Wisconsin vs Nebraska Odds
Posted by Jimmy Boyd
The 12th-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers (10-2) and the Wisconsin Badgers (7-5) will do battle Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium in the Big Ten championship game. Oddsmakers have listed Nebraska as a 2.5-point favorite and have set the total at 48.0.
Why Nebraska Covers
The Cornhuskers enter the Big Ten championship game with a ton of momentum on their side. They have won their last six games by an average of 9.7 points.
Nebraska won its regular-season meeting against Wisconsin 30-27. It also fared much better than the Badgers against several like opponents.
Nebraska and Wisconsin faced off against four like opponents this season. The Huskers went 3-1 in those games while the Badgers went 1-3. Nebraska defeated Michigan State 28-24 while Wisconsin lost 16-13 to the Spartans. The Huskers defeated Penn State 32-23 while the Badgers lost to the Nittany Lions 24-21. Both teams defeated Minnesota and both lost to Ohio State.
Both Nebraska and Wisconsin have been solid defensively, but the Cornhuskers have been the far more explosive offensive team. They rank 26th in the nation in total offense with 460.9 yards per game while the Badgers rank 85th with 380.4 yards per game. Nebraska ranks 29th in scoring with 35.4 points per game while Wisconsin ranks 73rd with 27.5 points per contests.
Why Wisconsin Covers
The Badgers may have finished third in their division behind Ohio State and Penn State after losing three of their last four games in overtime, but they won’t be lacking any confidence when they step on the field Saturday. They are the two-time defending Big Ten champions, and they will be leaving it all out there with a chance to make history. Wisconsin has never won three straight conference titles, and that’s the feat it will be gunning for.
Wisconsin finds itself in the same position it was in last season. It is playing an opponent in the conference championship game that it lost to during the regular season. Last year, the Badgers lost 37-31 to Michigan State in the regular season but avenged that loss with a 42-39 victory in the inaugural Big Ten title game.
If the Badgers could avenge that loss to Michigan State, they can avenge an earlier loss to Nebraska. They really should have won the regular season meeting against the Cornhuskers in the first place as they led that game by 17 points in the third quarter.
Nebraska has been good on offense, but Wisconsin has fared well against good offensive teams historically. Consider that the Badgers are on a 41-23 against the spread run versus teams that average 31.0 points or more per game. They have won by an average score of 26.4 to 23.6 in these contests.
Wisconsin is also on a 21-8 against the spread run versus teams that average 450.0 yards or more per game. It has won by an average score of 28.2 to 23.3 in these games.
The Badgers enter off back-to-back defeats, but the numbers suggest that’s not a good enough reason to fade them. In fact, the numbers suggest it is a reason to back them. Wisconsin is an impressive 21-9 against the spread after two or more consecutive losses the last two decades. It has won by an average score of 29.7 to 22.0 in this situation.