Spread and total are based on 5 a.m. odds. For the latest odds, visit Action Network.
The Wisconsin Badgers opened their season last Friday with a 34–3 victory over the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. While the Badgers were impressive in their debut, it was not quite enough to cover the 37-point spread they faced. If you read the Week 1 betting preview, I hope the advice made you a winner. If not, there’s always this week’s contest, which presents a similar match-up for Wisconsin.
The Badgers currently sit as 35-point favorites for Saturday’s game vs. the New Mexico Lobos, with the over/under total sitting at 59.5. The spread opened at 34.5 and held pretty consistently despite Wisconsin receiving 78% of the money as it stands today.
Wisconsin turns the page to September, where it has had even numbers when opposing the spread and total. Here are some notable trends for you to look into for the Badgers and Lobos:
- In September, the Badgers have been home favorites in 10 contests during the Paul Chryst era, but have only covered the spread in five.
- Nine of the previously mentioned games were against non-conference opponents in which the Badgers were favored by at least 20 points.
- The over/under total sits at 5–5 over those 10 contests.
- Wisconsin is 5–0 ATS after a spread loss in its last five chances.
- Wisconsin is 2–3 ATS in 11 a.m. games against non-conference opponents at home under Chryst.
- New Mexico is 1–4 ATS in its last five road games.
- New Mexico is 3–7 ATS as a non-conference underdog under Bob Davie.
So what does it all mean?
Wisconsin was unable to cover last week, and based on the trends, you were wise if you took Western Kentucky in that contest. This one feels somewhat similar, and with the above new trends, the Badgers appear to be a toss-up in this one. However, I think you have to account for a few factors that stats and trends can’t tell you.
Wisconsin did not play its best football game last week, and I think anyone on the team or coaching staff will tell you that. I think the Badgers have a somewhat sour taste in their mouth after being overlooked in this week’s AP poll in which they were leapfrogged by Ohio State.
I like the fact that Wisconsin is 5–0 ATS after not covering the previous week in recent years. Couple that with this being an early game, with less attention and excitement on them playing in primetime, and I see the Badgers running away with this one.
New Mexico struggled to slow down FCS Incarnate Word, allowing 566 yards to the Red Hawks. That should bode well for the high-powered Wisconsin offense looking to impose its will in the running game and clean some things up offensively. If the Badgers can put the clamps on when on defense, I see them being able to cover 35 points.
As for the total, 59.5 is a bit high. With this one opening at 52, Vegas and the offshore books saw this one playing out as a 42/45–10 type of game. With a large amount of money coming in on the over, this game has been bet upward. I believe part of that is because of the trend for common bettors to overreact after week one. Yes, New Mexico scored 62, but FCS teams aren’t quite at the same standard as the Badgers.
The Pick: Wisconsin (-35), Under 61