheet. Considering the dude accounted for 51 touchdowns as a sophomore and is surrounded by a plethora of weapons, should we really be that surprised?
Shaun Wade could be the first defensive back plucked off the board in the 2021 NFL Draft, and the Buckeyes are coming off a year in which they sported an unimaginable 33.1 point differential. The most noticeable thing about Ohio State’s odds to win the Big Ten is that they aren’t a bit steeper.
Laying just -125 that the “Scarlet and Gray” capture this conference for the fourth straight year — I’d call that a bargain.
2019 Record: 10-4 (Lost in the Rose Bowl)
Best Player: Cole Van Lanen, OT
The Badgers lost Jonathan Taylor to the NFL but will have no problem pounding the rock in 2020. No matter who is carrying the football in Madison, left tackle Cole Van Lanen will continue paving the way by overpowering his competition.
Beating up on the bottom dwellers in the Big Ten won’t be an issue, but going toe-to-toe with the top dogs is another story.
Traveling to Michigan and expecting to win a road game at one of the best college football stadiums in America will be an arduous task, not to mention Wisconsin hosts Notre Dame in early October and faces Iowa at Kinnick Stadium to close out the regular season.
All in all, the Badgers have a tough road ahead trying to get to double-digit victories. Betting the under (9.5 wins) on Wisconsin’s win total has all sorts of merit.
Penn State Nittany Lions
2019 Record: 11-2 (Won the Cotton Bowl)
Best Player: Micah Parsons, LB
Penn State QB Sean Clifford is returning after gaining a wealth of experience as a sophomore. Journey Brown is the next great running back the public is yet to hear about, and you won’t find many college linebackers more dependable than Micah Parsons.
When contemplating Big Ten football predictions and wondering where Penn State fits into the equation, there’s no doubt they’re right in the thick of it.
Perhaps the best thing the Nittany Lions have going for them in 2020 is the fact that their matchup against the Buckeyes takes place at Beaver Stadium. A victory over Ohio State combined with road wins at Virginia Tech and Michigan, and suddenly, James Franklin’s group will have built up quite the resume.
2019 Record: 9-4 (Lost in the Citrus Bowl)
Best Player: Jalen Mayfield, OT
Who cares about the season opener at Washington or the home games versus Wisconsin and Penn State on back-to-back Saturdays? Who cares if it’s Dylan McCaffrey or Joe Milton who takes over for the departed Shea Patterson?
Seriously, does anything really matter in Ann Arbor besides beating the Buckeyes?
Circle your calendar for November 28th — the day that Michigan battles Ohio State at Ohio Stadium. Playing as the final regular-season Big Ten game for both the Wolverines and the Buckeyes, this will undoubtedly be one of the five biggest games in the 2020 college football season.
Whatever John Harbaugh doesn’t accomplish in the upcoming year, it will all be forgiven if he can stump Ohio State two days after Thanksgiving.
Big Ten Sleepers in 2020
The Gophers won 11 games in 2019. Iowa finished as a top-15 team, and Nebraska is starving for a major turnaround under the direction of Scott Frost.
It’s unlikely that any of these schools contend with Ohio State for the Big Ten title in 2020, but I’ll agree that their futures odds are quite tantalizing. At least enough to qualify them as sincere Big Ten sleepers.
Those looking for a Heisman Trophy sleeper in 2020, Purdue’s Rondale Moore is one of the most gifted wideouts we’ve seen in a while. Between speed, route-running ability, and reliable hands, Moore checks all the boxes.
Who Will Win the Big Ten in 2020?
After watching Ryan Day and his crew steamroll past their opponents week after week in 2019, feel free to bet against OSU when you make your Big Ten football prediction for 2020.
I just can’t bring myself to bet on anyone winning the Big Ten other than the Buckeyes.
Ohio State was third in the country in points allowed and fourth in points scored. Day made sure that a top-5 recruiting class will be arriving in Columbus, and Justin Fields is the Heisman Trophy favorite.
think we’ve covered our bases as to why it makes sense to bet on Ohio State winning the Big Ten.
As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.
Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.