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Big Ten Tournament Betting Guide

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Breaking down the odds and trying to find some value

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Michigan State
You wanna bet against this guy in March? Probably.
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome again all you beautiful degenerates to the joy that is March. Conference tourney time is one of my favorite of the year. Tons of opportunities to exploit overreactions and Ken Pom projections to the lovely feeling of profit.

The futures market for our own little slice of squeakyfouls has revved up and is ready for the tickets to be smashed or cashed. The odds are listed below are how much you’d win if you were to throw down a hundo at the window (i.e. A $100 Bet on Michigan would net $175 with a total payout of $275). And now, without further ado, let’s dive in.

The Favorites

Michigan Wolverines +175

Whenever I see a short shot like Michigan, my mind instantly goes instead to using a running moneyline parlay. Simply put, there’s not value here as this line has fallen steadily as Michigan racked up the wins. That said, they’re the favorites for a reason. When they give a damn, they can pick anyone apart piece by piece. These guys will be the heart of the public backers but I’ll stay away.

BoilerBettor’s move: Rolling Parlay using spread or moneyline.

Illinois Fighting Illini +375

Here we start to see some numbers that would be a bit more profitable, not that there’s much value. We know the Illini can hang with the big boys as evidence by their drubbing of Michigan and list of impressive wins down the stretch. They’re amongst the wagers I’ll be placing as I think they have a decent draw and great potential to cut down the nets.

BoilerBettor’s move: 1/2 Unit play, possible hedge if they make it to Sunday

Iowa Hawkeyes +425

The Hawkeyes have rounded nicely into form down the stretch with their own loss as a smacking at the hands of Michigan in late February. It’s going to be hard to avoid the Hawkeyes but I’m actually fading them on their potential draw with 2-seed Illinois in the Semis (Ayo ‘n Kofi, gon’ fuck Garza up). Sorry, Big Lebowski moment there. I fully understand those wanting to wager on the Hawkeyes but I’m staying away.

BoilerBettor’s move: Pass.

Purdue Boilermakers +500

Is Purdue an exciting team? Yes. Am I going to throw a small amount on the Boilers? Does my analysis go beyond being a complete homer? Nope. In reality, everyone has a pretty stinkin’ tough road ahead of them to claim the B1G crown. Should Purdue survive their likely matchup with Ohio State, another tough battle with uber-talented Michigan awaits.

BoilerBettor’s move: 14 unit. Complete Homer bet, nothing more.

Ohio State Buckeyes +685

Can I just say I don’t like the Buckeyes in this spot? I think they make it past their second round foe simply thanks to a rest advantage. The problem is they run smack into a team that swept them in the regular season in Purdue. Given Ohio State’s struggles to win games down the stretch, they’re in fade territory for me.

BoilerBettor’s move: Pass.

The Dark Horses

AKA Not much of a shot but maybe worth a partial unit

Wisconsin Badgers +1100

One of the major themes that stands out this season is the lack of flat out upsets. For a huge part of the season, there weren’t many jaw dropping results. Guess how many games the Badgers won against teams above them in the standings? Answer. Zero. Another reason I’m not going to wager much, if any on many of these middle teams.

BoilerBettor’s move: Pass

Rutgers Scarlet Knights +2500

Rutgers enters Indy winning two of three including a W at The Barn. I think they could advance against a listless Indiana team and their meat grinder style of play has the possibility to give Illinois some grief. However, I just don’t see them having the legs to get to Sunday. I almost threw a sprinkle on the Fightin’ Pickell’s but ultimately decided against it.

BoilerBettor’s move: Pass

Michigan State Spartans +5000

The question you have to ask at this point, is whether or not you want to bet against Izzo. Outside of the head scratcher against Maryland, Sparty has played some spirited basketball. I’m not going to throw an asterisk on their win over Michigan on Sunday but I do question the Wolverines’ motivation having already clinched the B1G regular season title. We know they can win games against the top of the league but I’m being cautious here.

BoilerBettor’s move: Pizza money bet. Nothing more.

Maryland Terrapins +6500

Losses against Northwestern and Penn State have me questioning this team. They have the talent but Turgeon scares me. I’m staying away and suggest you do as well.

BoilerBettor’s move: Nope.

The Long Shots

This is your money. This is your money on fire.

Indiana Hoosiers +8000

The only reason I’m keeping Indiana on their own line is because they have a bye. Would I actually place any money on Archie? Hell no.

BoilerBettor’s move: Your money is better spent on beer.

Minnesota Golden Gophers +10000 / Northwestern Wildcats +15000 / Penn State Nittany Lions +20000

Quickly, Minnesota isn’t playing at home. Northwestern isn’t good. Penn State can’t hold their way past the top big men in the league.

BoilerBettor’s move: Add some extra cheese to your pizza instead.

Nebraska Cornhuskers +100000

Yep, you read that right. Bet a dollar, win a grand.

BoilerBettor’s move: To quote a contestant on The Price Is Right: “One Dollar, Bob.”

Best of luck everyone. Enjoy the games (and bet the First Half unders).