Before placing your Week 15 College Football Picks on Wisconsin vs. Ohio State, find out why this handicapper considers the underdog to be the secure pick, straight-up and against-the-spread.
Wisconsin (-4-) vs. Ohio St. 8:15 ET FOX
Each week in my missive, entitled the Pointspread Prognosis, I place my College Football pick on a matchup that features 1 team with whom the public and linemaker have fallen in love, against another who has fallen out of favor. With the late game injury to Ohio St. starting QB Barrett, we certainly have such a situation existing in this BIG 10 Championship game. It certainly does not help the public’s perception of Ohio St., when their new starting QB Cardale Jones first publicized tweet was “why should we have to go to class, if we came here to play football, we aint come to play school, classes are pointless.”
Wisconsin is a team on a late season roll. An early season loss at LSU was joined by an October 4th stunner at Northwestern to quickly eliminate Wisconsin from National Championship consideration. Since that time, however, the Badgers have picked off 7 consecutive opponents, going 4-3 ATS. Last week, in their win, no cover, vs. Minnesota (34-24), they balanced their offense with 233 yards running and 215 yards passing for a total yardage edge of 448-272. Yet, the Badger ground game led by RG Gordon is clearly the bread and butter of the Wisconsin offense. Overland, Wisconsin rumbles for 334/7.2. Lost in the media hype of that strong ground game is a Defensive Dandy. For the season, Wisconsin is allowing just 17 PPG, only 260 YPG and just 4.4 YP play. Those are defensive and running stats that are superior to Ohio St. Combined with the absence of Ohio St.’s signal caller, the Badgers have become installed a meaningful 4- point favorite.
Those events are, of course, fuel for the fire for Ohio St. HC Meyer. Ohio St. has been an angry team this season. The reason of course is a 35-21 home loss to Virginia Tech on September 6th. They have been battling to return to national championship game contention since that defeat. They now enter on a 10-game win streak with outstanding offensive numbers that find them averaging 44 PPG with a balanced attack that runs and passes for at least 246 yards. Most importantly, however, is the motivational edge that the loss of QB Barrett will provide for Meyer. His record speaks for itself, as during his Ohio St. tenure, Meyer has gone 35-3 SU, including 3-0 ATS as dog. Long term, Meyer is 12-0 ATS as underdog. In winning and covering the last 3 games against Wisconsin, Ohio St. has held the vaunted Badger overland game to 133/3.6.
But with all the hype about the Wisconsin running game and RB Gordon, the Badgers have become public favorites. It is rare that Ohio St. is cast in the role of underdog with inferior light as a result of the loss of their signal caller. And oh, by the way, though Cardale Jones may have problem with his freshmen English class, he is 6’5” tall and weighs 250 pounds.
Free College Football Pick: Ohio State +4 at Pinnacle