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Wisconsin vs. Iowa betting preview

How will the Badgers rebound in their first road test?

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NCAA Football: Iowa at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Lines below are based on 8 a.m. odds. For the latest odds, visit The Action Network.

The Wisconsin Badgers head to Kinnick Stadium on Saturday for a night contest with the Iowa Hawkeyes. While the Axe game is the biggest rivalry on paper, Iowa is considered the bigger rival by many. It’s a series that has been nearly even with Wisconsin leading the all-time series 46–43, including four straight wins on the road. These two teams know each other well and will clash once again in primetime Saturday night.

The Badgers were unable to cover the spread in their final non-conference game but i’m sure you knew that already. The home loss as a 22-point favorite is a big stinger, but thankfully for Wisconsin it still has the ability to control its own destiny. This week, the Badgers come in as three-point favorites, with the total currently sitting at 42 in their first road contest of the season. Here are the notable trends for Iowa Week:

  • Wisconsin has won four straight road contests at Kinnick Stadium
  • Wisconsin is 11–1 ATS in its last 12 road games
  • Wisconsin is 8–1 ATS as road favorite in its last nine games
  • Wisconsin is 6–1 ATS after a straight-up loss in the Paul Chryst era
  • Iowa is 10–3–1 ATS as home underdog (two of the ATS losses came vs. the Badgers)
  • Iowa is 3–0 ATS so far this season; Wisconsin is 0–3
  • Iowa is 8–1 ATS in its last nine games at home
  • Iowa is 2–4 ATS against Wisconsin at home

So what does it all mean?

With so much history between these teams, there are some valuable trends to take note of. Personally, 11–1 ATS in the last 12 road games bodes well for the Badgers. Many teams struggle on the road, but Wisconsin always seems to travel well—specifically into Kinnick Stadium, where the Badgers have won four straight and done very well in covering the number. They also always seem to bounce back under Chryst, as the Badgers are 6–1 ATS after a loss in his time.

Had Wisconsin won, this spread would be closer to seven points, meaning Iowa is getting some serious value from the Badgers’ loss and being at home. Iowa is 3–0 ATS while Wisconsin is 0–3, meaning oddsmakers have had trouble really figuring out a good number for each of these teams.

The Pick: Wisconsin (-3)

Unfortunately, I’m 1–2 in picking Wisconsin contests this season, but this week I think we and the Badgers get back on the right track. I don’t use the L word (LOCK), but I get a tingly feeling in this one. The Badgers haven’t played their best football this season, and they’ve heard the national media write them off and bash them all week. What better spot to bounce back and change that narrative than going into your rival’s house at night and getting a W in the ALL-WHITE ICE?

I currently live in Iowa and a few Hawkeye friends of mine have said the loss to BYU was the worst thing to happen to Iowa, and I tend to agree. It’s like poking a sleeping bear (or badger). It’s just something you don’t do. I think the loss to BYU lit a fire under Wisconsin, and I see the Badgers starting to play with more of the underdog mentality that has always worked for them. Most teams would cower at going on the road at night against your rival, but I think the Badgers are salivating at the chance to get this opportunity. Maybe it’s my overconfidence that I get with Wisconsin, but I’m less nervous as a fan now than I would have been going into this 3–0. Badgers roll.