Cotton Bowl Update: Stick With Underdog WMU Vs. Wisconsin

western michigan football

Friday, December 30, 2016 5:08 PM GMT

Ross Benjamin provides an update on his original Cotton Bowl betting preview from two weeks ago. Find out if anything pick-wise has changed between then and now for the Jan. 2 game between No. 15 Western Michigan and No. 8 Wisconsin. 

Cotton Bowl: Western Michigan Vs. Wisconsin

When I wrote my early Cotton Bowl betting preview article on Dec. 15, college football betting odds at Intertops.com had Wisconsin as a 7.5-point favorite, and there was a posted total of 54.0. Currently, the best sportsbooks have Wisconsin as either a 7.5 or 8.0-point favorite, and there’s a total of anywhere from 52.0 to 52.5. My college football record this season at SBR has been a superb going 55-31 (64%) against the spread thus far.

 

Public Betting Trends

At the time of this writing, public betting trends at BookMaker indicated that 59.7% of pointspread bets have gone on Wisconsin and 51.2% of totals wagers have been made on the 'under.' Based on this data, I’ve concluded that bigger pointspread bets have gone the way of Western Michigan and more money has been wagered on going 'under' the total.

 

Motivational Edge Favors WMU

I alluded to this in my original Cotton Bowl preview and it must be said again: Western Michigan will be more motivated than Wisconsin. By blowing a 21-point lead in the Big Ten Championship Game against Penn State, Wisconsin squandered a chance to play USC in the Rose Bowl and could’ve made it tough on the College Football Playoff committee as well in terms of potentially choosing the Badgers. Now they find themselves playing in a game they have a lot to lose and very little to gain.

 

Final Take

Choosing underdogs for your college football bowl picks during this postseason has produced just short of a small fortune. Specifically speaking, games played through Dec. 29 have seen bowl underdogs go an outstanding 19-8 ATS (70.4%). Additionally, underdogs of 7.5 points or more are a substantially better 11-2 ATS (84.6%) and pulled an outright upset in 5 of those 13 games.

The Badgers will possess a sizable advantage in terms of quality depth, physicality and athleticism over Western Michigan. However, as we’ve seen throughout this bowl season, seemingly outmanned underdogs have more than held their own.

NCAAF Free Pick: WMU +8

Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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