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Big Ten Conference: NCAA Football Gambling Predictions

NCAA Football Betting – 2010 Big 10 Preview

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During our first few NCAA division-1 college football previews, every conference seemed up for grabs, with at least two or three teams neck and neck in the odds to win. But the Big Ten is different in that one team appears way ahead of the pack. Is Ohio State really a lock or are the oddsmakers underestimating the Buckeyes’ competition for 2010?

Ohio State (-250) opens the year as the Big Ten’s massive frontrunner. That’s no surprise considering the Buckeyes have won at least a share of five straight conference titles and can equal the Big Ten record with a sixth in a row this season. Ohio State’s field general, the versatile Terrelle Pryor, had lots of questions to answer early last season.

But the quarterback took the team on his shoulders and led OSU to a season-ending six-game winning streak that culminated in a Rose Bowl victory. He’s back along with eight other offensive starters and a backfield that coach Jim Tressel calls his deepest in 10 years.

Did I mention that Ohio State’s “D” is third in the nation over the last six seasons? It should stay strong with Cameron Heyward leading the pass rush.

Iowa (+350) hopes to be OSU’s top competition this season. The Hawkeyes were 10th in the Big Ten in rushing, scoring and total offense. They also trailed in every game last season until their final regular season contest yet managed an 11-2 record. Iowa’s defense allowed just 277 total yards per game last year and saved the day plenty of times. However, the offense should improve if quarterback Ricky Stanzi can stay healthy all season.

Wisconsin (+350) wants to threaten the other big boys. It has a great feature back in John Clay and, more importantly, an easy-as-pie schedule. It faces just three teams that had winning records last year. Even its clash with Ohio State is a home game.

Penn State (+650) sits in the Big Ten’s third tier, arguably on its own. Joe Paterno always seems to churn out great linebackers and only Ohio state has outgained his team in the last two seasons. But the deck is stacked against the Nittany Lions this year. Penn State faces eight bowl-game attendees and travels to Alabama, Iowa and Ohio State. Brutal. It lost quarterback Daryll Clark to boot.

Michigan (+1200) may be lucky to even have odds as good as +1200. Rich Rodriguez’s playbook has been a colossal failure and the Wolverines have lost 13 conference games over the last two seasons. The glass-half-full perspective would point out that they return 15 starters and that they have a rising star at quarterback in Tate Forcier. Michigan is arguably the conference’s most polarizing school among bettors.

Rounding out the contenders is Michigan State (+1200). The Spartans are a top-25 team in terms of passing efficiency thanks to Kirk Cousins. But their defense needs to improve and their schedule isn’t easy. Purdue (+2000) has an easier schedule but lost its key tailback, Ralph Bolden, to an ACL injury. That means it’s up to Miami transfer Robert Marve to be the star.

THE PICK

Ohio State doesn’t have an easy road to the BCS title game, having to face both Iowa and Wisconsin on the road. But Terrelle Pryor is a Heisman Trophy candidate. 2010 simply could be his year; the way OSU finished last season certainly suggests that it will be. I’d ride the momentum and play the favorite here.

Pick: Ohio State -250

Keep checking back with Cappers Picks + Cappers Picks College football betting forums for more 2010 CFB previews coming daily:  (In No Particular Order).

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