Badgers & Canes Out For Redemption On Orange Bowl: Underdogs Gets The Nod?

orange bowl

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 2:24 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017 2:24 PM UTC

The last college football game of 2017 has two teams really wanting to go out on winning note after being perfect all year until their last game or two. Only one team will make this happen.

Wisconsin Badgers vs Miami (FL) Hurricanes

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Free College Football Picks: Miami +6Best Line Offered: at JustBet

Wisconsin was perfect until they reached the Big Ten Championship where they fell to Ohio State. Miami-Fl. had overcome hurricanes and a disjointed season to start 10-0. They ended up having their own Black Friday with upset loss at Pittsburgh and were crushed by Clemson in ACC title tilt.

With both seeking redemption, the college football odds have Wisconsin as a six-point favorite with total of 45.

This bowl matchup has unusual setting, with the Hurricanes playing at home, though it will not be typical home field edge.

Wisconsin Preview

Although Wisconsin received a great deal of criticism for their schedule, it was not their fault their division stunk and BYU was terrible. The Badgers were No.1 in total defense and 3rd in points permitted in the country. What most people missed on Wisconsin was their defensive speed was underrated all season. While Ohio State pushed the Badgers around up front for 236 yards rushing, Miami's offensive line is not nearly as big or strong. The Wisconsin offense ran the ball well as per usual, averaging 229 yards a game, with freshman RB Jonathan Taylor finishing with 1,847 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. QB Alex Hornibrook had 21 touchdown passes, but also threw 15 interceptions, which is concern for this contest.

Miami Preview

After whipping Virginia Tech and Notre Dame, it looked like "the U" was back. However, two ugly defeats to close out the season makes one wonder just how good Miami is. The Hurricanes offense averaged 29.5 PG, but could be stymied. For Miami to win, QB Malik Rosier will have to be at his best throwing the ball and as a decision-maker. The Hurricanes defense feeds on emotion and turnovers, passing around their 'turnover chain'. However, this season the Miami run defense was either a brick wall or swinging gate. If they don't come to play, Wisconsin will road-grate them. If the Canes can force third and longs, they have the closing speed to intercept Hornibrook tosses in the flat, that often do not have great velocity.

Orange Bowl Outcome

For college football picks, I was quite surprised to see Miami as this large an underdog. I realize the Hurricanes will not have their typical home field advantage, as their will be a lot of seats filled with people wearing red and cheering loudly. Nevertheless, coach Mark Richt will have his squad revved up to play after two setbacks. Being listed as a home underdog despite 7-0 SU record this season should further fuel on the fire. If Rozier is on his game, I look for salty effort from the Canes, who not only cover, but just might win outright!

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