The Big Ten Tournament is slated to begin on Wednesday with a pair of first-round matchups.

Purdue is the clear favorite to win the Big Ten, but Illinois isn’t far behind. After the top-2, there’s a number of potential contenders where bettors may find some value ahead of the start of the tournament.

Here’s a betting breakdown of the Big Ten Tournament:

The favorites tier

Purdue is the clear favorite to win the Big Ten Tournament according to the betting markets, but Illinois also fits into this tier. The Illini had a sensational season in their own right and it wouldn’t be a massive surprise to see them cut down the nets on Sunday afternoon.

Here’s a breakdown of their odds to win the B1G title (best price listed):

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From an expected value perspective, neither of these are +EV bets. BartTorvik’s model gives Purdue a 47.1% chance to win the Big Ten title, just below the implied odds of 50% on this +100 prop. Illinois has a 19% chance to earn the Big Ten’s auto-bid, per the same model. History also points to Purdue being the better value of this group — the Boilermakers swept Illinois this season, including a 77-71 win in Champaign on March 5.

The middle tier

The next tier of Big Ten hopefuls includes several interesting teams. Nebraska is the only other team (besides Purdue and Illinois) with a greater than 10% chance at winning this tournament, per BartTorvik’s model. Wisconsin and Michigan State have been up-and-down this season, but has shown the potential to play well in big games.

Here’s a breakdown of the odds for this tier of teams (best price listed):

Nebraska at +900 is solid value, all things considered. The Huskers have an 11.2% chance to win the tournament, which translates to an expected value of $12 on a $100 bet. However, Northwestern at +1700 is the best value of any potential bet in the field. A $100 bet on the Wildcats carries an expected value of $20.60. Nebraska and Northwestern also have the adding edge of already having beaten Purdue during the regular season. Northwestern also has a win over Illinois on its résumé while the Huskers lost to the Illini in overtime earlier this year.

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The long-shots tier

More than half of the Big Ten fits into this tier, and for good reason — the odds are heavily against them. None of the teams listed below have better than a 2.1% chance to win the tournament, per BartTorvik’s projection.

Here are the betting odds for each team to win the conference tournament (best price listed):

Ohio State has played well recently, winning 5 of its last 6 games since parting ways with former head coach Chris Holtmann. Still, the Buckeyes are a major long-shot to run the table here — it would require wins in 4 consecutive days in order to get there.

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