This 8:17 p.m. (ET) kickoff of FOX is one of the key games of the evening to watch for college football betting fans. Nebraska is hoping to get to the Rose Bowl as a member of the Big Ten for the very first time, while the Badgers are trying to claim greatness and make it to a whopping third straight Granddaddy of them All.
1. Why Nebraska will cover the spread: A 3-point favorite, Nebraska will cover the spread if it can slow down the Wisconsin rushing attack. It’s no surprise what the Badgers are going to do: They’re going to run RB Montee Ball into the ground for sure. This is a great pass defense, the best in the nation statistically, but it is one of the worst rush defenses that the conference has to offer, allowing 166.2 yards per game. We’ve already seen RB Carlos Hyde rip off 140 and four scores against this defense, and we’ve seen RB Le’Veon Bell come up with 188 and three TDs as well. That won’t cut it against Ball, who had 90 yards and three TDs when these teams met earlier this year.
2. Why Wisconsin will cover the spread: The Badgers will cover the spread if they can keep this offense two-dimensional. We get it. They’re a running team, and they have accounted for over 2,500 yards between Ball, RB James White, and RB Melvin Gordon. However, QB Curt Phillips has to at least make the Huskers think about dropping the eighth man out of the box from time to time. The weapons are there for sure, knowing that WR Jared Abbrederis is one of the most underrated receivers in college football, but he needs to be used and used effectively for the Badgers to win.
3. Total Talk: There have only been two meetings between these two teams, and both games exceeded the ‘total’. Handicapping ‘totals’ for these two teams has been tough, though. Nebraska is just 3-3-1 in its last seven games on the over/under, while Wisconsin has alternated ‘overs’ and ‘unders’ in each of its last five games.
4. Betting Trends for Nebraska/Wisconsin: The home team won both of the first two all-time meetings of these schools, but that doesn’t mean anything here at Lucas Oil Stadium on the neutral turf. The Badgers are 2-0 ATS in this series as well, and the only reason that they aren’t on more of an ATS roll is because of the fact that they have come up on the short end of the stick in back to back overtime games. If those two flipped the other way, Wisky would be 7-2 SU and 8-1 ATS in the nine games since taking on Nebraska the first time.
Wisconsin 35 – Nebraska 24