clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Big Ten Football Odds: Season Win Totals

New, 166 comments

Where do you set the line for Penn State?

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Sports books capitalize on the uniquely visceral lightening that flashes through a man's veins, boosting his laughably fragile ego with the most conspicuous of all male proclamations: I'm right / I win. [Its slightly less famous corollary, you're wrong / you lose, though satisfying, particularly when combined with pointing, laughing, and mockery - for example, when Michigan lost to Appalachian State - provides a different joy which falls just short.]  Even better, gambling combines "I'm right" with "I win", creating an intoxicating gratification cocktail.  It's delicious.

Good news, friends - the bar's now open. Vegas book 5 Dimes posted over/under win totals for most of...whatever the big boy football division calls itself now that there's a playoff. Below we've sorted the Big Ten squads into a handy table:

Skool Wins
Ohio State 11
Wisconsin 10
Michigan State 9.5
Nebraska 8
Michigan 7.5
Northwestern 6.5
Indiana 6
Minnesota 5.5
Rutgers 5
Maryland 4.5
Purdue 4
Illinois 3.5
Penn State Off
Iowa Off

What's the first thing you notice?  5 Dimes didn't put a line on Penn State. Shameful. But here's Penn State's 2015 schedule of opponents, with each opponent's 2014 SRS*. Let's set our own line.

Date Opponent 2014 SRS
9/5/2015 vs. Temple (Philly) -2.23
9/12/2015 vs. Buffalo -9.34
9/19/2015 vs. BTPR 3.19
9/26/2015 vs. San Diego St -2.1
10/3/2015 vs. Army -12.95
10/10/2015 vs. Indiana -5.32
10/17/2015 at Ohio State 20.44
10/24/2015 vs. Maryland (Balto) 1.58
10/31/2015 vs. Illinois -2.53
11/7/2015 at jNW 0.8
11/21/2015 vs. Michigan 1.82
11/28/2015 at Sparty 16.07

*SRS stands for "Simple Rating System", and is a collage of pseudo-math with figures presented in hundredths to give the appearance of precision and legitimacy. A bigger number is good. 2014 Penn State's SRS was 2.46.

You're reading that schedule correctly, friends. Penn State plays 7 home games, just 3 road games, and 2 "neutral site" games (lol - they're in Philly and Bal'mer). Our Lions have faced tougher tests.