Michigan State, Maryland favorites heading into Big Ten Tournament

Tom Izzo and the 2019-2020 celebrate their 2020 Big Ten regular season championship by raising the banner
Photo of Kaleb Kraus

Kaleb Kraus

NCAAB

Show Bio

Pickswise's Esports expert. Very passionate about sports, especially college football and college basketball. I am a 2018 graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.

The Big Ten has been arguably the toughest and most entertaining conference throughout college basketball this season. A three-way tie for the regular-season title makes for some great storylines heading into the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis. Michigan State and Maryland were earlier season favorites, while Wisconsin quietly snuck in and brought home head coach Greg Gard’s first regular-season title. This year’s conference tournament could be full of drama. The regular season was crazy and you should expect the same crazy starting Wednesday.

The national title picture is still fuzzy and is wide open, and the same could be said about the Big Ten tournament as well. As at least the top nine seeds all have a legitimate chance of cutting down the nets on Sunday. The Michigan Wolverines have defied the odds and won four games in four days twice in the last three years. They again should be a dark horse pick. They are tied for the fifth-best odds. Let’s take a look at the favorites and be sure to check our free college basketball expert picks, throughout the tournament, starting with first-round action on Wednesday.

Michigan State Spartans +200

The Spartans are 22-9 overall, 14-6 in the Big Ten and were able to take home a share of a third-consecutive Big Ten regular-season championship. They were the preseason favorite to win the national championship at season’s end, and while they have underachieved a bit, the Spartans are playing at their best in March once again. In a wide-open race, winning a seventh tournament title could go a long way, for senior guard Cassius Winston and Big Ten defensive player of the year Xavier Tillman. Freshman Rocket Watts has turned it up at the right time.

Maryland Terrapins +500

Of the favorites, the Terrapins are the lone team that has never won the Big Ten Tournament. This could be the breakthrough year, as they already checked off their first Big Ten Championship in the regular season. Led by a pair of Naismith Award Finalists in guard Anthony Cowan Jr. and forward Jalen Smith. Maryland didn’t quite finish their regular season on a high note, losing two of their final three games. A probable Semifinal rematch with Michigan State could prove where they stand.

Wisconsin Badgers +700

Wisconsin has faced a number of bumps in the road, along the way this season. The tragedy in assistant coach Howard Moore’s family made the season tough. Kobe King’s transfer in early February only made the road tougher.  The Badgers were able to win a share of the league title and it means just a little more for all of Badger country. They didn’t just win it for them they won it for Coach Moore and his family. Wisconsin has a chance to really prove themselves as the top seed in the Big Ten.

Illinois Fighting Illini +800

The Illini could be the real sleeper and as the fourth-seed. They enter the postseason with a much-needed win at home against Iowa and Big Ten Player of the Year Luka Garza. Who they could easily see again in their Friday Quarterfinal. Strong guards in Ayo Dosunmu and Trent Frazier paired Kofi Cockburn gives Illinois a real chance.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
Unibet

$100

Get a $100 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $100 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $100

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 No Sweat First Bet

Sign up for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account and make your first deposit of $10+

Place your first bet up to $1,000!

Get refunded if you lose up to $1,000

Must be 21+. First online real money wager only. $10 first deposit required. Bonus issued as non-withdrawable free bets that expire 14 days after receipt. See full terms at fanduel.com/sportsbook.

BetRivers

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make your first deposit & get up to $500 in free bets

To get $500 in free bets, wager $500

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Win $200 if Any NBA Team Hits a Three Pointer!

Sign up for a new betting account with BetMGM

Place a pre-game moneyline wager of at least $10 on a NBA game

Win $200 in free bets if any team hits a three pointer

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$150

Bet $5 & Win $150 If Your First Moneyline Bet Wins!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5+ on the pre-game Moneyline in any sport

Win $200 if your team wins

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$800

Get 4x $200 In Free Bets

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Bet up to $200 and If you lose, you get a refund

You will receive Free Bet(s) in the amount of the losing wager(s), up to $200 each for four days.

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,250

Get a $1,250 risk-free bet

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Place your first bet of $10 or more

If your first bet loses, you’ll receive a refund up to $1,250 from Caesars in free bets

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Get $200 if Any NHL Team Scores A Goal

Sign up for a new betting account with BetMGM

Place a pre-game moneyline wager of at least $10 on a NHL game

Win $200 in free bets if any teams scores a goal

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$500

Get 5x $100 in Free Bets

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$2,000

Get $2,000 in Free Bets

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim Instant Deposit Match up to $100 + Free $5 game

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

TVG

$200

Get Your First Single-Horse Win Wager Back Up to $200 if you don't win

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $200

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

Underdog Fantasy

$100

First deposit is 100% matched up to $100 with Underdog Fantasy

Sign up for a new account with Underdog Fantasy

Make your first deposit

Every dollar (up to $100) will be matched! Deposit $25, get $50; deposit $100, get $200, etc

Must be 21+ to play. Terms & conditions apply