2022 Big Ten win totals, odds, picks: Predictions for each team as Ohio State, Michigan face large numbers

The Big Ten saw a lot of surprises last season. Michigan won the conference for the first time since 2004 and went to College Football Playoff, while Ohio State and Michigan State played in six bowls for the new year. In the Western Conference division, Minnesota recovered from the 2020 low to win nine games, as did Purdue, which had its highest win total since 2003.

On the flip side, Penn State had another average season (7-6) and Northwestern followed up a division title with a 3-9 record number. Will we see many surprises in 2022, or will things go back to normal? I have no idea, but that never stopped me from trying to get into the future anyway. Let’s do just that by taking a look at the 2022 Big Ten win totals from Caesars Sportsbook.


Over / under 4.5 times win

  • Wins: Wyoming, Chattanooga, Minnesota, Purdue, Northwestern
  • losses: Indiana, Virginia, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Michigan State, Michigan

Analytics: Illinois’ win total was set at 3.5 last season, but he won five games in Brett Bilima’s debut thanks to one of the best defenses in the Big Ten. With the change of offensive coordinator, Illini is hoping to improve with at least one win to get to the bowl game. I think this is more likely to happen than finishing a team 4-8 or worse. The first four matches will be huge. Pick up: more than 4.5 (-110)


Over/Under 4 wins

  • Wins: Illinois, Idaho, Western Kentucky, Maryland, Purdue
  • losses: Cincinnati, Nebraska, Michigan, Rutgers, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan State

Analytics: I don’t think Indiana was as bad as their record suggested last season, and a friendlier schedule should help the Hoosiers take a step forward in 2021. There are home games to be won against Illinois, Maryland and Purdue, and the toughest games of all on the road except Michigan. Having said that, Hoosiers probably regret scheduling Cincinnati in a noncon. Life in the Big Ten East is tough enough without adding supplement teams to the table. Pick: More than 4 (-120)


Over/Under 7.5 times win

  • Wins: South Dakota, Iowa, Nevada, Rutgers, Illinois, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Nebraska
  • losses: Michigan, Ohio, Purdue, Minnesota

Analytics: When I first saw Iowa’s total, I thought, “That’s too far,” but then I checked the timeline and saw that the Hawkeyes are happy to draw both Michigan and Ohio from the East. The good news is that major division matches against Wisconsin and Nebraska will be held in Iowa City, as will the annual showdown with Iowa State. While 7-5 is certainly in play, barring a disaster or injuries, 8-4 appears to be within reach. Picking: more than 7.5 (+100)


Over/Under 6 wins

  • Wins: Buffalo, Charlotte, SMU, Bordeaux, Northwestern, Rutgers
  • losses: Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio

Analytics: Maryland season prepares to be a roller coaster. Terps must start 3-0 prior to back-to-back matches against Wolverines and Spartans. Then there’s the soft-to-glove mids from Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Ohio in back-to-back weeks. This could make the final match against Rutgers even more difficult than expected! The most likely outcome here is a push, but if I am forced to take sides, I see an unexpected loss more often than a sudden win. Pick up: less than 6 (-125)


Over/Under 9.5 times win

  • Wins: Colorado, Hawaii, Ocon, Maryland, Iowa, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Rutgers, Nebraska, Illinois
  • losses: Michigan State, Ohio

Analytics: I know a lot of people are expecting the Wolverines to take a huge step back considering everyone they’ve lost, but this should remain one of the best teams in the Big Ten and a primary contender for the conference title behind Ohio State. The non-conference schedule is quiet, and the road trip to Iowa is the only hurdle I see before the mid-October showdown with Pennsylvania. Michigan isn’t likely to win the Big Ten or reach the playoff again, but it’s not hard to find 10 wins in the table. Selection: more than 9.5 (-115)

Michigan State

Over/Under 7.5 times win

  • Wins: Western Michigan, Akron, Minnesota, Maryland, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Rutgers, Indiana
  • losses: Washington, Ohio, Pennsylvania

Analytics: I wrote last week that no one should be surprised if The Spartans fall back to Earth A little bit in 2022, but this winning total is a very drastic move. The Spartans might be a little worse on offense, but they should be better defensively and have some of the most demanding games (Ohio and Wisconsin) at home. If they go on the road and beat Washington in early September, I don’t see how they fail to score eight wins. If they lose, they will likely keep getting there. Selection: more than 7.5 (-125)


Over/Under 7.5 times win

  • Wins: New Mexico, Western Illinois, Colorado, Purdue, Rutgers, Northwestern, Iowa
  • losses: Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Wisconsin

Analytics: Minnesota fans, would it help me if I told you I’m surprised I’m taking down here? I wasn’t expecting it, but after the usually easy schedule, things get even more difficult. Not only have the Gophers drawn Michigan and Pennsylvania to the east, they’re going the way together. There are also road matches against Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Illinois. Also, while I know the coaches are confident in the look of a new offensive line, I need to see it first, and I have more important concerns about the seven that should replace a few key players from a difficult defense last season. Pick: Less than 7.5 (-125)


Over/Under 7.5 times win

  • Wins: Northwestern, North Dakota, South Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota
  • lossesOklahoma, Rutgers, Purdue, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa

Analytics: Can the greatest 3-9 team ever improve to 8-4 in 2022? Given that Nebraska played like a 6-6 team last year, that wouldn’t be a huge leap technically, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Honestly, I don’t know what anyone from Nebraska has seen over the past eight years that would make them optimistic about anything. However, I think we will see a bounce back from a lot of the horrific setbacks this team had last year. The greatest 3-9 team of all time would be a perfectly average 6-6 team. You might get to 7-5, but betting 8-4 seems crap. Pick: Less than 7.5 (-125)


Over / less than 3.5 times win

  • Wins: Duke, Southern Illinois, Miami (Ohio)
  • losses: Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Maryland, Iowa, Ohio, Minnesota, Purdue, Illinois

Analytics: Let me start by saying that I wouldn’t make that bet if I were you. I’m not going. I expect Northwestern to be winless in the Big Ten this year, the kind of thing that happens before the Wildcats figure out a way to win 10 games while only scoring 17 points per game. While I don’t skip this program, there aren’t many obvious reasons to bet it will happen. So, if you had to put one down, I’d go down, but I wouldn’t join you. Pick up: less than 3.5 (+110)

Ohio State

Over/Under 11 wins

  • Wins: Notre Dame, Arkansas, Toledo, Wisconsin, Rutgers, Michigan State, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Northwestern, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan
  • losses: no one

AnalyticsThere is nothing I enjoy less than expecting a great team to be undefeated. Winning is tough, and going for an entire season without messing around once is a tall mountain to climb. But Ohio State is more likely to go 12-0 or 11-1 than anything else, so with the aggregate group at 11, I don’t see how you can bet anything else. She will have one of the best attacks in the country, and if Jim Knowles improves his defense, this team will win the Big Ten and return to College Football Playoff. Pick: More than 11 (-140)

Pennsylvania state

Over/Under 8.5 times win

  • Wins: Purdue, Ohio, Central Michigan, Northwestern, Minnesota, Indiana, Maryland, Rutgers, Michigan State
  • losses: Auburn, Michigan, Ohio State

AnalyticsI firmly believe that Penn State is a better team than we’ve seen in the last two seasons. I don’t take anything that happened in the Big Ten in 2020 seriously, and there are reasons to believe that the Nittany Lions will take a step forward this year. They remain one of the most talented teams in the conference, and quarterback Sean Clifford will play under the same offensive coordinator in consecutive seasons for the first time in his career. Despite losing some key components, the defense should still be good. Finally, the schedule isn’t too bad. Lions get Ohio and Michigan at home, and a road trip to Auburn isn’t nearly as difficult as it seemed when it was scheduled. Pick up: more than 8.5 (-105)


Over/Under 7 wins

  • Wins: Indiana, Florida Atlantic, Nebraska, Iowa, Northwestern
  • losses: Pennsylvania, Syracuse, Minnesota, Maryland, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana

AnalyticsLike Michigan State, Purdue is another team that I would expect to take a step back in 2022. The difference is that I think Purdue’s step back will be more prominent. The Boilermakers went 9-4 last year and here I have them finish 5-7 and miss a game with the ball. This might be a pretty steep drop, but Boilermakers are getting nearly all of their “coin flipping” games on the road, which adds difficulty to the whole thing. With a few breaks this team could finish 7-5, but even that would be just a boost, and I’m not expecting 8-4 with this table. Least is a strong bet. Pick up: less than 7 (-130)


Over/Under 4 wins

  • WinsWagner, Temple, Nebraska, Indiana
  • lossesBoston College, Iowa, Ohio State, Minnesota, Michigan, Michigan State, Pennsylvania State, Maryland

Analytics: I’ve taken a pessimistic view with every other team I expect to drive their win total in 2022, so it’s time for some optimism. While I would expect the riders to end up with a 4-8 score, the 5-7 record seems to be more likely to me than 3-9 with this table. The Knights just won five games last season, and they’ve done an excellent job of being a pain in the ass against teams that don’t have much talent advantages over them. While they would still likely be bombarded by the better east teams, they would be feisty enough against everyone else that it wouldn’t come as a shock if they narrowed it down somewhere. Pick up: more than 4 (-105)


Over/Under 9 wins

  • Wins: Illinois State, Washington State, New Mexico State, Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue, Maryland, Nebraska, Minnesota
  • losses: Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa

Analytics: I’ve been waiting for the Wisconsin attack to take a step forward in their passing offensive with Graham Mertz for the past two seasons, and it hasn’t come. I’m not counting on that in 2022. Of course, that doesn’t mean the Badgers are going to fall apart. Effectively running the ball and playing the throttle defense worked well for so long at Madison, and while this limits the program’s ability to win the Conference, it can still win the West. Road trips to Ohio and Michigan wouldn’t be very fun, but badgers should be preferred for every other game outside of their wild trip to Iowa. Pick up: less than 9 (-115)