Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Scott Frost walking on the sideline during the game in a mask
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Updated Big Ten Title Odds, and Some Win Total Projections Starting to Trickle In

May 25, 2021

It’s getting to be about that time where title odds and win total projections are making their way onto the interwebs, so here’s a handy one-stop shop to keep all of that info straight. 

Nebraska football is entering into a potentially watershed season under head coach Scott Frost. A 12-20 record through three seasons isn’t what any envisioned when Frost signed on the dotted line after his unbeaten 2017 campaign with UCF, but Frost contended this spring he’s got his deepest and most talented team yet. 

The Huskers open the season on Aug. 28 against Illinois on the road.

In several sportsbooks, Nebraska is fairing relatively nicely, but the schedule features several teams with not just strong odds to win division and conference crowns, but teams that had playoff/title odds when these things opened. 

Ohio State and Oklahoma being the usual suspects there. Nebraska plays the Sooners on the road on Sept. 18, and the William Hill Sportsbook gives them the fourth-best odds to win the title (7/1) following a late-March update. The Buckeyes, who Nebraska plays at home on Nov. 6, have the third-best odds (5/1) from the same sportsbook. 

The Action Network also updated its championship odds in late March, it had Ohio State 4/1 (third-best) and Oklahoma 8/1 (fifth-best). In a recent preseason top-25 update from Sporting News’ Bill Bender, the Buckeyes were ranked third and the Sooners fourth.

Buckeye coach Ryan Day’s squad is also the presumptive favorite to win the Big Ten, despite the departure of quarterback Justin Fields. 

Here are the odds from to win the Big Ten:

  • Ohio State 2/3
  • Wisconsin 8/1
  • Michigan 17/2
  • Penn State 17/2
  • Iowa 11/1
  • Northwestern 12/1
  • Indiana 12/1
  • Nebraska 14/1
  • Minnesota 20/1
  • Rutgers 50/1
  • Michigan State 50/1
  • Purdue 50/1
  • Maryland 80/1
  • Illinois 10/1

At DraftKings Sportsbook, the Buckeyes remain the favorite, though oddsmakers are a little more bullish on Penn State, which is hoping to bounce back after a disappointing 2020 campaign with a healthy backfield and a retooled passing game under new offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich:

  • Ohio State 10/11
  • Penn State 7/1
  • Michigan 7/1
  • Iowa 11/1
  • Wisconsin 12/1
  • Northwestern 14/1
  • Nebraska 16/1
  • Indiana 16/1
  • Minnesota 20/1
  • Maryland 40/1
  • Rutgers 40/1
  • Michigan State 50/1
  • Purdue 50/1
  • Illinois 100/1

Win total projections are also starting to populate around the conference as well. One Ohio State blog projected Nebraska to go 8-4 in the coming season with losses coming against Oklahoma, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

A pair of 247 Sports writers also set a Nebraska win total at 7.5 and 6.5.

ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) for 2021 ranked the Huskers eighth in the Big Ten and 46th nationally with a projected win total of 5.7. However, Bill Connelly’s SP+ model ranked the Huskers 30th nationally and seventh in the Big Ten when its preseason projections released in early February. 

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