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United Center in Chicago is the host venue for the 2023 Big Ten Conference Tournament and tips off Wednesday, March 8th. The No. 5 Purdue Boilermakers won the regular-season conference title.
Four Big Ten teams earned a two-round bye including odds-on favorite, and 1-seed, Purdue, 2-seed Northwestern Wildcats, 3-seed Indiana Hoosiers, and 4-seed Michigan State Spartans.
According to KenPom.com’s adjusted net efficiency and Sports Reference’s SRS formula, the Big Ten is the 2nd-toughest conference in college basketball behind the Big XII.
Purdue lost 75-66 to the Iowa Hawkeyes in the finals of last year’s Big Ten tourney. Iowa enters as the reigning Big Ten tournament champion and have the 8th-best odds to repeat.
Big Ten Conference Tournament Bracket
Big Ten Conference Tourney Odds
- Courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook as of Monday, March 8th
- Purdue Boilermakers (+150)
- Indiana Hoosiers (+550)
- Michigan State Spartans (+600)
- Maryland Terrapins (+650)
- Northwestern Wildcats (+950)
- Illinois Fighting Illini (+1100)
- Rutgers Scarlet Knights (+2000)
- Iowa Hawkeyes (+2200)
- Penn State Nittany Lions (+2500)
- Michigan Wolverines (+2500)
- Wisconsin Badgers (+6000)
- Ohio State Buckeyes (+6000)
- Nebraska Cornhuskers (+25000)
- Minnesota Golden Gophers (+100000)
Favorite: Purdue Boilermakers (+150)
It’s no fun betting chalk but Purdue is clearly the best Big Ten team. The only team on their side of the bracket the Boilermakers lost to was Rutgers by one point.
Purdue big Zach Edey will most likely win the Naismith College Player of the Year, leads the Big Ten in PER and points and rebounds per game.
The Boilermakers are the best rebounding team in the conference and the best at getting to the foul line and keeping opponents off the foul line.
Purdue’s biggest weakness is ball security because it has two freshman guards in the starting 5. If the Boilermakers can minimize the turnovers, they should coast to the tournament final.
The Boilermakers are 5-0 straight up (SU) in neutral-site games (+14.0 SU margin) and 4-1 against the spread with a +11.4 spread differential.
My plan of attack for the Big Ten tourney is to bet 1 unit ($100) on PURDUE (+150) and sprinkle two half-unit bets on the following teams …
Sleeper: Rutgers Scarlet Knights (+2000)
Rutgers has the best defensive efficiency in the Big Ten, per KenPom.com, and has the 2nd-best net rating in the conference behind Purdue, according to Sports Reference.
The Scarlet Knights have the 2nd-worst effective field goal shooting in the Big Ten but are 4th in assist-to-field-goal-made rate, per KenPom.com.
Rutgers is 4th in the Big Ten for offensive rebounding rate, has the 3rd-highest share of dunks in the conference and 2nd-highest rate of “close” 2-pointers, according to BartTorvik.com.
We are getting a good price because the Scarlet Knights backed their way into the conference tourney. Rutgers lost six of its last eight regular-season games. But, the Scarlet Knights have the length and defense to beat anyone.
Bet a half-unit on RUTGERS (+2000) to collect 10 units worth of profit if the Scarlet Knights win the Big Ten tournament.
Longshot: Penn State Nittany Lions (+2500)
The Nittany Lions have a “puncher’s chance” to win the Big Ten tourney, making their 25-1 pre-tournament odds juicy. They are are 7-2 overall vs. Big Ten teams on their side of the bracket.
Penn State leads the Big Ten in both effective field goal shooting and 3-point-attempt rate. The Nittany Lions are 3rd in both offensive turnover rate and defensive rebounding rate as well.
Nittany Lions senior PG, Jalen Pickett, leads the Big Ten in assists per game, is 4th in PER and 3rd in Win Shares per 40 minutes. Penn State has the two best 3-point shooters in the Big Ten: Forwards Andrew Funk and Seth Lundy.
Penn State is near the bottom of the conference in defense but have a good defensive shot profile. It ranks 3rd in the Big Ten for both “close” 2-pointers allowed and “far” 2-pointers forced, according to BartTorvik.com.
The Nittany Lions won two games as an 11-seed in last year’s Big Ten conference tournament before losing in the quarterfinals to Purdue. They have the most Division I experience in the country (out of 363 programs), per KenPom.com.
Bet a half-unit on PENN STATE (+2500) to collect 12.5 units worth of profit if the Nittany Lions win the Big Ten tournament.
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