- BetOnline has Michigan State (+200) as the heavy favorite to win the Big Ten regular-season title
- Michigan isn’t a fabulous value at 5-1 despite bringing Juwan Howard back to campus
- Maryland (+600) might have enough returning talent to compete with the Spartans
Heavily favored to win their third-straight regular-season Big Ten title and tenth in Tom Izzo’s 25-year reign at the school, Michigan State certainly looks like the class of the conference heading into the 2019-20 season.
BetOnline has positioned Sparty as a sizable favorite to win the conference championship. Can any other schools compete?
ODDS TO WIN BIG TEN REGULAR-SEASON
MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS
The Spartans aim to return to the Final Four for the second-straight season and win their 64-year-old head coach his second-career Division 1 national championship.
Michigan State will likely open the season as the No. 1 team in the country with reigning Big Ten Player of the Year Cassius Winston returning to run the point alongside backcourt mate Joshua Langford, who missed most of last season with a foot injury.
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) October 4, 2019
Given the Spartans’ surplus of talent and their 62-12 record in the past two seasons, you’ll likely win some green betting on the team in green and white.
Following coach John Beilein’s surprising departure for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, Michigan handed the keys to Wolverine legend Juwan Howard.
The first challenge for the former member of the Fab Five will be generating buckets. Michigan is losing its top-three scorers (Jordan Poole, Ignas Brazdeikis, Charles Matthews) from last season.
Michigan basketball coach Juwan Howard’s recruiting approach reminds him of … dating https://t.co/0oG68kqd1j
— Freep Sports (@freepsports) October 3, 2019
While the comic book hero Wolverine enjoys accelerated healing powers, it will likely take a bit longer for the program to regenerate in Ann Arbor.
Howard has been talking up German freshman Franz Wagner as an immediate contributor and a future pro, but Michigan still seems overvalued at 5/1 considering the circumstances. Beilein was a phenomenal Xs-and-Os coach who always maximized the value of his three and four-star recruits.
Howard is unproven. He’s likely to be a boost on the recruiting trail but at least a small step back on the sideline in the immediate future.
After barely missing out on the Sweet Sixteen last year, Maryland returns seven of their top eight players, including All Big Ten point guard Anthony Cowan and sophomore big man Jalen Smith.
Cowan has led the Terrapins in scoring and assists each of the past two seasons, while the 6-foot-10 Smith is projected as a first-round NBA pick after breaking out in last year’s NCAA Tournament. Second-year forward Aaron Wiggins is also viewed as a top-six prospect in the Big Ten after shooting over 40 percent from 3-point range as a freshman.
Under the weight of top-10 expectations, Maryland men’s basketball team adds some much-needed muscle https://t.co/ueYqkzY5nm
— Don Markus (@sportsprof56) September 19, 2019
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon believes this could be the best club he’s ever coached, and even if he’s wrong, it’s at least the most muscular one. Word to the wise: if you owe Mr. Turgeon any money, you better pay up immediately.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Michigan State, the Terps’ talent certainly looks strong enough to justify a 6-1 wager.