Big Ten Basketball Conference Schedule: Where MSU and Michigan Rank

Big Ten Basketball Conference Schedule: Where MSU and Michigan Rank
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

The college basketball offseason is less than a month old, but the sport is a year-round passion for many hoops fans, including Michigan sports betting customers.

Games take place between November and April, but important developments occur throughout the year – just look at recruiting news, transfer portal updates and schedule releases. Big Ten fans got a taste of the latter last week when the league unveiled the intraconference schedules each would play at home and on the road next season. Under the 20-game conference schedule format, each team will have three home-and-away opponents, seven home-only opponents and seven away-only opponents.

BetMichigan.com and our sister sites in Ohio and Maryland wanted to know which Big Ten teams got the hardest and easiest schedules. Here are the results, with an explanation of how we computed the numbers afterward:

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Hardest To Easiest Big Ten Basketball Conference Schedules

Rank

Team

Points

1

Penn State

44

2

Ohio State

43

T3

Michigan

41

T3

Minnesota

41

T3

UCLA

41

T3

USC

41

T3

Wisconsin

41

T8

Oregon

38

T8

Washington

38

10

Purdue

37

T11

Iowa

36

T11

Michigan State

36

T13

Nebraska

34

T13

Northwestern

34

T13

Rutgers

34

16

Maryland

33

T17

Illinois

32

T17

Indiana

32

Those devoted to the maize and blue can check out our Michigan Wolverines basketball betting guide page. 

We devised the following point system to rank each team’s set of opponents: 

  • 1 point – home vs. ESPN Top 25
  • 1 point – home vs. On3 Team Transfer Portal Rankings (Top 25)
  • 1 point – home vs. 24/7 Team Recruiting Rankings (Top 25) 
  • 2 point – away vs. ESPN Top 25
  • 2 point – away vs. On3 Team Transfer Portal Rankings (Top 25)
  • 2 point – away vs. 24/7 Team Recruiting Rankings (Top 25)
  • 2 point – away vs. 75%+ Win Rate at Home Since 2021

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The 2024-25 season marks a new era for the Big Ten as former UCLA, Southern California, Oregon and Washington join from the Pac-12. That means teams like Michigan and Michigan State will each make at least one West Coast swing next season. The Big Ten website released a list of opponents within the league but not dates yet; nonconference schedules are also forthcoming.

Wolverines Given Tough Big Ten Gauntlet

Michigan, under new coach Dusty May, received few favors with its schedule. The Wolverines play Purdue home and away next season. Despite losing reigning player of the year Zach Edey, the Boilermakers will still be considered a top 15 team next year and have lost just three times in 49 games at West Lafayette since 2021, making them a strong futures wager with Michigan sportsbook apps.

Other challenges on Michigan’s schedule include an away date at May’s alma mater, Indiana. The Hoosiers have On3’s fourth-best transfer class and a preseason top 25 ranking, plus we rate their in-league schedule as the easiest. UM also has a trip to ranked UCLA and its third-best transfer class; and home-and-away contests against Rutgers, which has the fourth-best recruiting class according to 24/7 Sports. We rate Michigan’s schedule as tied for third-most difficult with 41 points, behind Penn State (44 points) and Ohio State (43).

The Wolverines went 8-24 last season, finishing last in the Big Ten at 3-17, and fired coach Juwan Howard from his alma mater. May has On3’s sixth-best transfer class to perhaps help him right the ship quickly in Ann Arbor.

BetMGM Michigan Sportsbook gives the Wolverines odds of +5000 to win the NCAA title next season. That’s tied for the fourth-shortest price among Big Ten schools, with Illinois, Wisconsin, Rutgers and UCLA all having the same odds. BetMGM gave Purdue the shortest odds among Big Ten teams at +3000. Michigan State and Indiana are both available at +4000.

Spartans Get A Few Breaks

On paper, it looks as if Michigan State did not get as harsh a docket as the Wolverines. Coach Tom Izzo’s squad, though, still has some tough games as part of its Big Ten slate. Spartans fans can check out our Michigan State basketball betting guide for more info.

The Spartans get Purdue and Indiana at home. But MSU must travel to Maryland, which is ranked in the preseason top 25 and has a top-25 transfer class, and UCLA. Izzo’s team also has a road trip to Ohio State, which is also ranked in the ESPN poll. According to our calculations, the MSU slate is tied for 11th hardest with 36 points.

The Spartans have the No. 15 recruiting class coming to East Lansing this fall, according to 24/7. Four starters from this past season’s team, which advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, have departed. Still, guard Jaden Akins returns for his senior year after averaging 10.4 points a game as a starter in 2023-24. Michigan State didn’t do much in the transfer portal, but the Spartans did land forward Frankie Fidler from Omaha, where he averaged 20.1 points and 6.3 rebounds as a junior last season.

Oddsmakers at FanDuel Michigan Sportsbook are more bearish on the Spartans than they are their in-state rivals. The Flutter Entertainment brand sportsbook has Michigan State with odds of +6500 to win its third national title. That’s compared to +4500 for the Wolverines.

BetMichigan.com is your source for the latest sports betting news regarding your favorite teams. Visit regularly also to get the latest promo codes for sportsbooks licensed in The Mitten State.

USA Today photo by Junfu Han

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Author

Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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