In this article I review The Tigers-Badgers hook up in the Outback Bowl New Year's Day in Tampa, and I culminate it with a college football free pick.
Outback Bowl Betting Odds
Most of the college football odds opened this game with Auburn favored by right around five points, the total pegged at 62. Most shops then bumped the Tigers to -6 and -6.5, and the total to 63.
Those who think Wisconsin might win this game outright could get a price of +205 on the Outback Bowl moneyline at SportBet.
Badgers-Tigers: The Match-Up
Auburn went off this season with a wins OVER/UNDER of nine. And the Tigers started 5-0. But with three losses in its last four games Auburn was held UNDER that win total.
The Tigers started 5-0, with wins over Arkansas, Kansas State and LSU. Auburn then lost at then-unbeaten Mississippi State, but beat South Carolina and Ole Miss to get to 7-1 and within a sniff of national championship playoff consideration. But in the game that knocked them out of contention for everything the Tigers got upset at home by Texas A&M 41-38, losing outright as 23-point favorites.
Auburn then followed that up with a 34-7 loss at Georgia, and ended the regular season by giving up 55 points in an Iron Bowl loss to Alabama. So the Tigers finished this season going 1-6 ATS over their last seven games.
On the other side of this battle, Wisconsin went off this season with a wins betting total of 9.5 And when the Badgers beat Minnesota in the regular-season finale they played OVER that total.
Wisconsin opened this season with a 28-24 loss to LSU, a game the Badgers led 24-7, before giving up a Tigers rally. The Badgers then won three in a row, but lost their Big Ten opener at Northwestern. Wisconsin then embarked on a seven-game winning streak, as running back Melvin Gordon exploded and the defense got stingy, propelling the Badgers into the Big Ten title game. However, Wisconsin then laid a huge egg in Indianapolis, losing to Ohio State 59-0.
So the Badgers ended the season on a three-game ATS losing streak.
Badgers-Tigers, By the Numbers
Auburn ranks 16th in the country this season in total offense at 490 yards per game, 12th in rushing at 259 YPG, and 61st in total defense, allowing 389 YPG. The Tigers did all this by playing what Sagarin at USAToday.com Sports ranks as the toughest schedule in college football this season.
Wisconsin ranks 24th in total offense, fourth in rushing at 314 yards per game, fourth in total defense and 17th against the run, allowing just 119 yards per game. However, the Badgers played what Sagarin ranks as just the 55th-toughest schedule.
Outback Bowl Betting Trends
Auburn is 7-5 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, as Tigers games have averaged 62 points.
Wisconsin is also 7-5 on the totals, as Badgers games have averaged 55 points.
Nine of the last 13 Outback Bowls have played OVER on the totals.
Since the Outback Bowl became a Big Ten-SEC match-up back in 1996 the SEC is 12-7 SU but 7-11-1 ATS in this bowl.
Outback Bowl Free Pick
Auburn is battle-tested, having played a brutal schedule. Wisconsin, on the other hand, got exposed by Ohio State in that Big Ten championship game blowout. Also, the Badgers are a bit too reliant on one guy on offense, and they're playing this game in a strange spot emotionally, with AD Barry Alvarez coaching the team before Paul Chryst takes over. So we like the Tigers as our college football pick, minus the points.
Free College Football Bowl Pick: Auburn -6 at BookMaker