Purdue couldn't have shown up at a better time on Wisconsin's schedule, as they have a great history of using Purdue as a crutch. Wisconsin beat Purdue 34-13 the last time these two met, and have averaged nearly 30 points over their last 5 meetings.
The football gods have not been so kind to the 6-2 Badgers
of Wisconsin over the last few weeks. After a heartbreaking loss on a last
second hail mary against Michigan State, the Badgers dropped their second in a
row last week to Ohio State. This week, Wisconsin looks to take out their
frustrations at home as they welcome in the 4-4 Purdue Boilermakers.
Sportsbooks opened Wisconsin as the -26.5 favorites, but most college football betting outlets have lowered the number to 26. The game's total has risen from 57 to 57.5.
Badgers' falling, but not on the ground
Despite losing two in a row, Wisconsin still sits in second
place with a 2-2 record in the Big Ten Leaders division, and could really use a
win against divisional rival Purdue. If they can win out towards the end of the
season, they will have a home date with the leaders of the Leaders division
Penn State in the final week.
Wisconsin still has a phenomenal offense. During their 6-0
start, the Badgers were averaging 50 points per game. They are currently 6th
in the FBS in scoring, averaging 45 points per. QB Russell Wilson has
been having another great year, adding to his impressive college resume. He has
a touchdown to interception ratio of 19/3 this season and 95/29 in his career.
To complement a great offense, a solid defense will help the
Badgers get back on track. They are giving up only 16 points per game, which is
9th in the country; but only 4th best in the Big Ten. If
that doesn't give you an idea of how good this conference is, I don't know what
Basketball can't come soon enough
This is one of my favorite statements from historically
basketball schools during football season. Duke, Maryland, Illinois and a
wealth of others say it almost every year. Purdue is normally on the verge of
this statement most years, and this year isn't that different. Purdue did beat
Illinois and give Penn State a scare, but it's been an up and down season for
the Boilermakers on the field. Purdue lost at Rice and got destroyed by Notre
Dame at home this season.
The Sharp Pick
Though both of these squads still have a shot at making the
Big Ten tournament, Wisconsin is just a superior football team on both sides of
the ball. Purdue has a solid running attack, but their passing game leaves
something to be desired. If and when Purdue falls behind, it will be difficult
for them to keep pace against a good Wisconsin defense and to stop Montee
Ball has over 850 yards on the ground this season
and is averaging 6 yards per carry. This is the main reason the badgers rank 13th
in the nation in rushing, with over 230 yards per game. Wisconsin's running
game has not been very evident in their last two losses, so I expect them to
get back to their bread and butter at home against Purdue.
Cash the Badgers and the points.