College Football Conference Preview: Big Ten
As the calendar continues to move forward to August 27th when Northwestern and Nebraska will kick off the college football season abroad in Ireland, here at DRF we break down the Big Ten conference to give you the best bets possible.
FAVORITE: THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY (-230)
Ohio State has continued to win on the field, with a top-five recruiting class and their Rose Bowl comeback against Utah, and off the field with their trademark of the word “The.” Early Heisman favorite C.J. Stroud returns for the Buckeyes after a campaign that saw him throw for over 4,000 yards and only six interceptions. On the recruiting side, they landed a bevy of talented four star recruits and five star C.J. Hicks who is the number one left back and number seven prospect overall according to 247 Sports. With their potential Heisman quarterback under center, a top recruiting class, and more, it’s near impossible to bet against the Buckeyes for the upcoming year.
DARK HORSE: PENN STATE (+1200)
When a team like Ohio State is in your conference, odds of +1200 makes any team appear as a dark horse and a little bit of a long shot, but the Nittany Lions can surprise. The last two years have been difficult for Penn State, going a combined 11-11, but recent coaching changes with the hiring of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz can shake up a defense that gave up over 2300 rushing yards to opponents. The Nittany Lions also posted the sixth best recruiting class headlined by five star recruits Dani Dennis-Sutton, Nick Singleton, and Drew Allar. If their play can improve under center with quarterback Sean Clifford and Singleton can make an impact right away as a true freshman running back, Penn State has the pieces in place to upset the Buckeyes this year and set themselves up for future success.
LONGSHOT: MINNESOTA (+1800)
After a large jump forward last season which saw Minnesota go 9-4 overall and defeat West Virginia for the Guaranteed Rate Bowl, the Golden Gophers will look to parlay that success into this season. Some questions remain on the offensive line with their only returning starter being C John Michael Schmitz, but a bevy of recruits and transfers, such as former Notre Dame OT Quinn Carroll can revive the line. Also returning is offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca which can help improve an already steady Tanner Morgan who in 2019 when Ciarrocca was his offensive coordinator, put up a career year. Defensively, the team kept a good chunk of starters and picked up some top transfers in former Clemson DL Darnell Jefferies to improve a defense that was second in the B10 in scoring defense. While in a tougher division that features Iowa and Wisconsin, the Golden Gophers can make some noise and surprise some pundits. It comes down to how much their offense this season and how far a reunited Morgan can lead the team.
College football is just around the corner and for this season, use DRF Sportsbook for all your bets both on gameday and futures. Next week we head down to the land of razorbacks and alligators to preview the SEC!