Projections for win totals for the college football season have been released. That’s right, we’re still nearly five months until the first game of the year kicks off, but Vegas has already revealed the over-under marks for every team in the sport.

Rather than just tell you what those win projections look like, I decided to make my predictions on whether each B1G team would hit the over or fall under the total.

Before you dive into this, there are two things you should know:

  1. I don’t gamble, so I won’t be putting any actual, real-life dollars on any of these preseason predictions. College football is just too weird and I’ve covered it for too long to have any faith in putting a wager on anything.
  2. The loss of spring practices really complicates some of these projections. The spring months at least provides us with a glimpse of what to expect in the upcoming season, if it’s just a sample from spring games. There really isn’t much to go off right now.

So, without taking up anymore time, here are those win projections for all 14 B1G teams, and how I’d place my bets, if I was a gamblin’ man.

Win total projections come from Caesars Entertainment.

Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

2019 record: 2-10 (0-9)

2020 O/U: 2.5 wins

My pick: Over

The confidence level on Rutgers hitting three wins in 2020 is significantly lower than it was before spring practices were canceled. With Greg Schiano taking over, some nice additions from the transfer portal and a fairly generous schedule, getting to three wins seemed like an attainable goal for the Scarlet Knights. The loss of a month of practice really hurts. I still like Rutgers’ non-conference schedule, playing Monmouth, Syracuse and Temple, and with B1G games against Maryland, Illinois, Michigan State, Purdue and Nebraska, the Scarlet Knights could squeak out an upset somewhere during the season. I wouldn’t put a lot of money on it, but my bet would be Rutgers gets a third win sometime this seasom.

Maryland Terrapins

2019 record: 3-9 (1-8)

2020 O/U: 3.5 wins

My pick: Under

Nothing from last season gives me confidence in Maryland showing much improvement. Not only did the Terrapins appear to decline as the season went along, they’re losing several talented pieces from last year’s team, including Javon Leake and Anthony McFarland. While Mike Locksley did a fantastic job on the recruiting trail with his first full class, there just wasn’t enough evidence that the Terps can make even make an incremental leap from three wins to four this season. It may take a few recruiting classes for Locksley to get Maryland up-and-running as a consistent bowl contender.

Michigan State Spartans

2019 record: 7-6 (4-5)

2020 O/U: 4.5 wins

My pick: Under

Much like Rutgers, the loss of the spring season hurts Michigan State because of the coaching change. That was a tough challenge for the Spartans to overcome in the first place. When you add in MSU’s brutal non-conference schedule and tough cross-division draw, the wins only continue to dwindle. Michigan State opens the year against Northwestern, plays BYU and Miami (FL) in non-conference action and will also play Iowa and Minnesota from the B1G West. Add in an improved Indiana team and the traditional B1G East powers, and it seems like getting to four wins might be a big accomplishment for Mel Tucker in his first season in East Lansing. There are just too many moving parts at MSU to think this team can flirt with bowl eligibility. I’d be pretty confident in betting the under on the Spartans.

Illinois Fighting Illini

2019 record: 6-7 (4-5)

2020 O/U: 5 wins

My pick: Over

Illinois took a big step last season, reaching bowl eligibility for the first time since 2014. Now comes the next question of the Lovie Smith era: can the Illini get to the postseason consistently? This year’s team will be the most experienced of the Smith era, and if it’s the healthiest, Illinois has a really good chance to make it to consecutive bowl games. Having an experienced quarterback like Brandon Peters back under center is something the Illini have lacked in previous seasons, so it should be a nice boost for the offense. If the defense can continue to force turnovers as frequently as it did a year ago, Illinois could easily get to seven wins in the regular season and guarantee a winning record before the postseason hits. Non-conference games against Illinois State, UConn and Bowling Green, as well as cross-division matchups against Rutgers and Indiana, really help Smith and Co. this year.

Purdue Boilermakers

2019 record: 4-8 (3-6)

2020 O/U: 5 wins

My pick: Over

Believe it or not, I was expecting Purdue to make a Minnesota-like jump from the 2019 season to the 2020 campaign. Why? Because of a laundry list of injuries, the Boilermakers were forced to play several true and redshirt freshmen last season, seeing as many as 19 on the two-deep in the second half of the season. Maybe Purdue wouldn’t win 10 regular season games, but doubling the win total and being in the hunt for a division title doesn’t seem that irrational, especially when you look at what’s coming back at the wide receiver position with Rondale Moore and David Bell. Jeff Brohm also made a change to the staff, bringing in Bob Diaco as defensive coordinator to replace Nick Holt. Brohm’s offensive ingenuity coupled with a new look on defense should be enough to get the Boilers back to bowl eligibility, if not in the hunt for a division crown.

Northwestern Wildcats

2019 record: 3-9 (1-8)

2020 O/U: 5.5 wins

My pick: Under

Arguably the most difficult team to pick an over-under for is Northwestern. It seems strange betting against Pat Fitzgerald righting the ship and getting the Wildcats back into the postseason. Last year was so horrific offensively, though, it’s tough to imagine all of that being corrected in one year, especially with no spring practice. Adding Peyton Ramsey from Indiana is a significant improvement at the quarterback position, but Northwestern still lacks playmakers at wide receiver and the running back room has dealt with its fair share of injuries. You know Fitzgerald’s defense will play well enough most weekends to keep the Wildcats in ball games, but the question is whether or not Ramsey provides enough of a spark to get to six wins. Right now, I think Northwestern finishes one win shy of hitting the over.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

2019 record: 5-7 (3-6)

2020 O/U: 6.5 wins

My pick: Under

Expectations have been tempered in Lincoln since the start of last season. After several media outlets projected the Huskers as the preseason favorite to win the B1G West, Nebraska’s 2020 win projection is now at a modest 6.5 games. Hitting six or seven wins and guaranteeing a spot in a bowl game would be a great next step for Scott Frost’s program. Nebraska is going to have to get better along the offensive line, and if that happens, the Huskers have the skill position players to light up the scoreboard next season. If Adrian Martinez looks like his freshman self, there’s no reason the Huskers can’t hit the six-win mark. The reason I’m steering on the under side of that 6.5-win projection is because of scheduling and defense. Not only does Nebraska open the year with Purdue, it has a non-conference game against Cincinnati and will play Ohio State and Penn State in crossover games. Plus, the final five-game stretch is brutal. Even if it’s betting the under, six wins should be the goal this season. Anything else is just gravy.

Iowa Hawkeyes

2019 record: 10-3 (6-3)

2020 O/U: 7 wins

My pick: Over

In case you didn’t know, Iowa has hit at least eight wins in the last five seasons and six of the last seven years. Putting the line at anything under 8 seems silly. Yes, the Hawkeyes are losing key players like Nate Stanley (QB), A.J. Epenesa (DE), Tristan Wirfs (OT) and Geno Stone (DB) among others, this is a team with a boatload of talent at the skill positions with Tyler Goodson at running back and Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Brandon Smith, Tyrone Tracy Jr., Oliver Martin and Nico Ragaini at wide receiver. I trust the Hawkeyes will have a quarterback capable of at least getting the ball in their hands to allow them to make explosive plays. Plus, Iowa is almost always sound defensively, so that shouldn’t be a concern. Iowa going over seven wins might be as close to a lock as you can get in these preseason projections.

Indiana Hoosiers

2019 record: 8-5 (5-4)

2020 O/U: 7.5 wins

My pick: Under

When you glance at Indiana’s schedule, it’s tempting to pick the over. There’s a legitimate chance the Hoosiers open the season with a 6-1 record and have clinched a bowl berth by late October again. But the final five games are brutal. Playing Penn State, Ohio State, Illinois, Michigan and Purdue with no break could pose some problems for Tom Allen’s squad. Indiana has also dealt with injuries to quarterback Michael Penix Jr. each of the last two years, and with no Ramsey as a backup, any issue that arises at the position could have some serious consequences for the offense. IU has a young but experienced roster, and those bowl practices from a year ago should really pay off for the 2020 season. I expect the Hoosiers to get back to a bowl game this year, but it’s hard to put money on them hitting eight wins in the regular season again.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

2019 record: 11-2 (7-2)

2020 O/U: 9 wins

My pick: Push

Yes, I’m cheating. Picking the Gophers to get one more loss in the regular season than last year has less to do with Minnesota and more with the rest of the teams in the B1G West. With Illinois, Purdue, Nebraska and Northwestern all getting better, it’ll be a little more difficult for the Gophers to get to 10 wins. Obviously, the departure of Kirk Ciarrocca to Penn State is a big deal, too. Minnesota is still going to be able to score plenty with Tanner Morgan at quarterback and a bevy of talented receivers, led by Rashod Bateman. I do believe Minnesota’s defense will have a tougher time slowing down some of those offenses as consistently as it did a year ago, which presents a problem. It’s hard to win shootouts regularly in the B1G, and that’s why I’m expecting the Gophers to win nine games in 2020.

Michigan Wolverines

2019 record: 9-4 (6-3)

2020 O/U: 9 wins

My pick: Under

Vegas still really likes Michigan at that nine-win mark, but I’m not seeing it. The Wolverines open the year against Washington, have cross-division games against Wisconsin and Minnesota and will still have to play Penn State and Ohio State, which will be the five most challenging games on the schedule. My guess is the Wolverines get one of those wins. The secret seems to be out on Michigan’s defense, and high-powered offenses (like Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin) have been able to expose Don Brown on that side of the football. Factor in that the Wolverines are ushering in a new quarterback and a brand new offensive line, and it seems more likely that this will be one of the most troublesome years for Jim Harbaugh. Michigan obviously has loads of talent, just not enough to compete with some of the other top-tier teams in the B1G this fall.

Wisconsin Badgers

2019 record: 10-4 (7-2)

2020 O/U: 9.5 wins

My pick: Over

When you consider all that Wisconsin lost last season on both sides of the football, including running back Jonathan Taylor, it’s incredibly easy to pick the Badgers to fall under nine wins next season. A non-conference game against Notre Dame even makes the under more appealing. But every time we doubt the Badgers, it seems like they deliver. Paul Chryst has led his alma mater to 10-win seasons four times in his five seasons with the programs, which is enough to assume that hitting a double-digit win total is the expectation in Madison. There’s rarely anyone better in the trenches than the Badgers, and they’ll probably find another quality back to eclipse the 1,000-yard barrier again. Quarterback play — and whether it’s Jack Coan or Graham Mertz under center — is a big question heading into the season, and could be the difference between 9 or 10 wins in 2020. At this point, my money would be on Chryst to hit 10 wins again.

Penn State Nittany Lions

2019 record: 11-2 (7-2)

2020 O/U: 9.5 wins

My pick: Over

Putting the over-under at 9.5 for a team that won 11 games a season ago seems a little low, especially when you consider what all Penn State is returning, paired with the additions in the offseason. Having Ciarrocca run the offense will be a big deal for the Nittany Lions, especially for a team that needs to develop talent at wide receiver. It should be easier for second-year quarterback Sean Clifford to get the ball to his receivers, and if he’s ever in trouble, there’s a bevy of talented running backs — Journey Brown, Noah Cain and Devyn Ford — to bail him out. Defensively, PSU has a great pair of defensive ends with Jayson Oweh and Shaka Toney, along with Micah Parsons at linebacker, arguably the best defensive player in college football. Whether or not James Franklin and Co. can beat Ohio State and make a return to the B1G Championship Game is the question that needs to be answered, but the Nittany Lions easily have the talent to get 10, 11 and quite possibly 12 wins in 2020.

Ohio State Buckeyes

2019 record: 13-1

2020 O/U: 11 wins

My pick: Push

I know, I’m cheating again. There’s no question Ohio State has the most talent in the B1G, and will be one of the best teams in college football again next season. Having a Heisman Trophy finalist back under center is a significant advantage for the Buckeyes. But going undefeated is really difficult, and it’s even more challenging to do it in consecutive seasons in a conference like the B1G. Ohio State’s offensive line should be even better than last season, which makes it scary just to think about the kind of damage Justin Fields could do in that scenario. The Buckeyes do suffer significant losses on defense with Chase Young, Jeff Okudah and others heading to the NFL, but in Columbus, they’re always reloading and never rebuilding. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t like to bet on teams going undefeated — college football is just too weird to feel comfortable with that. It’s hard to imagine OSU losing more than one regular season game, though.