Wisconsin finished its non-conference roster last week against New Mexico State and they did it in style as the Badgers went 66-7. Wisconsin covered the spread with relative ease, but unfortunately for the betting column, the under was never really possible as New Mexico State couldn’t do it on its own. That again puts us at 1-1 on the week and 3-3 overall. I hope you read my national betting column to make up for that, as this column is 14-0 over the past two weeks.
This week, the Badgers face a much bigger test as they travel to Columbus to take on the No. 3-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. Ohio State enters the contest as a heavy favorite with a current 18-point lead. The total for this contest currently stands at 57 points. Let’s dive into those two numbers.
(Dimensions/lines subject to change. The T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sport bets for more details.)
ATS Pick: Ohio State (-18)
Overall, I don’t have a great feeling for this spread. The number is there. In my personal numbers that I do, I make that gap 17 in favor of the Buckeyes, so it shows some value on the Badgers at +18 but not enough for me to take it personally.
This game looks a lot like the last time these two teams met in Indianapolis. Wisconsin took an early lead in the first half, but eventually Ohio State started to get things going. Ultimately, Wisconsin covered that 2019 game, but Ohio State had multiple opportunities to cover and didn’t. I feel like Wisconsin might stay in the ten-to-fourteen point range for most of this game, but eventually Ohio State finds a way to strike late quickly and put it in cover.
Total Choice: Over 57
When you think of Ohio State’s offense, you think of points, points and more points. If you should. That offense comes on the heels of a week in which they put 77 on Toledo. They are the best in college football. Any week they can get you 40 easily. That said, I’m looking more upside there because of what the Badgers could do offensively against this Buckeyes defense.
This offseason Ohio State went out and spent nearly two million dollars on defensive coordinator Jim Knowles to try to fix this side of football. Did it work? So far, meh, not really. Watching the Toledo/Ohio State contest last week, the Buckeye secondary struck me as a bit suspicious. Toledo hit several big plays in the air and was able to hit continuously for great distance.
See. I’m not going to say Wisconsin is going to come in here and throw it all over the field, but the numbers indicate they might consider getting some air more often. Currently, the Badgers rank third in the nation in pass rate. Yes, when Wisconsin took off, it was more successful than USC, Tennessee, and… Ohio State. Now, the hit rate isn’t a perfect pattern, but it shows Wisconsin’s offense was better when they put it in the air. As for the success rate of badgers in the race? He ranks only 47th.
Also, the Badgers looked pretty explosive when they kicked the ball down the field. Currently, Wisconsin ranks 8th in the nation in offensive explosiveness. On the other hand, the Ohio State defense ranks 122nd in explosive plays allowed. The plan is there for the Badgers to score points. Will they do it? Who knows, but if so, I think both teams can score points in this contest.