The college basketball season is reaching its peak.
And for many Hoosiers that peak begins Wednesday, at the outset of the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis.
The best conference in college basketball, the Big Ten sports a field rife with talent and veteran leadership, from Iowa star Luka Garza to a loaded Michigan roster.
That means Big Ten bettors are in for a challenging week wagering on what could be the conference’s best-ever collection of teams. The favorites, some of the best in the nation, are enticing. But so is the value of the conference’s skilled underdogs.
Here is where each of them stands heading into Wednesday’s tip-off.
Michigan is the Big Ten betting favorite
Each of the conference’s top-half teams has a case to make for why they deserve a tournament-winner bet.
Unfortunately for many in Indiana, that group does not include the crashing-and-burning IU squad, fresh off a catastrophic offensive performance in West Lafayette.
On the other end, Michigan enters the tournament with just three losses and the conference’s regular-season title. It’s enough to make them significant tournament favorites.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t questions.
Michigan’s last two losses included a blowout versus Illinois and a surprising defeat versus rival Michigan State on Sunday.
Iowa, meanwhile, has the conference’s best player in Garza, while Purdue rides in on a five-game winning streak over conference opponents.
Similar makeups exist on teams like Ohio State – a top-10 team on a four-game losing streak – and at times Wisconsin, making this year’s tournament up for grabs.
The strength of the Big Ten is highlighted at the top of its tournament odds (via DraftKings):
- Michigan: +175
- Illinois: +320
- Iowa: +425
- Purdue: +500
- Ohio State: +685
Other notable programs’ odds include Wisconsin at +1100, Michigan State +5000, and IU at +10000.
Where will Big Ten teams be seeded for March Madness?
Bookmakers expect the Big Ten’s top two teams to both earn one seeds in the NCAA tournament.
Seeding-odds on DraftKings place both Baylor and Gonzaga at -10000 to earn a one seed. Michigan sits at similar odds.
Fourth on the list is Illinois at -286, a position owed in part to its recent blowout win against Michigan.
That means that as long as the Illini avoid an early flame-out in the Big Ten tournament, the school should expect to earn the tournament’s final number-one seed. On their heels, however, are Ohio State (+550 to earn a one seed) and Iowa (+650).
The over/under on Iowa’s seed, meanwhile, has been set at 2.5, with +300 on the over and -420 on the under. Purdue and its 7-4 freshman center Zach Edey are getting the same odds on its over/under of 4.5.
DK Mystery Box leads the way on Big Ten betting promos
DraftKings is offering users a College Basketball Mystery Box to use this week.
Here is what you need to do:
- Opt-in to the Mystery Box promotion
- Check your bell notifications or ‘My Rewards’ page for details on what you were awarded
- Put to use your boost of 20%, 50%, 100%, or 200%
Importantly, be sure you have selected the profit boost from your bet slip before placing the bet.
DraftKings is also giving all users a 25% profit boost of any three-plus leg conference tournament parlay.
Each leg must be -500 or longer; the maximum bet is $50.
Other top Indiana sportsbooks release promos
FanDuel is offering college basketball parlay insurance.
Bettors can place a five-plus-leg parlay and receive up to $25 in site credit back if just one leg loses. All legs must have odds of at least -200.
PointsBet is boosting Purdue from +500 to +550 to win the Big Ten tournament. If you like what you have seen from Purdue this season, this odds boost might be for you.
BetRivers is giving bettors $5 in free bets for the NCAA tournament for every $50 in real money they bet on college basketball through Sunday.
Users can earn a maximum $250 in free bets to use on March Madness.
Be sure to keep an eye on all Indiana sportsbooks as the week progresses. More deals will be introduced throughout March.