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2014 Big Ten Championship Game odds: Wisconsin opens as 3-point favorite over Ohio State

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With Ohio State losing quarterback J.T. Barrett for the season on Saturday, Wisconsin opens as the favorite for Sunday's conference title game.

Grey Satterfield

Wisconsin has opened as a three-point favorite on Ohio State for Saturday's Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis, according to OddsShark.

The line was assuredly influenced by the Buckeyes losing quarterback J.T. Barrett for the season. Barrett, a redshirt freshman, fractured his right ankle in Ohio State's 42-28 win over Michigan on Saturday.

The Badgers defeated Minnesota at Camp Randall Stadium in their annual Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe, 34-24.

Wisconsin has played in two other Big Ten Championship Games, both wins. The Badgers defeated Michigan State in 2011, the inaugural conference title matchup. In 2012, the Badgers defeated Nebraska.

One obvious matchup to watch will be Wisconsin's rushing attack vs. Ohio State's defense. Running back Melvin Gordon is a Heisman favorite, and the Badgers rank third in the country with an average of 334 rushing yards per game. Ohio State ranks 40th in the country in rushing defense at 146 rushing yards allowed per game.

Here's Land-Grant Holy Land on the Buckeyes' recent history as underdogs:

The last time the Buckeyes were pegged as underdogs was against Michigan State in what ultimately proved to be Ohio State's statement game of the season. If the Bucks can repeat the team performance, despite uncertainty at a key position, they'll leave Indianapolis Saturday night with the Big Ten title that's alluded them so far in the Urban Meyer era.

The Big Ten Championship Game kicks off 7:17 p.m. CT Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The game will be televised on FOX.