The Big Ten football season almost never happened but after some tense negotiations, here we are. The Big Ten will begin an eight-game conference only schedule on Friday, Oct. 23 when Illinois travels to Madison to face off against 16th-ranked Wisconsin. That game kicks off the 2020 season, but Saturday is when Week 1 of the Big Ten will really get going.

Wisconsin is the biggest favorite of the week at -23.5, but Ohio State is not far behind. The Buckeyes, who are one of the favorites to win the National Championship, are 21.5-point favorites against Nebraska. Despite the fact that Ohio State hasn’t even stepped on the field yet, people expect them to dominate the Big Ten en route to another berth in the College Football Playoff.

If big spreads scare you away, there are a few games that are expected to be much closer. Michigan is ranked 19th in the country, but the Wolverines will be 2.5-point underdogs when they take on No. 24 Minnesota next weekend. The game is in Minneapolis and fans will be allowed in the stands, but they will only have around 800 in TCF Bank Stadium for opening weekend.

It’s probably best to ignore preseason rankings for the time being. LSU opened the season at No. 6 in the AP Top 25 Poll, but they’ve since dropped out of the Top 25 entirely after starting the year 1-2. Sure, most experts expect Michigan to have a better season than Minnesota this year, but nothing is set in stone.

Odds on the first week of Big Ten games can be found over at DraftKings Sportsbook.

 

Big Ten Football Opening Lines

Game Time (Eastern) Team Spread
Friday, Oct. 23 Illinois +23.5 (-110)
8:00 p.m. Wisconsin -23.5 (-110)
Game Time (Eastern) Team Spread
Saturday, Oct. 24 Nebraska +21.5 (-110)
12:00 p.m. Ohio State -21.5 (-110)
Game Time (Eastern) Team Spread
Saturday, Oct. 24 Rutgers +11.5 (-110)
12:00 p.m. Michigan State -11.5 (-110)
Game Time (Eastern) Team Spread
Saturday, Oct. 24 Penn State -7 (-110)
3:30 p.m. Indiana +7 (-110)
Game Time (Eastern) Team Spread
Saturday, Oct. 24 Iowa -2.5 (-110)
3:30 p.m. Purdue +2.5 (-110)
Game Time (Eastern) Team Spread
Saturday, Oct. 24 Michigan +2.5 (-110)
7:30 p.m. Minnesota -2.5 (-110)
Game Time (Eastern) Team Spread
Saturday, Oct. 24 Maryland +11 (-110)
7:30 p.m. Northwestern -11 (-110)