The Wisconsin Badgers (7-5) will take on the Miami Hurricanes in the 2018 Pinstripe Bowl. Kickoff is set for 5:15 EST on Thursday, December 27th at Yankee Stadium in New York, NY. The game will be televised on ESPN.
Oddsmakers currently have the Hurricanes listed as a 3-point favorite with the total set for 47.5 points.
Pinstripe Bowl Vegas Odds Preview: Wisconsin vs Miami
First things first, this is a rematch from last year’s Orange Bowl, when No. 6 Wisconsin defeated No. 11 Miami 34-24 as a 6-point favorite. Second, who would have thought these two teams would be headed to a bowl game not even ranked in the Top 25.
Miami opened the season No. 8 in the country and were the overwhelming consensus pick to win the ACC Coastal. Wisconsin started out the year the No. 4 ranked team in the nation and were considered a lock by many to win the Big Ten West.
Neither team even came close. While the Badgers tied for 2nd in the West, they went just 5-4 in league play, which is the first time since 2012 that they lost more than 3 conference games in a single season. Wisconsin has also put an end to a streak of 4 straight 10+ wins seasons, as they gone 45-10 over their previous 4 years.
This will be the Badgers 4th bowl game in 4 years under head coach Paul Chryst. Wisconsin has won each of the first 3 bowl games under Chryst, who is 4-1 overall as a head coach.
Miami tied for 3rd in the Coastal at 4-4 and that was with a fluke 28-27 win over FSU (trailed 27-7 in the 3rd quarter) and a gimmie win over Pitt in the finale, as the Panthers were resting up for the ACC title game the next week.
The Hurricanes did defeat West Virginia 31-14 in the 2016 Russell Athletic Bowl, so they are 1-1 in bowl games under head coach Mark Richt. Going back to his days with Georgia, Richt has a respectable 10-6 record in bowl games.
2018 Pinstripe Bowl Free Betting Pick & Predictions: Wisconsin +3
My early lean here would be to grab the points with the Badgers, as I think the wrong team is favored in this one. I think the perception here is that Miami will be the more motivated team because they will be playing with revenge. I’m not buying that at all. I think Wisconsin will be every bit as motivated to play well here as the Hurricanes and clearly Badgers head coach Paul Chryst knows how to get his team to play well in bowl games.
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I think the last two bowl games for Wisconsin really speak volumes to how this staff is able to get the team refocused for the bowl game. In 2016 the Badgers lost 38-31 to Pen St in the Big Ten title game, which possible kept them out of the playoffs. Last year they suffered a crushing 27-21 loss to Ohio State in the title game, which definitely kept them out of the playoffs, as they would have finished 13-0.
I also think you have to factor in this bowl game being played outside in the cold at Yankee Stadium. While it’s not going to be below freezing, it’s going to feel that much colder to a team like Miami than it will a midwest team like Wisconsin.
I also think when you look at how these two teams matchup, you have to be more confident with Wisconsin’s ability to move the football with their high-powered running game. The Badgers finished 7th in the nation at 268.4 rushing/yards game and averaged a sensational 6.3 yards/carry. Miami’s run defense was solid, but they won’t have the services of All-American defensive tackle Gerald Willis. Not to mention there’s also some distraction on that side of the ball with defensive coordinator Manny Diaz being name the new head coach at Temple. While Diaz is going to coach the bowl game, you have to wonder just how much he invested into this game, especially given that’s it’s a pretty meaningless game in the grand scheme of things.
Miami has also been a horrible team to back when they are playing a decent team, as they have gone a miserable 3-11 ATS in their last 14 vs a team with a winning record. Give me the Badgers +3