Big 10 Tournament Odds - Two to Buy, One to Sell at BetRivers

By Mike Rose

pulling off the wire-to-wire job to secure bragging rights for the 25th time in program history. As such, it comes with no surprise to see Zach Edey and Co. installed near even money chalk at BetRivers Sportsbook to consummate what would go down in history as one of the more dominant showings in conference history. That being said, I’m going to fade the big man’s ability to be enough of a factor to help lead his team to the Big Ten tournament title. Many options are there to invest in with the conference rich with above average talent not likely to make much of an impact in the upcoming NCAA tournament. Don’t believe me? Well, only two teams rank out amongst the top-20 teams in the land per the current Pomeroy Ratings. Regardless, here’s two to buy and one to sell if looking to invest in the tourney futures odds – which I know you are!


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Bet-Rivers-Banner-Sep-29-2022-03-57-25-53-PM-3BUY: Penn State Nittany Lions +3000


If not for allowing a second-half offensive explosion by Rutgers back on February 26, Micah Shrewsberry’s Nittany Lions would invade the Windy City amidst a six-game win streak with the intent of forcing the selection committee to grant them an at-large invite to the Dance. Instead, Penn State will take to the United Center hardwood listed as one of Joe Lunardi’s “Last Four In” the NCAA tournament. As such, Jalen Pickett and his mates must show well in this tourney and I think their path is set up nicely to do just that.


Up first will be a 10/7 matchup against Illinois with the No. 10 seed Lions already sweeping the Fighting Illini in the regular season by way of lighting Terrence Shannon Jr. and his mates up from beyond the arc – PSU drained 24 of 52 shots! Up next would be a tough matchup against feel-good story Northwestern whom they recently took down 68-65 in overtime back on March 1. They did so even after turning it over 12 times to the Wildcats five and serving up 12 UNW 3-pointers! There will be no denying the Nittany Lions a seat at the table should the nation’s No. 12 ranked 3-point shooting team remain scorching hot over a four-day stretch!


BUY: Ohio State Buckeyes +9000


We’re banking on a clean slate here with a Buckeyes team that grossly failed to live up to preseason expectations. If you can believe it, Chris Holtmann’s kids entered the season (+950) lined just in back of the Purdue Boilermakers (+750) to win conference bragging rights. Their odds to win the Big Ten regular season title were already off the board the first week of February after managing a grand total of three wins through 11 tries. But even with Zed Key getting knocked out of commission at the tail end of February, Ohio State didn’t stop competing and closed the season on a high winning two of its final three against Illinois and Maryland at home before logging the cover in a hard-fought 84-78 loss at Michigan State.


There are things to like and dislike about this lottery ticket heading into this do-or-die showing. The Buckeyes possess one of the more efficient offenses in conference (No. 22). They do an exceptional job of protecting possession of the basketball (No. 51) and also hit the offensive glass (No. 62). On the flipside, OSU is allergic to forcing turnovers (No. 301) and hasn’t a clue about how to get to the charity stripe (No. 326). Even so, I like their path to the semis. They can topple offensively challenged Wisconsin, split with Iowa in a series they averaged 84.0 points per game, and would oppose Sparty looking to avoid dropping three straight to the Izzo’s. This flier on the Buckeyes would require Brice Sensabaugh to go HAM in his first B1G tourney appearance. I’m betting on the kid doing exactly just that!


SELL: Purdue Boilermakers +150


While I applaud the Boilers for coming out of the sh*t show that was the Big Ten 15-5 and being the only team to amass more than 21 overall wins, I’m wondering if the team is starting to run out of steam. The team invades Chi-Town just 4-4 SU and 3-5 against the college basketball odds in its last eight games. It also went 1-3 SU and a bankroll bursting 0-4 against the spread in its final four treks away from Mackey Arena.


Ball handling is a glaring weakness of the No. 1 seed (No. 102), and it’s potentially set to run up against Rutgers in the quarters with the Scarlet Knights clocking in as the best turnover defense in the B1G. Fingers crossed the Buckeyes match up with PU in the semis – OSU forced 25 turnovers in the pair of regular season meetings. Should Purdue ultimately find its way into the title game, I’ll fade the future Wooden Award winner’s stamina and see if he’s got enough in the tank to dominate over a three-day stretch.


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