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Big Ten betting preview: Braxton Miller's injury boost Wisconsin's odds

Big Ten betting preview: Braxton Miller's injury boost Wisconsin's odds Photo:

The Ohio State Buckeyes are 24-2 SU in two seasons under head coach Urban Meyer and were looking forward to challenging for a national title this year.

Then Braxton Miller, a 7-1 Heisman Trophy candidate, blew out his shoulder again, and fans and bettors pressed the reset button on expectations.

Meyer's Buckeyes were the favorite to win the Big Ten at 10/11 and a strong contender to win the national title. With one shoulder diagnosis, they tumbled from 10-1 to 40-1 within a few hours at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark.

THAMEL: As life without Miller dawns, Ohio State cranks up its tempo

After Miller's injury Ohio State enters the 2014 season as just the third betting choice in the Big Ten, behind both Wisconsin (+250) and Michigan State (+255).

The Spartans were a major surprise in the 2013 season, putting together a very impressive 13-1 SU and 9-4-1 ATS campaign. Michigan State followed up its upset of Ohio State in the Big Ten championship with another strong victory overĀ Stanford in the Rose Bowl as a 6.5-point underdog.

In 2014 the Spartans must replace a lot of holes on defense but should still be firmly in the running for a conference title and are about 22/1 to win the national championship.

In the Big Ten West Division, Wisconsin enjoyed a 9-4 SU and ATS season in 2013 and has the pieces in place to build on that this year. Melvin Gordon rushed for 1,609 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, putting him on the Heisman watch list this year at 20/1.

With neither Michigan State nor Ohio State on its regular season schedule, Wisconsin has a great chance at representing the West in the Big Ten title game and is 9/2 to win the conference. The Badgers were a bit of a wild card in title odds, with some books placing them around 25-1 and others as high as 40-1.

Joining Wisconsin's Gordon as a dark horse Heisman candidate running back is Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah with 33/1 odds. Abdullah enters his senior year coming off 1,690 rushing yards last season and should once again be the focal point of Nebraska's offense.

STAFF: Gordon, Abdullah fill SI.com's Preseason All-America Team

The Cornhuskers are going off at +775 to win the Big Ten, and look to be Wisconsin's biggest threat in the West division.

The Michigan Wolverines (10/1 in Big Ten odds) and the Iowa Hawkeyes (9/1) sit behind the conference's top four teams as a pair of longshots that could get into the division title picture if the stars align. Iowa's offense gives the Hawkeyes a chance in the wide-open West, but the defense will be breaking in a lot of new starters and leaves plenty to be desired.

ROSENBERG: Is Brady Hoke still the right man for Michigan

Rounding out the Big Ten with odds to win the conference are:

Wisconsin +250

Michigan State +255

Ohio State +300

Nebraska +775

Iowa +825

Michigan +1050

Northwestern +3400

Minnesota +7000

Indiana +12000

Maryland +14500

Illinois +18000

Rutgers +40000

Purdue +40000

#DearAndy: Spartans' D, preseason polls and volcanoes

Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples answers your Twitter questions about Michigan State's defense, the value of preseason polls and how volcanoes could affect recruiting in Europe.

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