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Big Ten East Football Odds 2021: Ohio State worthy favorites

Ryan Day is expected to lead his Ohio State Buckeyes to another Big Ten East Championship this year
Ryan Day is expected to lead his Ohio State Buckeyes to another Big Ten East Championship this year
By Neil Monnery

Ohio State
WIN PROB: 74%
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Penn State
WIN PROB: 18%
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Michigan
WIN PROB: 13%
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Indiana
WIN PROB: 9%
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Rutgers
WIN PROB: 5%
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Maryland
WIN PROB: 5%
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Michigan State
WIN PROB: 4%
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Odds correct as of 2021-06-16 01:16 Odds subject to change.

You don’t get rich by betting against the Ohio State Buckeyes and it is no surprise that coming out of Spring Ball - they are the odds-on favorite to win the Big Ten this year.

With Justin Fields preparing for his name to be called early in the first round of the NFL Draft next week, they will be bedding in a new QB this fall but that shouldn’t be seen as a big chink in their armor.

CJ Stroud was a late-riser in his recruiting class who ended up as the #2 rated Pro-Style QB in the 2020 class. He got a five-star designation from 247Sports and has been seen by many as a potential upper-echelon player in the college game. My gut is he has the inside track for the starting gig.

Jack Miller III committed to the Buckeyes before his Senior season but didn’t waver from his commitment to Ryan Day despite the late addition to the class of CJ Stroud. He had the toughest day of all three potential Quarterbacks in Ohio State’s in the Spring Game going 17 for 29 for 126 yards. Those 17 completions saw a high watermark of just 11 yards, which is not using their elite Wide Receivers corps to their fullest potential.

The outsider for the starting job is Pennsylvania native Kyle McCord. This is another of Ohio State’s forays into Penn State country to attract top talent. He’s another five-star QB but has only been on campus for a few months having signed in December of 2020. Despite only having the 15 Spring Practices under his belt, the talk among the Ohio State blogosphere is very much that he’s in the mix for the gig.

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The truth is whoever gets the nod come the fall - they will be overwhelming favorites to lift the Big Ten title in Indy. Michigan and Penn State are both available at +700 but neither has a QB that you can rely on.

The Maize and Blue have all but named Cade McNamara as their starter. The sophomore struggled last season despite a coming out party against Rutgers. Hat 27/36 day for four TDs and 260 yards got Michigan fans excited. The next week he went 12/25 for 91 yards and no scores in a home loss to the then 0-5 Nittany Lions. Can you really say at this point that this is the year Jim Harbaugh gets it rolling in Ann Arbor?

As for Penn State, Sean Clifford is no Trace McSorley. The addition of Mike Yurcich is exciting for Nittany Lions’ fans but without a top quality QB, it is hard to imagine that they’ll be involved in the Big Ten title race. They also open on the road at Wisconsin and have to visit the Horseshoe. Tough to believe they won’t go 0-2 in those two games.

Indiana may provide a smidgen of value after a fine campaign a year ago. Michael Penix Jr. should be fit to start the season but a tough opening game at Iowa is coupled with trips to State College and Ann Arbor. I don't expect the Hoosiers to keep up their stellar 2020 form.

Ohio State at -200 is actually good value at this point. The Buckeyes look a real cut above the rest of the Big Ten East.

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