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2023 Big 10 East Division Preview & Best Bets

Bill Christy
Written by Bill Christy
June 28, 2023
2023 Big 10 East Division Preview & Best Bets

We can all agree that the Big 10 East is one of the toughest divisions in college football. Ohio State and Michigan are the perennial favorites each year and Penn State is usually a contender as well. Both the Buckeyes and the Wolverines made the CFP last year and both squads look to make another run in 2023.

Before jumping into some of our best season win total bets, let's take a look at the odds to win the Big 10 Championship in 2023. These can be found at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Current Odds to Win 2023 Big 10 Championship

Latest Odds

Team Odds
Ohio State +165
Michigan +185
Penn State +600
Wisconsin +800
Iowa +1200
Minnesota +3000
Maryland +4000
Nebraska +6000
Illinois +6000
Michigan State +12000
Purdue +12000
Rutgers +20000
Northwestern +30000
Indiana +30000

Ohio St Buckeyes OVER 10.5 Wins

After an 11-0 start to the season, the Buckeyes got throttled by arch-rival Michigan 45-23 before making the playoffs. They were then matched up with the eventual national champion Georgia Bulldogs. They played them as tough as anyone and fell just 1 point short as they lost 42-41.

They finished 2nd in the country in points per game as they averaged 44.2 ppg. A large part of that success came in the redzone where the Buckeyes scored on 95.24% which was good enough for 3rd in the country. Defensively, OSU will need to be stronger, specifically inside the red zone. They allowed points on 93.10% of their opponents’ trips inside the 20.

The Buckeyes did lose CJ Stroud to the NFL and will have Kyle McCord as the likely starter for the beginning of the season. While his experience is minimal, the rest of his offense is back providing him with a ton of weapons.

TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams will handle the ground attack while Marvin Harrison Jr. will allow McCord plenty of opportunities through the air. The defense, while it struggled a bit last season, is now in its 2nd season with coordinator Jim Knowles who should have them in a better position this year.

Michigan Wolverines OVER 9.5 Wins

Michigan had the best season in the tenure of Jim Harbaugh last season. They rattled off 13 straight wins with the streak culminating with a monster road win over the Buckeyes before heading into the Big 10 title game. They defeated Purdue by 3 touchdowns there and were given a playoff bid with a matchup against Cinderella TCU.

Unfortunately for the Wolverines, the slipper still fit for TCU as they ended the Wolverines’ season by putting up 51 in the semi-final and winning by 6. Coach Harbaugh had his team playing solid on both sides of the ball as both the offense and defense ranked 6th in the country in points.

The offense put up 40.4 ppg while the defense held opponents to just 16.1 ppg. Repeating their run from last season will be a tall task for Harbaugh and company.

Heisman candidate, Blake Corum sat out the final game of the season due to an injury. Who knows how he could have changed the game? That said, he is back this season along with Donovan Edwards who likely provide the strongest rushing attack in the conference.

Behind center will be JJ McCarthy once again who is coming off a tremendous season. McCarthy could play his way into the Heisman conversation and the Wolverines could be on track for yet another run at the title.

Maryland Terrapins OVER 7 Wins

The Terps’ 2022 season was a pleasant surprise to many in College Park. While they did finish just under .500 in Big 10 play, they capitalized on their non-conference schedule and finished with 8 wins. The final win being over NC State in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl where they won a tough and ugly matchup 16-12.

It was a microcosm of their season as the Terps’ defense is what led the way for them all year. They allowed only 23.2 ppg to opponents which made up for an offense that was slated to be more explosive than it turned out to be with Taulia Tagovailoa behind center.

Tagovailoa is back and will have Roman Hemby to tote the rock. The line has a lot of questions and could be an issue early for the Terps. They return just 1 starter and will need some underclassmen to really step up.

Much like the offensive line, the defensive front is amid an overhaul and will have holes that need filling asap. There are questions on both side of the ball for the Terps but Tagovailoa and his weapons will be enough to repeat an 8-win season.

Penn State Nittany Lions UNDER 9.5 Wins

Penn State started out 5-0 on the season before running into the buzzsaw that was Michigan. After falling 41-17 to the Wolverines, PSU bounced back with a 45-17 win over Minnesota, before losing to OSU at home by 13. From there, the Nittany Lions outscored opponents 165-40 before taking on Utah in the Rose Bowl.

There, they repped the Big 10 in strong fashion as they picked up their 11th win of the season, winning 35-21. Defensively, the Nittany Lions were able to hold opponents to completing only 52% of their passes which was 2nd best in the country.

For what seems like after 10 years, Sean Clifford is no longer at the helm of the PSU offense. Drew Allar has been touted as the QB to take the offense to the next level. Olu Fashanu will lead an offensive line who’s job will be to keep Allar healthy throughout the season.

It will remain to be seen just how much Dante Cephas can help with the passing attack as he transferred in from Kent State. The defense lost some big names, but overall will be in good shape under Manny Diaz. As always, the linebackers will anchor the defense and look for Abdul Carter to make a splash this year.

Michigan St Spartans UNDER 5.5 Wins

It was a very rocky season for the Spartan faithful last season. After winning their 1st two games of the season in impressive fashion, they went on to lose 7 of their next 10 and finished with a pathetic 3-6 record in Big 10 play. They finished the season with a negative turnover ratio which was indicative of how the season progressed.

The positive for the Spartans was the defense’s ability to get to the quarterback. They finished ranked 35th in the country in sack percentage. Maybe this can be something for them to build upon in 2023.

Sparty lost both Payton Thorne and Keon Coleman to the transfer portal this Spring. Noah Kim will need to step in and make the most of his unexpected opportunity behind center.

Even if Kim can produce, the Spartan defense remains mediocre on paper. The secondary will surely be an issue and if they are unable to improve from last year, Kim will find himself in some tough situations playing from behind.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights UNDER 4.5 Wins

Rutgers made the most of their early cupcake non-conference schedule by going 3-0 prior to Big 10 play. However, once they hit the field with the big boys, the Knights were only able to pull out 1 win in conference play. That 24-17 victory over Indiana was the only game in which Rutgers put up more than 21 points.

However, offense was not the only problem for the Knights. They allowed an average of just over 31 points per game and were gashed for over 150 yards a game on the ground. Rutgers’s defense returns 7 starters, but is that really promising from a defense that allowed over 30 points per game?

Offensively, there will be a number of backs fighting for carries while Gavin Wimsatt will be saddled with the job of running the offense and finding ways to make more things happen than they did last year. It just seems Rutgers no longer belongs in this conference with the big boys.

Indiana Hoosiers UNDER 3.5 Wins

Indiana had a very much similar season when compared to Rutgers. The Hoosiers also grabbed 3 victories to start the season in their non-conference. They then went on to win just once in Big 10 play. That win came over Michigan State in East Lansing 39-31.

Indiana was unable to form a consistent offensive attack throughout the season. They averaged just over 200 yards per game through the air and under 100 yards on the ground. They were a disciplined team, as they ranked inside the top 35 in the country on both sides of the ball in terms of penalty yardage.

Indiana became transfer University over the offseason. They picked up Tayveon Jackson from Tennessee to run the show offensively and Wake Forest’s Christian Turner to run the ball between the tackles.They added a handful for their defense that should be able to help a defense that allowed over 33 points per game. Even still, this team will still get 3 wins or fewer.

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