The Wisconsin Badgers will look to close out the regular season undefeated when they visit the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Game time is 3:30 EST on Saturday, November 25 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The game will be televised nationally on ABC.
Oddsmakers view Wisconsin as 17-point favorites at home. The game has an over/under of 43 points. Click here for a full list of Week 13 betting odds and links to game previews.
Wisconsin vs Minnesota Game Preview & Betting Odds
Despite being undefeated, Wisconsin is only ranked no. 5 in the College Football Playoff rankings. If the Badgers can remain undefeated and win the Big Ten Championship Game next week, it will be tough to keep them out of the top-4. However, nothing is guaranteed, and the Badgers certainly can’t afford to lose to Minnesota, even if they win the Big Ten title game. It would also be to their benefit to win convincingly to impress the selection committee.
Meanwhile, the Gophers need to upset Wisconsin in order to reach a bowl game in P.J. Fleck’s first season at the helm. Minnesota has lost three of their last four games, dropping them to 5-6 on the season. Last week’s 39-0 loss to Northwestern doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that Minnesota can pull an upset over the Badgers.
Of course, aside from a bowl game, the Gophers are also playing for Paul Bunyan’s Axe. Minnesota and Wisconsin is the most-played rivalry among FBS teams. At the moment, both teams have won 59 games in this rivalry dating all the way back to 1890. However, the rivalry has been one-sided in recent years, with Wisconsin winning 20 of the last 22 meetings. The Gophers haven’t beat Wisconsin since 2003.
Free College Football Against the Spread Pick: Wisconsin -17
My early lean in this game is toward Wisconsin. I’d like to give Minnesota a chance to at least keep this rivalry game close. But it’s hard to see that happening after their performance last week against Northwestern. Also, Wisconsin knows they need an impressive win, so I like the Badgers to build a substantial lead and win comfortably.
The Gophers were an utter disaster last week. They averaged less than 4 yards per rush on the ground while quarterback Demry Croft was 2 for 11 with three interceptions throwing the ball. It’s hard to imagine the Minnesota offense being that bad again this week. But they’ll also be facing a better defense this week, so there’s little reason to think the Gophers will have a good day offensively.
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Minnesota’s defense was nearly as bad last week. Northwestern rushed for nearly 300 yards and 5 yards per carry against the Gophers, only needing to attempt 13 passes. Once again, Minnesota will be facing a better opponent this week. If the Gophers couldn’t slow down the Northwestern rushing attack, they’re likely going to struggle to stop Jordan Taylor and Wisconsin’s potent running game.
To be fair, Minnesota has been far better at home this season than on the road. The Gophers haven’t lost by more than a touchdown at home all season, including a 3-point loss to Michigan State. But that’s not enough for me to forget about how bad they played last week. I’ll take my chances with Wisconsin pulling away and covering the spread. As much as Minnesota needs to win this game, the Badgers need a blowout win just as much. The Badgers will get the blowout they need.