The betting windows are open for the 2023 Big Ten football season.

On Sunday, DraftKings released its initial 2023 B1G win totals.

As expected, Michigan and Ohio State lead the way with a projected over-under of 10.5 wins. It’s quite likely both teams will have either exceeded that total by the time they meet in late November, or need a win in The Game to get there.

DraftKings Sportsbook is currently available in 21 states, and new customers can receive a bonus of up to $150 in bets by using a promo code at DraftKings with a minimum deposit of $5.

There’s money to be made (or lost) on each of these bets — except those that could push, of course — so here are our thoughts on each team. Remember, the transfer portal isn’t quite done spinning yet, so there could be some wisdom in waiting until later in the summer to make your play.


Total: 6.5 wins

The play: Over

There’s a path to 7-5 for the Illini, but this is no slam dunk thanks to a surprisingly challenging nonconference schedule.

Illinois opens with Toledo, which is 11th nationally in returning production. The Illini then go to Kansas, which is 2nd in returning production. For a team that needs to replace generational talent on both sides of the ball and 1 of the nation’s best defensive coordinators, that’s more than a little concerning.

But seeing that the program has shown progress in both seasons under Bret Bielema, I think the Illini will find a way to keep moving forward.


Total: 3.5 wins

The play: Over until 4

Indiana has the feel of a 4-8 team, and it’s difficult to envision the Hoosiers exceeding that total. But with Indiana State and Akron making pretty sure wins, the under is no lock either. Other books have the Hoosiers at 4 wins, so there’s some value at betting over 3.5 wins. But if it gets to 4, walk away.


Total: 7.5 wins

The play: Over

The Hawkeyes have upgraded their offense at just about every position. Yes, Brian Ferentz is still calling the plays. But it will be stunning if Iowa does not better last season’s 7-5 regular season. The Hawks have 10-win potential playing in the West — especially with neither Michigan nor Ohio State on the schedule.

This is the best value on the board.


Total: 7 wins

The play: Under

I think it’s likely the Terrapins will push. But there’s also a much better chance of Maryland going under 7 wins than over, so it could be worth a fade. The Terps are replacing 4 offensive linemen and a pair of starting cornerbacks.

With Taulia Tagovailoa back, Maryland can still match last year’s win total. Exceeding it, though, will be tough.


Total: 10.5 wins

Sports Betting in Big Ten Country

There is big news coming to the upcoming 2022-23 Big Ten football season (and NFL season). Ohio online sports betting and Maryland sports betting are on the way.

21+ and present in OH. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

The play: Over

The Wolverines are the Big Ten’s team to beat in 2023. Their nonconference schedule is a cakewalk. 10-2 feels like a worst-case scenario for this season. We’ll take the over.

Michigan State

Total: 5.5 wins

The play: Over

People overreacted to how great Mel Tucker is after Michigan State went 11-2 in 2021. Then they overreacted again to how bad Mel Tucker is when the Spartans finished 5-7 last year.

Look for Tucker and the Spartans to move to the middle ground this season. Even if that means a 6-6 regular season, Michigan State will have exceeded Vegas’ expectations. This feels pretty safe, even if recent transfer portal moves created a minor panic in East Lansing.


Total: 6.5 wins

The play: Under

Vegas undervalued the Gophers each of the past 2 seasons, and this feels like an overcorrection. Minnesota’s past 2 teams were veteran-laden groups, whereas this one will be 87th in returning production.

Crucially, Minnesota has a challenging road game at North Carolina, which is led by Heisman candidate Drake Maye. That feels like it could be the difference that pushes this total under.


Total: 6 wins

The play: Over

Yes, the bowl drought will end this year.

A Week 1 matchup against a young Minnesota team feels like a better draw than it would be in November, even if it’s in the Twin Cities. And we’re still not sure Colorado will have a full roster come Week 2, so there’s potential for Nebraska to get out to a decent start.

I’m not saying hammer the over here. But 7-5 is a place Nebraska can get to, and it’ll feel pretty great after the Scott Frost Experience.


Total: 3.5 wins

The play: Over

The Wildcats didn’t win a game on American soil last year, so this counts as a highly ambitious move. But there’s no excuse for Northwestern to lose to UTEP or Howard. And without Michigan or Ohio State to deal with, the Cats can cobble together 2 more wins on this schedule.

Ohio State

Total: 10.5 wins

The play: Stay away

Ohio State could be Michigan’s equal this year. Or maybe even better than the Wolverines.

But the Buckeyes have to navigate a much tougher schedule, with road games at Notre Dame and Wisconsin on top of the season-ending trip to Ann Arbor. And that’s to say nothing of a potentially tough matchup against Penn State in the Horseshoe. All while breaking in a new quarterback and starting offensive tackles.

Since the under only pays -115, I wouldn’t be in a rush to fade the Bucks, either. If this drops to 10 wins, take the over. But that’s probably going to take more people betting against Ohio State than actually exist.

Penn State

Total: 9.5 wins

The play: Under

I’m not banking on the Nittany Lions matching last year’s win total while breaking in a new quarterback with a mostly-new receiving corps.

Presuming that Michigan and Ohio State still have Penn State’s number, that leaves no room for slip-ups. A Week 3 game at Illinois or a Week 4 matchup with Iowa in Happy Valley stick out as potential land mines.

To me, 9-3 feels like Penn State’s most likely outcome. So getting +110 on the under is a pretty good deal.


Total: 5.5 wins

The play: Under

I have a very hard time seeing Purdue picking up more than 5 wins, so the under is the right play.

The thing that concerns me for rookie coach Ryan Walters is the lack of cupcakes — Purdue should be playing Michigan’s nonconference schedule and vice versa.

After opening with Fresno State, Purdue travels to Virginia Tech before hosting Syracuse. That means no FCS opponents. And the “weakest” opponent is among the best programs in the Group of 5. All for a guy who has never been a head coach.

The Boilers should improve over the course of the season, but September could get rocky.


Total: 4.5 wins

The play: Over

(First, a caveat: These odds are from Ceasars. DK did not include Rutgers.)

Michigan is the only Big Ten team with more production coming back than Rutgers.

Granted, that production wasn’t very good last year. But a veteran team could certainly sneak its way to 5 or 6 wins. And with a payoff of +130 for getting there, it’s worth a shot.

It’s conceivable, though perhaps not probable, that the Scarlet Knights could be 4-1 through 5 games. Michigan is the only “sure” loss, and Rutgers has a habit of playing the Wolverines tougher than expected. I have faith in another win somewhere along the way if Rutgers gets off to a good start.


Total: 9 wins

The play: Wait, then over

It wouldn’t be a shock if the public fades the total down to 8 wins before the season gets under way. There are many, many unproven elements involved in Luke Fickell’s complete overhaul of Wisconsin’s offense.

I still like the Badgers’ chances of going 9-3 or 10-2, but I can see how many will be skeptical about this team winning 3 more games than last season. That’s a pretty big leap.

That said, holding off seems like the right move. But if it drops to 8 wins? I like having the insurance of a push at 8-4 with the over.