College Football Picks: Wisconsin vs. Ohio State

David Lawrence

Thursday, September 26, 2013 6:44 PM UTC

Thursday, Sep. 26, 2013 6:44 PM UTC

The #4 Ohio State Buckeyes will play hosts to the #23 Wisconsin Badgers this Saturday for our College Football Betting. How will the teams perform according to what the betting odds say?

Wisconsin Badgers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

Odds: Ohio State -6

The Wisconsin Badgers felt they should have won a few weeks ago against the Arizona State Sun Devils. Now, they get a chance to play another prime-time game on the road, this one coming against the Ohio State Buckeyes. If Wisconsin can gain a measure of mental fortitude and use its hard-luck loss as a positive turning point, the Badgers could stand toe-to-toe against Ohio State. Yet, the Buckeyes are the almost unanimous choice in the Big Ten and have a much deeper roster than they did one year ago. Will Wisconsin’s toughness or Ohio State’s athleticism prevail here?

The Badgers can win because… 

Their offensive line shows every capability of being able to handle Ohio State’s front seven. Wisconsin’s offensive line was able to outplay Arizona State’s defensive line a few weeks ago, blowing up holes for running back James White. The Badgers know that defenses will load up the tackle box to stop the run, but Wisconsin manages to run the ball well anyway. Wisconsin’s identity has seemingly not changed despite a transition from former coach Bret Bielema to new coach Gary Andersen. The cohesiveness of this team and the smooth coaching switch has been a comforting, stabilizing reality for the Badgers. Wisconsin knows that Ohio State will be playing the run, but the Badgers’ offensive line can win the matchup in spite of the lack of mystery surrounding UW’s offensive game plan. If Wisconsin’s offensive line does indeed knock back the Buckeyes at the line of scrimmage, the Badgers will be able to control the ball and keep Ohio State’s high-powered offense off the field. Playing keep-away gives Wisconsin its best chance of winning this game and the Badgers are very much in a position to do just that and do more than just cover the college football odds.

The Buckeyes can win because…

They have a far better offense than Wisconsin, and more specifically, they have so much more speed. Yes, Braxton Miller will return to the lineup this Saturday as Ohio State’s starting quarterback, but the point to realize from the Buckeyes’ first four games is that Miller’s backup, Kenny Guiton, has performed well on his own. The Buckeyes are deeper than they were last year, and they have talent that is much more seasoned and tested than it was at this stage of the 2012 campaign. If Miller has to leave the game due to injury, Guiton can pick up where he left off and lead this team forward. Ohio State’s skill-position talent will make Wisconsin’s defense look slow in this game. Ohio State will increase the tempo at which it operates on offense, and the Buckeyes know that Arizona State’s tempo offense left Wisconsin’s defense very fatigued in the fourth quarter of the Badgers’ loss to the Sun Devils in the desert. If this game is even through three quarters, people who make their sports picks should expect Ohio State to take over in the fourth.


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Outlook & NCAA Football Betting Prediction:

This game comes down to Wisconsin’s ability to control the line of scrimmage to the extent that it can build a solid lead while also keeping Ohio State’s offense off the field. However, Wisconsin will need to pass the ball at some point to do this, and the sense here is that the Badgers will fail in the attempt. Take Ohio State with your college football picks.

NCAA Football Picks: Ohio State -6 at bet365

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