Big Ten Conference Tournament Best Bets: Illinois Fighting Illini, Ohio State Buckeyes

Vaughn Dalzell breaks down some of his early bets for the Conference Tournaments, including Illinois and Ohio State in the Big Ten.

Big Ten Tournament: Illinois (+500), Ohio State (+5000)

While most people will be betting Purdue at -180 odds to win the Big Ten tournament, I think Illinois is the best bet at +500 odds.

Illinois is 9-3 over the last 12 games since Terrence Shannon returned to the lineup and the offense ranks No. 2 in the country over that span with the defense coming in first for defensive three-point rate.

The Illini are shaping up to the be the sleeper or possibly the obvious pick out of the Big Ten to make a run in March. Illinois' road in the Big Ten tournament will likely go through Northwestern or Iowa after the first matchup, which sets up for a likely Illinois versus Purdue matchup.

As of today, March 5th, Illinois and Purdue will play tonight in Illinois. If the Illini win as home favorites, then these odds will drop from +500.

While the tournament will be hosted by Minnesota, the Gophers are not the sleeper team to win it all, while neither Northwestern or Nebraska. I beleive it's Ohio State.

The Buckeyes are 4-1 in the last five since Jake Diebler took over coaching this team and OSU's season is more alive than ever with recent wins over Michigan State and Purdue. Sitting at +5000, I like a sprinkle on OSU to win the Big Ten tournament.

Pick: Illinois to win the Big Ten Tournament (1u), Ohio State to win the Big Ten Tournament (0.1u)

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