The 2013 Big Ten tournament begins play shortly, but there’s still time to place a last-minute bet on which team you will think will wind up winning the whole thing.
We’re here to help advise you on which side to lean towards, which programs to avoid and which longshot could come through and pay dividends on Sunday.
Let’s take a look at the latest odds for each team, make some predictions and more in our gambling guide for the B1G tourney.
*Odds and lines courtesy of TopBet.com
The Favorite: Indiana +100
The Hoosiers are coming into this tournament having lost two of their last four contests—not exactly the kind of “momentum” bettors are looking to put their money behind.
However, Indiana did pick up a huge win against Michigan in the regular-season finale, narrowing avoiding a defeat by the Wolverines and securing the Big Ten title outright.
Now that they have the No. 1 seed for this event locked up, we don’t expect the Hoosiers to lose until the finals.
They’ll likely have a tough matchup with Illinois or Minnesota on Friday, followed by a showdown with either Michigan or Wisconsin on Saturday. Neither of these games can be considered cakewalks, especially when it comes to the semifinals.
Remember, the Badgers topped IU back on Jan. 15, and Michigan will be hungry for revenge.
Regardless, we think the Hoosiers advance and take on Ohio State or Michigan State for the conference crown—a game that will be extremely tough to predict the outcome of.
The X-Factor: Ohio State +400
Don’t sleep on the Buckeyes making a run through the tournament and winning the B1G title.
It’s hard to call the No. 2 seed an “X-factor,” but the bookmakers have decided Michigan and Michigan State have better odds of winning it all.
That’s just ridiculous, as Ohio State has won five games in a row against respectable opponents, including knocking out then-No. 4 Michigan State and No. 2 Indiana within a nine-day time period.
Considering Aaron Craft is arguably one of the best defenders from the PG position and Deshaun Thomas leads the conference in scoring, OSU has to be a legitimate threat to win this.
If this team can get hot from beyond the arc, man up on the glass and continue playing lockdown defense—there’s no reason they won’t cash tickets on Sunday.
The Bad Bet: Michigan +250
It’s hard to imagine the Wolverines navigating through to win this tourney, as they only have one easy matchup against Penn State on Thursday.
Assuming it pulls off a win (not much of a stretch), Michigan will advance to take on Wisconsin—a feisty team that always plays hard and finds a way to impress in big games. In fact, the Badgers managed to overcome Michigan back on Feb. 9 in an overtime contest.
Should the Wolverines somehow continue on to the semifinals, they likely have a meeting with Indiana—arguably the best program in the B1G.
Unfortunately, Michigan has lost twice to IU and would likely make it a third in the tournament, ending the Wolverines' hopes of claiming the conference title in 2013.
Seeds and Vegas Odds to Win 2013 Big Ten Tournament
1. Indiana +100
2. Ohio State +400
3. Michigan State +250
4. Wisconsin +800
5. Michigan +250
6. Iowa +3,000
7. Purdue +5,500
8. Illinois +1,200
9. Minnesota +1,000
10. Nebraska +7,500
11. Northwestern +7,500
12. Penn State +10,000
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