Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch will battle out for the Monster Energy Series title in the NASCAR Final 4 odds during the playoff and season finale Nov. 17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Truex (2017), Busch (2015) and Harvick (2014) have accounted for three of the last five titles. Hamlin (two wins at Miami) hasn’t won the championship. Truex and Busch (one each) have all won at Homestead.
College Football Conference Previews: Big Ten
Odds To Win The Big Ten
Ohio State 1–2
Michigan State 13–4
Penn State 15–1
Most Likely Team To Win: Ohio State
The Ohio State Buckeyes’ enter the 2015 season with a problem all other NCAA programs would be envious of, three high-quality starting quarterbacks. While one is likely to transfer before the season starts (most likely the senior Braxton Miller), the remaining two will be in fierce competition to start. Whoever wins the starting job will be a favourite to win the Heisman, along with Buckeyes running back Ezekial Elliot. The Buckeyes’ roster features another talented player primed to make a serious run at a prestigious award. Defensive end Joey Bosa was a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player of the year) in 2014, but had to settle for the runner-up spot. He enters 2015, not only as a front-runner for the award, but could even land himself a spot in the top-5 in the 2016 NFL draft. The Buckeyes have a large percentage of their championship roster returning and are not just gearing up to win the conference but have a spot in the National Championship once again.
A Sleeper Team That Could Surprise: Minnesota
Even though it is very unlikely any team challenges the Buckeyes for the conference title, some teams can over perform and get a chance to play in a more meaningful bowl game. One of those teams is the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
After exceeding expectations in 2014, the Gophers look to take another step forward and challenge for the Big Ten West title. The strength of the unit, its talented and fast striking secondary, has 4 seniors returning, including All-Big Ten cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun. The pass rush of the Gophers, averaging over 2 sacks a game in 2014, will help generate pressure and force poor passes into the strong secondary. The keys for the Gophers’ to get over the hump will be better pass protection and higher production in the passing game. Junior quarterback Mitch Leidner, a competitor with legendary toughness and strong running skills, will need to be more efficient in the passing game and take fewer hits. The passing game will gain the service of 4 red-shirt freshmen to help Leidner increase his numbers from 2014. The offensive line will remain the big question mark on the team.
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