College football betting: Big Ten decision alters 2020 odds

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College football betting got a significant jolt Thursday afternoon, in the seemingly never-ending stream of bad news emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Big Ten announced its football programs – and in fact all fall sports – would play only the conference schedule for the 2020 season.

Oddsmakers at several sportsbooks discussed the impact of the Big Ten’s plan on college football odds.

How does the Big Ten’s decision affect college football win totals?

In a nutshell, all college football season win totals are now off the odds board – if they were even on the board to begin with. South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews had a pragmatic approach very early on in the COVID-19 shutdown, and he now appears prophetic.

“I never put up win totals, because I was afraid of exactly this,” Andrews told Covers. “I always said if they were gonna play at all, it’d be only conference games. This is the first shoe to drop, and I think other conferences will follow.”

Jeff Davis, director of trading for Caesars Entertainment sportsbooks, had only the win totals impacted by Thursday’s news.

“All win totals off the board,” he said. “Nothing else affected at this point.”

How does the Big Ten’s decision affect college football championship odds?

Johnny Avello, director of sportsbook operations for DraftKings, said the futures market for the winner of the College Football Playoff is off the board.

“There are no national championship futures right now,” Avello said, noting the Big Ten has a huge impact on those odds. “You’ve got Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Wisconsin all probably among the top 30 teams. So you can’t do anything right now. Other conferences have to make their decisions (first).”

Avello fully supports the Big Ten’s move and thinks it might just salvage the college football season.

“I wasn’t sure there was gonna be college football this year, so it’s a step in the right direction,” Avello said. “At least there’s some hope here.”

Andrews was once again ahead of the curve.

“I had national championship up, but I took that down a long time ago, in March,” he said. “It’s a pretty major move by the Big Ten. The Big Ten is a major market. They’re obviously worried about student-athletes and the rest of the students, as well. They’re concerned about everybody.”

How does the Big Ten’s decision impact games?

FanDuel Sportsbook had a slate of Games of the Year, and any of those involving a Big Ten team against a nonconference opponent are now off the board. Any bets already made on those matchups are refunds.

DraftKings also had Games of the Year up, along with Week 1, and took down any matchup pitting the Big Ten vs. a non-Big Ten team. The same could be said at sportsbooks across the country that posted similar odds.

How does the Big Ten’s decision impact Group of 5/FCS schools?

Beyond betting odds, programs in the Group of 5 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences and in the Football Championship Subdivision will take a severe hit due to the Big Ten’s decision. Many Group of 5/FCS programs rely on lucrative paydays – sometimes in excess of $1 million – gained by accepting nonconference road games against Power 5 teams.

This season alone, four Group of 5 FBS teams – Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Michigan and Northern Illinois – and two FBS independents – Connecticut and Brigham Young – had two Big Ten opponents on their respective schedules.

Those matchups often help a Group of 5 or FCS school prop up its entire athletic department budget for the year. Losing such lucrative games could wreak financial havoc on those athletic departments, well beyond the football program. And that will be magnified if more Power 5 conferences follow the Big Ten’s lead.

Canucks vs Golden Knights picks and predictions for Game 1


Perhaps no team has been more fun to follow during the NHL playoffs than the Vancouver Canucks, and hockey bettors can still get the Canucks at +1,300 to hoist Lord Stanley’s cup. Vancouver is coming off a thrilling series win against the defending champion St. Louis Blues, but now a much more difficult challenge awaits. The Vegas Golden Knights are +350 favorites to win it all, and they’ve certainly looked the part while dropping only one playoff contest.

Game 1 of this series gets underway Sunday, so we’re here to bring you our NHL picks and predictions in this Western Conference semifinal showdown.

Vancouver Canucks vs Vegas Golden Knights betting preview

Starting Goalies

Canucks: Jacob Markstrom – playoffs – 7-3, 2.44 GAA, .929 SV% (season – 23-16, 2.75 GAA, .918 SV%)

Golden Knights: Robin Lehner – playoffs – 5-1, 2.44 GAA, .904 SV% (season – 19-10, 2.89, .920 SV%)

If this game was actually played in Las Vegas, then Markstrom could easily spend a few hours performing with Cirque du Soleil. The 30-year-old dazzled against Blues with an eye-opening array of acrobatic saves and an impressive 7-3 record. He’ll need to provide more of the same against a dangerous Vegas squad.

The Knights will likely roll with Robin Lehner, who has taken over the spot as Vegas’s starter in the crease—and rightfully so. Still, the Knights have the luxury of having Marc-Andre Fleury as their “backup.” The five-time All-Star matched an NHL record this season with his 14th consecutive playoff appearance.


Vancouver: Tyler Myers D (out), Tyler Toffoli RW (out), Micheal Ferland LW (out), Josh Leivo LW (out)

Vegas: Tomas Nosek LW (out)

Betting Trend to Know

Canucks are 0-6 in their last six Sunday games. Find the latest NHL betting trends for Canucks vs. Golden Knights.


The Canucks have been a force with the extra man during the postseason, converting 26.2% of their power plays. While the Knights are known for their offensive firepower, it’s their stingy defense that allows them to suffocate opponents—as evidenced by an 86.4% penalty kill during their playoff run. Vancouver is the only team in the league to never beat Vegas in regulation, going 0-11 all time. That’s something I just can’t ignore.

PREDICTION: Vegas ML (-175)


Each team is filled with loads of offensive talent. Vancouver’s Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller have combined for 11 goals thus far. Elias Pettersson has racked up 13 points, tied with Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon for the playoff lead.

The Knights can match Vancouver’s scorers, but they’re more balanced—Shea Theodore, Alex Tuch and Mark Stone have each lit the lamp four times during the postseason. The difference is on defense, where Vancouver has allowed the most high-danger chances of all remaining playoff teams.

PREDICTION: Over 5.5 (-110)


Though I like Vegas to win, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Canucks kept it close and continued their offensive success. I’ll take a flyer on Vancouver scoring at least three goals.

PREDICTION: Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)

Canucks vs Golden Knights Betting Card

  • Vegas ML (-175)
  • Over 5.5 (-110)
  • Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)
NHL Parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s NHL Canucks vs Golden Knights picks, you could win $104.93 on a $10 bet?

Use our NHL parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Verlander injury shuffles Astros’ MLB futures odds

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MLB betting got a shake-up Sunday afternoon, specifically on World Series odds and AL pennant odds, with news that Astros star pitcher Justin Verlander could miss the rest of the season – or at least a significant chunk of it – with an arm injury.

Initial reports suggested Verlander had an elbow ailment, but both he and manager Dusty Baker quickly denied that. Baker called it a forearm strain and said that Verlander would be re-evaluated in “a couple of weeks.” The reigning AL Cy Young winner pitched a solid six innings in an 8-2 Opening Day rout of the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

Verlander’s injury led oddsmakers to shuffle futures book odds on the defending AL champions. Covers checked in on the MLB odds moves with a couple of Las Vegas sportsbooks.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ World Series odds?

At CG Technology books, risk analyst Rich Zanco said the Astros quickly moved from +1,200 to +1,800 in World Series futures. The SuperBook at Westgate also had Houston pegged +1,200 prior to Sunday’s news and initially went to +1,600, then dialed it a little further to +1,800.

However, there were apparently buyers on the Astros at that point, prompting the SuperBook to reel the price in to +1,400.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ American League odds?

In AL pennant futures, the Astros initially moved from +600 to +800 at The SuperBook, then ticked back to +700.

World Series odds

Team Odds to win
Los Angeles Dodgers +350
New York Yankees +350
Houston Astros +600
Atlanta Braves +1,600
Minnesota Twins +1,600
Tampa Bay Rays +1,800
Washington Nationals +2,000
Cleveland Indians +2,000
New York Mets +2,000
Chicago Cubs +2,000
Oakland Athletics +2,000
St. Louis Cardinals +2,500
Cincinnati Reds +2,500
San Diego Padres +2,500
Philadelphia Phillies +3,000
Chicago White Sox +3,000
Los Angeles Angels +3,000
Milwaukee Brewers +4,000
Boston Red Sox +5,000
Arizona Diamondbacks +6,000
Colorado Rockies +8,000
Toronto Blue Jays +10,000
Texas Rangers +10,000
Pittsburgh Pirates +20,000
Detroit Tigers +20,000
San Francisco Giants +30,000
Seattle Mariners +30,000
Miami Marlins +30,000
Baltimore Orioles +30,000
Kansas City Royals +30,000

Odds courtesy The SuperBook