The Wait Is Finally Over, Big Ten Football Begins This Weekend

Posted on October 22, 2020

Big Ten football is here!

The conference’s presidents unanimously voted to play an eight-game schedule this year. That reversed their original decision to cancel the season altogether back in August.

Wisconsin’s Friday night home game against Illinois will be the first Big Ten game of the season.

With another six games taking place on Saturday, Big Ten fans will have plenty of betting options for their favorite teams.

Illinois at Wisconsin odds

Odds shoppers, we’ve got you covered. Just a heads up, SugarHouse is New Jersey’s equivalent of BetRivers.

Here’s a look at the live odds for the Big Ten’s opening game:

[odds-feed game=11194 sportsbooks=DraftKings,FanDuel,PointsBet,SugarHouseNJ,UnibetNJ styling=small odds=moneyline]

Right now, Wisconsin is the huge moneyline favorite. The line varies from sportsbook to sportsbook, but Wisconsin opened as the big time -1,430 favorite at DraftKings.

No surprise here, but No. 14-ranked Wisconsin is also the heavy favorite when it comes to the game’s spread. The line might fluctuate a bit as we get closer to game day, but the Badgers opened as -19.5 favorites.

Over/under bettors, this one isn’t expected to be a particularly high-scoring bout. Most of Indiana’s sportsbooks originally had the point total set at 52.

Penn State at Indiana odds

Calling all IU fans!

Big Ten heavyweight Penn State will travel to Bloomington this Saturday to open its season.

Penn State managed to crack the top 10 in this week’s AP Top 25 Poll. The No. 8 Nittany Lions started as the -250 favorites according to FanDuel.

[odds-feed game=11498 sportsbooks=DraftKings,FanDuel,PointsBet,SugarHouseNJ,UnibetNJ styling=small odds=moneyline]

The spread for IU’s first game has been hovering around a touchdown since the line opened. The Hoosiers started the week as the +6.5 underdogs.

FanDuel first set the IU-Penn State point total at 57.5. For the sake of comparison, both teams combined for 61 points in their 2019 meeting.

Iowa at Purdue odds

Boiler up!

Purdue football is back, and the Boilermakers are kicking things off with a home game against the Iowa Hawkeyes. That’ll be the first chance for fans in West Lafayette to check out the new renovations to Ross-Ade Stadium.

Purdue was originally the +150 underdog at PointsBet Sportsbook.

[odds-feed game=11496 sportsbooks=DraftKings,FanDuel,PointsBet,SugarHouseNJ,UnibetNJ styling=small odds=moneyline]

Iowa by at least a field goal. Or at least, that’s what most sportsbooks were thinking when the Hawkeyes spread opened at -3.5.

Originally, the Boilermakers and Hawkeyes were expected to combine for 53 points at first. That line has since slightly moved to 51.5 for over/under bettors.

Rutgers at Michigan State odds

The Rutgers-Michigan State game is the earliest Big Ten game taking place on Saturday. It’ll be kicking off at noon along with the Nebraska-Ohio State matchup.

The Spartans are 8-3 all-time in their games against Rutgers, and have won the last six meetings between the two.

BetMGM originally had Michigan State as the heavy -650 favorite for the game.

MoneylineSpreadOver/Under Total
DraftKingsMSU -560, RUT +400MSU -12, RUT +12O/U 48.5
FanDuelMSU -750, RUT+490MSU -13.5, RUT +13.5O/U 44.5
BetMGMMSU -600, RUT+450MSU -13.5, RUT +13.5O/U 44.5
PointsBetMSU -530, RUT +390MSU -13.5, RUT +13.5O/U 44.5
BetRiversMSU -650, RUT +400MSU -12, RUT +12O/U 44.5
UnibetMSU -560, RUT +400MSU -12, RUT +12O/U 44.5
CaesarsMSU -500, RUT +400MSU -13.5, RUT +13.5O/U 44.5
BetAmericaMSU -530, RUT +385MSU -13, RUT +13O/U 45
theScore BetMSU -575, RUT +425MSU -13, RUT +13O/U 44

At first, Michigan State’s -14.5 spread had the Spartans favored to win by over two touchdowns. Since then, the line has already taken a dip down to -13.5.

With the point total set at 46.5, this isn’t expected to be a particularly high-scoring game.

Nebraska at Ohio State odds

This game might not feature any Indiana teams, but plenty of Hoosiers will still be watching.

Ohio State has a huge fan base in Indiana, and plenty of those fans will be watching and betting on the game.

At least for now, No. 5 Ohio State is the huge -5,000 moneyline favorite.

[odds-feed game=11495 sportsbooks=DraftKings,FanDuel,SugarHouseNJ,UnibetNJ styling=small odds=moneyline]

Sportsbooks are expecting the Nebraska defense to roll over, so DraftKings has Ohio State’s spread at -26.5.

Expect Ohio State to put some points up on the board, the total for over/under bettors is sitting at 67.5.

Michigan at Minnesota odds

Michigan is heading to Minnesota’s territory for a Saturday night face off.

That 7:30 p.m. game is the only Big Ten matchup of the week that features a pair of Top 25 teams going head-to head. Michigan is currently the No. 18 team in the country, with Minnesota a few spots behind at No. 21.

Most sportsbooks had the Wolverines as the slight -155 favorites at first.

This game is expected to be a close one, so that line might move closer to even as we approach game day.

[odds-feed game=11494 sportsbooks=DraftKings,FanDuel,PointsBet,SugarHouseNJ,UnibetNJ styling=small odds=moneyline]

With Michigan as the -3.5 favorite and the point total originally set at 55.5, this should end up being a fun game regardless of which side you’re betting on.

Maryland at Northwestern odds

This Saturday night’s other Big Ten matchup is Maryland vs. Northwestern.

Northwestern is expected to come out on top of this one fairly easily.

The Wildcats opened as -11.5 favorites at Unibet.

[odds-feed game=11497 sportsbooks=DraftKings,FanDuel,PointsBet,SugarHouseNJ,UnibetNJ styling=small odds=moneyline]

This game will round out the Big Ten action for the week, but there will be plenty left throughout the shortened season.

Photo by Associated Press
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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a US Gambling Industry Analyst for Catena Media. He specializes in Midwest sports betting and casino content. Prior to covering the legal gambling industry, he spent time as a professional sports writer, reporting on teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. Garza is currently working as a Managing Editor for PlayIndiana and PlayOhio, with previous stops at other well-known brands such as PlayIllinois and PlayMichigan. He has been covering the gambling industry since 2019, and currently works with a team of other journalists to provide comprehensive coverage of the legal U.S. gambling industry.

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