College Football Betting Picks - Wisconsin Not To Be Underestimated Against Penn St.

Wisconsin Badgers Player

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 5:52 PM GMT

The Big 10 Championship game pits the #6 & #7 teams in the country, making this a probably crucial and high profile matchup. Expert capper Joe Gavazzi provides his thoughts and a free college football pick for our readers.

Penn St. vs. Wisconsin (-2) 8:00 ET

BIG 10 Championship

LUCAS OIL STADIUM, Indianapolis, IN

Penn St. of the Big 10 East and Wisconsin of the Big 10 West meet for the Big 10 Championship Title at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. This Marquee Matchup is scheduled for 8:00 pm ET viewing on FOX TV before a national audience. In all honesty, this is a bit of a letdown, considering for many Big 10 fans the real championship was played last weekend in Ohio Stadium before more than 100,000 partial Buckeye fans, who saw Ohio St. survive their annual bloodbath with Michigan in a 30-27 OT victory. Regrettably, the post-game comments of Michigan HC Harbaugh created a bit of a black eye for one of the most respected leagues in the nation. 

The reality is that with Ohio St. currently seeded No. 2 and Michigan seeded No. 5, it is very unlikely that either of these teams (each seeded in the Top 10) could leap frog their way into the Final Four. A more likely reward for today’s champion is an appearance in the once, highly prestigious Rose Bowl game.  

The Penn St. season turned on a dime. It could have easily spiraled downward with a home loss to Ohio St. on October 22nd which would have dropped them to 4-3 SU for the season and placed 3rd year HC Franklin directly on the hot seat. Instead, before over 100,000 whiteout fans, Penn St. rallied in the 4th quarter ascending to the victory with a “fumble 6” closing minute play that resulted in a Nittany Lion (24-21) victory. That win keyed a closing surge for Penn St. that sees the Lions enter today on an 8-0 SU, 7-0 ATS run. Key component of that streak was 1st year Penn St. OC Moorhead (Fordham), who turned around a stodgy attack that averaged just 22/341 in the first 2 years for HC Franklin. Using the skill position tandem of QB McSorley with a 16/2 ratio in the winning streak and the explosiveness of RB Barkley (probable for this contest – foot), the Penn St. offense has been near unstoppable. Battling through a series of OL injuries, Penn St. has averaged 37 PPG vs. league foes this season, while rushing for 201/4.9. The defense has improved as well, allowing just 347 YPG and only 3.6 YPR vs. Big 10 opponents. It sure looks easy to ride them as underdog in this matchup.

One of the major components of this handicap, however, is the experience factor. While this is the first appearance for Penn St. in the Big 10 Championship game, a more experienced Wisconsin team is now appearing for the 4th time in 6 years in the game that will crown the league champion. The other strong components favoring Wisconsin are their edge on the defensive side of the ball and their running game. 

Last year, the Badgers allowed just 14/268 on the stop end.  This year, Wisconsin is giving up just 14/292.  That is 2 years of excellence for a unit, who gave up more than only 20 points to Ohio St. this season. Since that 30-23 loss to Ohio St. (200 clubbed the Buckeyes and outgained them 450-411), Wisconsin has reeled off 6 consecutive victories to close the season. That creates the same type of momentum which Penn St. brings. And with the probability that starting QB Hornibrook will be in the starting lineup, along with RB Clement, who has ascended to his projected form, it is a short leap for this bureau to back the Badgers on Saturday night as you College Football pick.

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Free College Football Picks: Wisconsin -2.5

Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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