College Football Picks: Ohio State at Wisconsin Betting Odds and Predictions
by Robert Ferringo - 10/16/2010
The biggest game on the Big Ten docket this weekend is going to be yet another opportunity for one of the country’s most overrated teams to again be exposed as a fraud.
Newly minted No. 1 Ohio State will take on No. 16 Wisconsin at 7 p.m. on Saturday in a crucial Big Ten battle. This game will be played in Madison in front of a rowdy, passionate home crowd that will be looking for the home underdog – Ohio State is a four-point chalk – to pull a big-time upset.
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And I am certain that one of the Big Ten’s biggest underachievers, and one of the most consistently overhyped and overrated programs in the country, is again staring at a defeat that could send their fan base scurrying for the excuses. This team is a perennial underachiever, yet is still time and time again spoken about as a potential national title contender.
That overrated team would be the Wisconsin Badgers.
Four times in the last five years Wisconsin entered the season ranked in the Top 20 in the country with talk about them being a “Big Ten sleeper” and a “BCS dark horse” peppering the airwaves. However, they have never justified that hype and outside of a breakout 12-1 season – which was aided by a schedule that included exactly one ranked opponent – the Badgers have been an annual disappointment.
Going back to 2005 the Badgers are just 2-8-1 ATS against ranked opponents in the regular season. And their only two outright wins in those contests came against Fresno State (2008) and Michigan (2007). Wisconsin was 0-2 in Big Games last year, losing 31-13 to No. 9 Ohio State at the Horseshoe and 20-10 at home to No. 11 Iowa in back-to-back weeks. In fact, they are 0-8 ATS against Ohio State, Penn State and Iowa over the last three seasons.
In their one game against a fellow ranked foe this year the Badgers were put down 34-24 at Michigan State.
Ohio State would have to be the polar opposite of their Big Ten brother. The Buckeyes have been their absolute best in their biggest games (as long as those games don’t include the phrases “national championship”, “USC” or “SEC”). The Buckeyes are a stunning 15-6 ATS in their 21 regular season games against ranked opponents dating back to 2005. They have routinely dominated such opponents, winning those 15 games in which they covered by an average of 16.9 points per game.
Wisconsin has only been ranked in one of the previous three meetings dating back to 2007. Ohio State has won each of those three games rather handily. Two of the wins came in Columbus by 21 and 18 points, but a 2008 trip to Madison yielded just a three-point win over the feisty home Badgers (against a -1.0 line for the Buckeyes).
So I could spend this preview dissecting the matchups of Ohio State’s fabulous Terrelle Pryor against the Wisconsin defense. Or surmise whether or not the Buckeyes defense can take on the blunt force trauma that John Clay and the Wisconsin running game routinely dish out. But in my opinion the only one-on-one matchup that this game should be reduced to is the one between the Program That Always Steps Up In Big Games and the Program That Always Folds In Big Games.
Ohio State Buckeyes at Wisconsin Badgers Football Betting Odds
Obviously the No. 1 team in the country will be favored whenever and wherever it plays. However, the Buckeyes opened as strong six-point favorites in this one but, despite taking over 80 percent of the action, the number is presently available at 4.0 at most books and even 3.5 at some. That is a heavy reverse line movement. The total is widely available at 49.0 and the movement on that will be discussed below.
Weather won’t be a factor this weekend. In fact, it will be unseasonably warm on Saturday, topping out near 70 degrees that afternoon in Madison and still flirting with 60 degrees around kickoff.
Ohio State Buckeyes at Wisconsin Badgers Betting Trends
Underdog is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 meetings.
Badgers are 9-4-1 ATS in their last 14 games as a home underdog.
Badgers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 conference games.
Badgers are 1-5 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
Badgers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
Buckeyes are 10-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
Buckeyes are 21-6 ATS in their last 27 road games.
Buckeyes are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games as a road favorite.
Buckeyes are 29-11 ATS in their last 40 conference games.
Buckeyes are 44-19 ATS in their last 63 games overall.
Ohio State Buckeyes at Wisconsin Badgers Football Betting Picks and Predictions
I will likely have a side play released to my clients as a rated play this week so I will abstain from making a prediction here on that. However, I think that the way that the money has come in on the total has given a very specific side that sharp bettors are pounding.
This total opened at 53.5 mainly because both offenses have been performing without mercy this season. However, this total has dive-bombed down to 49.0. Not surprisingly, that is the play that I like: ‘under’. Only twice in the last 10 meetings (over 15 years) have these teams combined for more than 50 points. And in the eight meetings since the turn of the century these two schools have averaged just 37.5 points per game in their eight matchups.
Further, each of Ohio State’s two Big Ten games has gone ‘under’ so far this year. The ‘under’ is 6-2 in the last eight meetings and a perfect 5-0 in the last five meetings in Madison. Wisconsin has been an ‘over’ machine and all trends on their side point to a higher scoring game. But I actually feel like Ohio State will dictate tempo. And the ‘under’ is 7-0-1 in their last eight on the road and 5-0 when they are posted as a favorite. Seven touchdowns is a lot of action in a Big Ten brawl so I have to lean on the ‘under’ in this affair.
Robert Ferringo is a writer and a professional NFL and college football handicapper for Doc’s Sports. So far this year he has banked $5,000 in profit for his football picks clients after three straight winning football weeks. He has brought in over $13,000 in overall profit in all sports over the last two-plus months. He has a Big Ten Game of the Year on the card this week and he’s looking for more profit today. You can sign up for his college football and NFL picks and get more information here.
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