After an impressive win in their season opener against Utah State, the Wisconsin Badgers look to keep things rolling this week against Florida Atlantic. The Badgers will host the Owls at noon EST on Saturday, September 9, at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin. Fans can watch the game on the Big Ten Network.
Oddsmakers are making Wisconsin 31.5-point favorites. However, large amounts of money have been spent betting on Florida Atlantic after the Badgers originally opened as 36-point favorites. Click here for a full list of Week 2 betting odds and links to game previews.
Florida Atlantic vs Wisconsin Vegas Preview & Game Predictions
Paul Chryst’s team was actually quite slow out of the gate last week against Utah State. The Badgers trailed 10-0 after the first quarter and found themselves tied at 10 with the Aggies at the half. However, Wisconsin came out clicking on all cylinders in the second half, scoring seven touchdowns and winning 59-10.
Wisconsin showed great balance on offense against Utah State, throwing for 244 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 234 yards and four touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, the Badgers recovered a fumble and intercepted three passes, including one that went for a 99-year pick-six.
Things did not go quite so well in Lane Kiffin’s debut as Florida Atlantic’s head coach. The Owls were routed by Navy 42-19 in a game that experienced multiple weather delays. Kiffin’s defense was largely powerless against the Midshipmen’s triple-option, and things aren’t going to get any easier this week with a trip to Wisconsin.
Vegas Free NCAAF Betting Pick: Wisconsin -31.5
Early betting in this matchup heavily favors Kiffin and the Owns to keep it under the spread, but I’m not buying it. Even after a forgettable first half last week, the Badgers still managed to blow out Utah State. On paper, Florida Atlantic is more or less on par with Utah State, so Wisconsin is plenty capable of blowing out the Owls just as easily as they did the Aggies. In fact, if Chryst can get his team to come out sharp from the opening kickoff, this game could be over by halftime.
To be fair, Florida Atlantic showed big-play potential against Navy. Quarterback Daniel Parr connected on touchdown passes of 95 and 62 yards. However, there’s a huge difference between the athletes in Navy’s secondary and those in Wisconsin’s secondary. The Owls may need to put together long, sustaining drives in order to score against the Badgers, something they struggled to do against Navy.
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Even after a slow start against an inferior opponent, you have to be impressed with Wisconsin’s performance in Week 1. Sophomore quarterback Alex Hornibrook looked much more comfortable than he did last season. There were also questions coming into the season about the new running back duo of Jonathan Taylor and Bradrick Shaw, but both rushed for over 80 yards and found the end zone.
Why so much money is being placed on the Owls is puzzling to me. Lane Kiffin’s record as a head coach is largely unimpressive outside of one good year at USC in 2011, and it’s not like he’s working with elite talent at Florida Atlantic. The oddsmakers had it right with their opening line because Wisconsin is going to win this game going away.