Early Bird: Badgers & Nittany Lions Limp to 'Under' Winner

penn state v. Wisconsin

Willie Bee

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 8:25 PM UTC

Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 8:25 PM UTC

Cold temps and cold offenses are on tap Saturday in the Big Ten, and we have a free football pick for Wisconsin’s visit to Penn State.

2018 Record: 5-4-1 (+0.75 units)

Wisconsin (6-3 SU, 2-7 ATS) at Penn State (6-3 SU, 5-4 ATS)Saturday, 12 p.m. ET (ABC)Free NCAAF Pick: Under 55Best Line Offered: Heritage

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Back to Big Ten Country we go for this week’s early bird special, and with a chilly forecast for the collision between Penn State and Wisconsin, we might have to substitute a hot rum concoction in place of our usual Bloody Mary.

The Nittany Lions and Badgers enter the fracas with identical 6-3 records, Penn State already out of the running to rep the East Division in the Big Ten Championship Game while Wisconsin continues to hold out hope in the West. Heritage sees it Penn State -8 for the noon boot at Beaver Stadium, the total moving up to 54½-55 at most shops.

Both Sides Banged-Up Heading Into Contest

The Badgers did bounce back from their loss at Northwestern two weeks ago, using a strong ground attack to top Rutgers by a 31-17 count in Madison last Saturday. But Wisconsin arrives in Happy Valley with some key injuries, the biggest being QB Alex Hornibrook. The junior suffered a concussion in the first half of the win over the Scarlet Knights, did not return and is listed as doubtful for this matchup. That leaves sophomore Jack Coan to run the offense after completing 5-of-7 attempts in relief of Hornibrook. The Badgers might also be very thin in the defensive backfield where Reggie Pearson, Scott Nelson and Deron Harrell are all listed as questionable with leg injuries.

Penn State got pasted at Michigan last week, the Wolverines completely shutting down Trace McSorely and the Nittany Lions. Held under 200 offensive yards, Penn State didn’t even come close to covering as a 12½-point underdog on the NCAA football odds. McSorely, who is still nursing a sore right knee he injured in the previous win over Iowa, could be without one of his favorite targets, Juwan Johnson, who has missed the last two games with a lower body injury, meaning more potential targets to DeAndre Thompkins.

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\"It will be a real good challenge for our group\"

Coach Chryst previews Penn State pic.twitter.com/gOQKFwi09V

— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) November 5, 2018
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Badgers Seek First Road Win In Series Since 2003

The Nittany Lions have won and covered the last three meetings, and the Badgers haven’t won at Beaver Stadium since 2003. The most recent get-together was two years ago at Camp Randall Stadium, Penn State posting a mild 38-31 upset as a 3-point underdog. Each of the last five clashes skipped past totals in the 47-49½ point range.

Pack your long johns and a heavy jacket if you’re attending the contest; the meteorologist doesn’t believe the thermometer is going to advance much above the mid-30s Saturday afternoon in State College, and a brisk 15 mph WNW wind will make it feel even colder. I’ll buck the recent trend on the scoreboard and play the low side of the total with my free college football pick.

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