With the Big Ten Tournament bracket set, the initial odds for which team will win the whole shooting match have also been set. As you might expect, Wisconsin is a heavy favorite to win the conference tournament, considering how they steamrolled through the Big Ten* in the regular season. Beyond that, though, the seeds (and final standings) aren't much of a guide for the favorites -- Maryland and Purdue both earned top-4 seeds, but they have worse odds than Michigan State and Ohio State (Vegas really loves the Buckeyes, despite their 11-7 conference record and the 24-point thrashing they took from Wisconsin yesterday).
* Except against the Big Ten's newbies, Maryland and Rutgers. Seriously, Rutgers. How the hell did Wisconsin lose a game to goddamn Rutgers?!
Odds courtesy Bovada:
Another set of odds (not sure of the source) has things even worse for the Terps -- they're even behind Iowa:
B1G Tournament Odds: WI +110 OSU 7:2 MSU 7:1 IA 9:1 MD 10:1 PUR 14:1 IL 18:1 IN 22:1 MN 35:1 MI 80:1 NE 250:1 PS 275:1 NW 300:1 RUT 1000:1— Trent Condon (@trentcondon) March 9, 2015
KenPom shares Vegas' skepticism of the Terps and Boilermakers when it comes to picking a Big Ten tourney champ -- and also likes Iowa quite a bit:
Despite Maryland's gaudy 26-5 record (14-4 in league play) and the fact that they're in what's widely perceived as the easier (read: non-Wisconsin) portion of the Big Ten Tournament bracket, it's also easy to see why there's skepticism about them -- for one thing, they played the 2nd easiest conference strength of schedule (and unlike the Badgers, who actually played the easiest conference strength of schedule, the Terps didn't just completely annihilate almost all of the teams they played). And per KenPom, they also led the entire nation in luck, which may or may not be sustainable in tournament play.
Still, we care about Iowa -- and the Hawkeyes have pretty nice odds in the Big Ten Tournament. It won't be easy at all -- a potential semifinal with the same Wisconsin team that dismantled Iowa twice looms and Iowa needs to win two games just to get to that game, but hey. This is a good Iowa team playing at a very high level right now -- let's see what they can do in Chicago this weekend.
Oh, and if you're at all curious... the most recent odds for Iowa winning the NCAA Tournament (released a week ago) have Iowa at 200/1.