The Wisconsin Badgers (7-4) host the Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-6) on Saturday in a showdown for the Paul Bunyan Axe. Kickoff is set for 3:30 PM EST at Camp Randall Stadium and the game will be broadcast on ESPN2.
Taking a look at the Week 13 college football odds, Wisconsin opened as a 10-point home favorite earlier this week. That line hasn’t moved at all after early betting, as the Badgers are currently listed at -10. The total for the game is sitting at 54 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Wisconsin vs Minnesota
Minnesota dropped back below .500 on the season last weekend after a 24-14 loss at home to Northwestern. The Golden Gophers got off to a red-hot 3-0 start earlier in the year, but have now gone just 2-6 in their last eight games. This is pretty much a must-win situation for them here in Week 13, as they still need to win one more game in order to become bowl-eligible. QB Tanner Morgan had a rough outing against the Wildcats, passing for just 197 yards and getting picked off twice. RB Mohamed Ibrahim led the way on the ground, rushing for 98 yards and a touchdown. Ibrahim has been enjoying a solid season, racking up 815 yards and six touchdowns in 11 games. Minnesota had been on quite a roll offensively prior to getting shut down by the Wildcats, averaging 34.5 points per game over their last four. As a whole, the offense is currently averaging 27.7 points per game this season (78th overall).
Things haven’t looked great on the other side of the ball for the Golden Gophers this season, as they are currently giving up an average of 29.1 points per game (80th overall). They have been below average against both the run and pass, ranking 73rd and 62nd overall respectively.
Wisconsin improved to 7-4 on the season last weekend after a thrilling 47-44 overtime victory over Purdue. The Badgers scored 14 points in the 4th quarter to force overtime after trailing the Boilermakers by double-digits several times throughout the game. The big story was the incredibly impressive 385 rushing yards, 321 of which were accounted for by RB Jonathan Taylor. Taylor also found the end zone three times, pushing his touchdown total on the season to 15. He has now racked up 1,869 yards in just 11 games, which is first overall in the entire country. QB Alex Hornibrook missed Week 12 due to an injury, so backup Jack Coan made his fourth appearance of the year. Coan played pretty well, throwing for 206 yards and two touchdowns. Overall, Wisconsin is currently averaging 30.5 points per game (59th overall).
The Badgers have played quite well on the other side of the ball, as they are giving up an average of only 23.1 points per game (41st overall). They have been above average against both the run and the pass, ranking 53rd and 44th overall respectively.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Wisconsin -10
The Golden Gophers have dominated this matchup as of late, going 3-1-1 ATS over their last five meetings with Wisconsin. However, the big problem for Minnesota in regards to this particular meeting with the Badgers is the fact that this game is being played at Camp Randall Stadium. Things have not gone well for Minnesota away from home this year, as they have gone 0-4 while getting outscored by a minimum of 16 points in each of those four losses. It also doesn’t help that the Wisconsin offense has been torching teams on the ground as of late, as the Golden Gophers are well below average against the run through their first 11 games.
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Wisconsin is a solid 9-2-1 ATS over their last 12 games in the month of November. Minnesota is just 3-7 ATS in their last ten conference games. They are also only 1-6-1 ATS over their last eight road games and 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
I know that the Golden Gophers are desperate here in Week 13, as they need just one more win to clinch a spot in a bowl game. However, I just don’t see a way that they can pull off the upset on Saturday, especially considering how well Jonathan Taylor has played all year long. I think Wisconsin should be able to win this game by double-digits, so I’m going to lay the ten points and take the home favorite to cover the spread – give me the Badgers.