Big Ten Championship: Badgers Poised to Bash Buckeyes

Wisconsin Badgers players celebrating

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, November 30, 2017 3:35 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 3:35 PM UTC

The Buckeyes and Badgers will lock horns at Lucas Field in Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship with CFP implications as the backdrop. Let’s analyze this matchup as well as the college football odds and cash a ticket!

Free College Football Pick: Wisconsin +7 (-115)Best Line Offered: Intertops

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Ohio State (10-2 SU, 5-7 ATS) vs. Wisconsin (12-0 SU, 8-4 ATS)
  • Wisconsin is 4-0 ATS in their last four conference games.
  • Wisconsin is 5-0 ATS in their last five games as an underdog.
  • Wisconsin is 5-0-1 ATS in their last six games as an underdog of 3.5-10.0.
  • Ohio State is 0-4 ATS in their last four games as a favorite of 3.5-10.0.
  • Ohio State is 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games following an ATS loss.
  • Ohio State is 2-7 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.

If the Badgers win on Saturday, they will cement their status as a College Football Playoff (CFP) entrant. The same cannot be said of Ohio State, however, it would certainly bolster their street cred and if a few other CFP candidates were to lose it could propel them into the No.4 and final seed. Needless to say, the Big Ten championship is almost an afterthought as opposed to the Holy Grail that is a seat at the CFP table.

The knock on Wisconsin this season is that they have played a weak schedule and the conventional wisdom states that that has been as responsible for their undefeated season as the talent on their roster. I’m not buying it because you can only beat the teams they put in front of you. If you’ve been backing the Badgers in your college football picks you have cashed in eight of their 12 contests and I’ll take a 66 percent win rate any day.

Wisconsin checks in with the No. 2 ranked defense in the nation, allowing just 12 points per contest and owns a rushing game that rivals that of the Buckeyes. Ohio State has a solid passing attack commanded by senior quarterback J.T. Barrett, averaging 279.5 yards per game, ranked 27th in the nation, versus a more modest 182.8 YPG by Badgers’ QB Alex Hornibrook. That said, Whisky is 18-0 over Hornibrook’s last 18 starts.

If the Badgers’ secondary can contain OSU’s receivers and their defensive front can wreak havoc on that Buckeye offensive line then this game is over. Yes, those are big “ifs” but the Badgers are ranked sixth in the nation in sacks, with 39 on the season and averaging 3.25 sacks per game. These are both teams that are heavily dependent on the run and if Buckeyes’ quarterback J.T. Barret is not fully healed from his knee injury, which sidelined him in the third quarter of last week’s 31-20 win over Michigan, his mobility in the pocket will be limited and his uniform will be plenty dirty by game’s end. Wisconsin has outrushed all of its opponents this season and Ohio State should be prepared for a big dose of its own medicine on Saturday.

The college football odds on this one reflect the Buckeyes as 6 ½ point favorites at most of the major online sportsbooks but we see a seven over at Intertops that makes this bet on Wisconsin look even better. Back the Badgers.

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