Minnesota’s Bateman, Penn State’s Parsons, Purdue’s Moore Opt Out; Ohio State’s Big Ten Odds Improve to -230

Ohio State QB Justin Fields

Justin Fields and the Ohio State Buckeyes are favored to capture their fourth straight Big Ten Conference Championship. Photo from @PFF_College (Twitter).

  • Penn State, Minnesota, and Purdue all had key players opt out of the 2020-21 season yesterday
  • Preseason Big Ten favorite Ohio State is now even heavier chalk to win the conference for a fourth straight year
  • Hereโ€™s why the Buckeyes are still worth betting despite the -230 price tag

The Big Ten Conference has been hit hard by opt outs, but not the Ohio State Buckeyes. The favorites are still at full strength and have seen their Big Ten title odds improve from -125 all the way to -230.

2020 Big Ten Conference Title Odds

Player Odds at DraftKings
Ohio State -230
Penn State +400
Wisconsin +700
Michigan +1000
Iowa +2200
Minnesota +2500
Nebraska +2500
Indiana +3300
Illinois +8000
Michigan State +8000
Northwestern +8000
Purdue +8000
Maryland +10000
Rutgers OFF

Odds as of August 7th.

Ohio State is the class of the conference but are they worth betting at this price tag? For my money, itโ€™s a resounding yes and hereโ€™s why.

New Schedule Helps Ohio State

When the Big Ten conference decided to eliminate all non-conference games this year, it provided Ohio State a big boost. They would have been favored heading to Eugene, Oregon, to face the Ducks, but that would have been a tough test. Now, all the Buckeyes need to focus on is a conference slate that kicks off with Illinois, Rutgers, Purdue, and Indiana.

While a loss to Oregon would not have changed anything in the conference title chase, thereโ€™s no doubt an early-season defeat can change the outlook for a program.

Ohio State closes the season against Michigan, Maryland, Penn State, and Iowa. (Itโ€™s odd to see Michigan in the middle of the schedule, but hey, itโ€™s an odd season.) Expect head coach Ryan Day to have his team up to speed by the time the Wolverines head to Columbus in late October.

Four-Team College Football Playoff Odds Tracker

Top OSU Draft Prospects Remain Committed

Minnesota suffered a big loss when wide receiver Rashod Bateman opted out of the season, as did Purdue with Rondale Moore making the same choice. Penn State lost star linebacker Micah Parsons, a likely top-ten draft pick in 2021, for the same reason.

To date, the Buckeyes program has kept all of its stars on board and thatโ€™s very important. They have several top NFL draft prospects that could have opted to prepare for the next level. Instead, they appear ready to play this season. (Players have until August 14th to decide.)

Quarterback Justin Fields tops this list. With him running the offense, Ohio State will be favored to win every game this season. Fields accounted for 51 touchdowns last season and threw only three interceptions. Cornerback Shaun Wade and offensive linemen Wyatt Davis, Thayer Munford, and Josh Myers are other potential first round picks who opted to play this year.

Bet the Buckeyes Before the Odds Shift Again

Ohio State opened at #2 in the preseason poll and is expected by many to make a run at a second national championship in the College Football Playoff era. There doesnโ€™t appear to be another team in the conference on the same level as the Buckeyes, especially after the losses of Bateman and Parsons. (Letโ€™s be honest, Purdue wasnโ€™t a contender, Moore or no Moore.)

Assuming they stay healthy and the players remain committed, the conference championship is headed to Columbus for a fourth straight year.

PICK: Ohio State Buckeyes (-230)

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Ryan Bolta

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