Week one of the college football season is finally upon us.
Week zero provided an early look at what to expect, but the first full slate of the year is set for this weekend, with all 14 Big Ten teams in action — including two conference matchups.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the opening odds for every game involving in a Big Ten team in week one, presented by DraftKings Sportsbook.
No odds are available for Maryland’s season opener since it is playing Towson, an FCS opponent, but the Terps should be able to run up the score and waltz their way to a 1-0 start. Last time Maryland played Towson, it was a 63-17 victory in 2017.
Nebraska at Minnesota (-7.5), 8 p.m. ET
The Big Ten football season begins Thursday, and Nebraska fans will get their first look at Matt Rhule as the team’s head coach. The Cornhuskers are an intriguing program to watch moving forward, but are still in the early stages of their rebuild. Despite Minnesota having an unproven quarterback in Athan Kaliakmanis, the Golden Gophers are favored by just over a touchdown.
Central Michigan at Michigan State (-14.5), 7 p.m. ET
Michigan State is entering year four under Mel Tucker, and with Payton Thorne off to Auburn, the Spartans are yet to name their starting quarterback. Even so, they should have enough to get by Central Michigan at home, warranting a multi-touchdown spread.
Utah State at Iowa (-25.5), 12 p.m. ET
Iowa nearly won the Big Ten West last season despite having an abysmal offense. With Michigan transfer quarterback Cade McNamara in the fold, offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz’s contract states that his team must average at least 25 points per game this season or he will be let go. With their play-caller’s job on the line, don’t be surprised if the Hawkeyes try to run up the score — maybe with a defensive or special teams touchdown sprinkled in.
Fresno State at Purdue (-4), 12 p.m. ET
Purdue is only favored by four points against Fresno State, the smallest point spread of any game including a Big Ten team this week. Fresno State lost a few key players from last season’s Mountain West championship team, but should be good enough to hang around with a new-look Purdue squad boasting a new head coach and starting quarterback.
East Carolina at Michigan (-36), 12 p.m. ET
Jim Harbaugh won’t be on the sidelines for Michigan this week because of a self-imposed three-game suspension, but it won’t matter. The Wolverines won their three non-conference games last season by an average of nearly 50 points, and they should see similar results in 2023 with a similarly laughable non-conference slate and arguably the best team in the Big Ten.
Ohio State (-30) at Indiana, 3:30 p.m. ET
This is about as much of a mismatch as you’ll find in the Big Ten. Ohio State will once again compete for a national championship this season, and Indiana’s roster is among the worst in the conference. The most interesting storyline will be how Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day manages his ongoing quarterback battle between Kyle McCoy and Devin Brown, but otherwise this one may get ugly.
Buffalo at Wisconsin (-27.5), 3:30 p.m. ET
Wisconsin will also have a new head coach on the sidelines, with Luke Fickell ready for his first season. The Badgers have a new quarterback, Tanner Mordecai, to play alongside star running back Braelon Allen in an offense that should be a bit more wide open than in previous years. Wisconsin is the favorite to win the Big Ten West this season and should coast to an easy victory over Buffalo on Saturday.
West Virginia at Penn State (-20.5), 7:30 p.m. ET
Drew Allar will make his highly-anticipated first career start for Penn State on Saturday, and it comes against an opponent his team should put away. West Virginia is in a precarious position as a program, with head coach Neil Brown’s seat as hot as any in the nation. Even if Allar struggles, the running back tandem of Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen, plus Penn State’s superb defense, should be more than enough to beat the Mountaineers in front of a rowdy nighttime crowd at Beaver Stadium.
Toledo at Illinois (-9), 7:30 p.m. ET
Illinois saw substantial improvement last season in its second year under Bret Bielema, winning eight games. It will have its hands full with a tough first-week opponent, however, as Toledo is the betting favorite to win the MAC after doing so last year and returning much of that team. Still, the Fighting Illini are favored by nine points and are a physical, grind-it-out style team that will be hard to beat at home.
Northwestern at Rutgers (-6.5), 12 p.m. ET
The second of two conference games on the week one Big Ten slate, Northwestern and Rutgers will duke it out on Sunday. Both teams are projected to finish near or at the bottom of their respective divisions, so Sunday’s matchup presents an opportunity for both teams to get a conference win on the board. The Scarlet Knights will have an edge with more continuity on their roster and home-field advantage, but this one projects to be a low-scoring and close game.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.