This Saturday the No. 22 Wisconsin Badgers (7-2) will host the Indiana Hoosiers (4-5). Kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 EST at Camp Randall Stadium and will be televised nationally on ESPN2. The Badgers have completely dominated this series. They have won eight straight by an average of 35.4 points, including a 62-14 road win over Indiana last season. Oddsmakers are expecting another blowout, as Wisconsin comes in listed as a 21.5-point home favorite with the total set at 70 points.
Why Indiana Will Cover:
The Hoosiers were able to put an end to their 3-game losing streak with a 52-35 win at home over Illinois. The victory improved Indiana’s overall record to 4-5. While they should be able to get to 5-wins without any problem with a home game left against Purdue, the Hoosiers will need to find a way to win at Wisconsin or Ohio State to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2007. Realistically the chances of that happening are pretty slim, but as long as Indiana has hope they should continue to play extremely hard.
It’s no secret the Hoosiers have struggled to keep it respectable against the Badgers in recent years, but you have to remember that this is the best team Kevin Wilson has put on the field since he took over the job back in 2011. Indiana is going to do everything in their power to keep this game competitive.
There’s a solid system favoring Indiana based off their offensive attack. Road underdogs with an incredible offense (averaging 450 or more yards/game) after gaining 7.25 or more yards/play in their last game are 37-9 (80.4%) ATS over the last 5 seasons.
Road underdogs with an incredible offense (averaging 450 or more yards/game) after gaining 7.25 or more yards/play in their last game are 37-9 (80.4%) ATS over the last 5 seasons.
A lot of people are going to look at the fact that Wisconsin comes in ranked 5th in the country in scoring defense (15.2 ppg) and 7th in total defense (294.8 ypg) and give Indiana no chance, but you have to keep in mind that the Hoosiers offense is difficult to prepare for. They run a very fast-paced attack that can wear down a defense and their ability to throw the ball with great success will force the Badgers to respect the pass first and create opportunities in the running game. Three teams this season have been able to top 400 yards of offense against the Badgers. They have lost two of those and only beat a horrible Illinois team by just 24-points.
Why Wisconsin Will Cover:
The Badgers have racked up four straight wins since falling at Ohio State 24-31 back in late September and that includes impressive victories over the likes of Northwestern (35-6), Iowa (28-9) and BYU (27-17). The fact that Wisconsin is ranked just 22nd in the country is a shame, as this team should be sitting at 8-1 and not 7-2 had the refs not cost them a win at Arizona State earlier this season.
While you always have to be careful when laying more than three touchdowns in a conference game, there’s plenty of reason to believe the Badgers can turn this game into a blowout. The closest Indiana has come to beating the Badgers in the last three seasons is last year’s 48-point loss at home. The previous two meetings both came at Madison and Wisconsin won 59-7 and 83-20 respectively. The only teams the Wisconsin hasn’t beat by more than the spread listed here are teams that currently have a winning record (Arizona State, Ohio State, Iowa and BYU).
Indiana is just 8-23 ATS in road games vs teams who average 31 or more points per game and 2-12 ATS in their last 14 road games vs teams who average 450 or more yards of total offense. In both of these situations the Hoosiers are losing on average by at least 28-points. Wisconsin adds to this with a 25-8 ATS record vs teams who average more than 450 total yards and a 20-6 ATS in their last 26 home games after having won at least 5 of their last 7 games.
Indiana is just 8-23 ATS in road games vs teams who average 31 or more points per game and 2-12 ATS in their last 14 road games vs teams who average 450 or more yards of total offense.
There’s a good chance Indiana’s offense was going to struggle no matter who was on the field, but their chances of covering this spread took a drastic hit when running back Tevin Coleman suffered an ankle injury against Illinois. He’s listed as doubtful. Coleman leads the Big Ten with 12 rushing touchdowns, ranks 3rd in rushing yards/game (106.4) and was averaging a ridiculous 7.3 yards/carry.
Early Lean – Wisconsin -21.5
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