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Betting preview: Wisconsin at Nebraska

Can the Badgers get back to covering the spread as double digit favorites?

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

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The Wisconsin Badgers got back in the win column last Saturday, but were unable to cover the large spread in their match up with the Iowa Hawkeyes. That’s alright by me, because if you listened to the betting preview for that game you cashed on both the spread with Iowa and the over.

Feel free to tip your sharps? Kidding, I do it for love of the people.

The 2-0 weekend now puts the betting preview column at a nice 12-6 mark as we enter the final three weeks of the season.

The Badgers have not covered the spread in their last three match-ups, and now head to Lincoln as double digit favorites. The spread for this game opened at 11.5 and moved rapidly to a line of 14.5 in favor of Wisconsin. My projected line for this game was 13.5, but oddsmakers won’t put a number out there like that unless they have to so I expect 14.5 to hold for most of the week.

The total for this game opened at 51 and has stayed at that mark, drawing very little action so far. We’ll dive into both of these numbers, but first lets take a look at some trends in the battle for the Freedom Trophy.

  • Wisconsin is 2-4 ATS in their last six games
  • Wisconsin is 5-3 ATS against Nebraska
  • Nebraska is 1-8 ATS in 2019
  • Nebraska is 1-7 SU against Wisconsin
  • The total has gone over in 6 of 8 meetings between these two teams
  • The total has gone under in 5 of Wisconsin’s last 6 games

ATS Pick: Wisconsin (-14.5)

If you saw a team that was 4-5 SU and 1-8 ATS betting against them would be a no brainer in most circumstances. However, that changes when you are taking on a hype train team like Nebraska. It got me early in the season when I took them against Ohio State, and it got a lot of pundits in the preseason when talking about who would win this West division.

I think Nebraska will come out and give their best effort in this game, but I have trouble betting with a team that has been completely dominated by Jonathan Taylor in his career. JT comes into this game having two of his top career performances against Nebraska, and I think we are due for that again this week. Nebraska has been softer than the Michelin man up the middle this year, and it appears as though Wisconsin found their stride again in the run game last week.

If JT can get 250 yards on a top ten defense like Iowa, he should have free reign against the nations No. 83 run defense. If you were able to get this under 14 you are in an even better spot, but I still like this number up to 17.

Over/Under: Under 51

My initial thought for this game was to play the over given Nebraska’s ability to move with tempo and throw the football, but then I looked at the weather forecast for Lincoln on Saturday afternoon. The current forecast for this game calls for 12-15 MPH winds going directionally across the field. That is the worst case scenario for teams that like or will be forced to throw the football. Heavy winds play to unders and teams that keep the ball on the ground a la Wisconsin.

Nebraska has actually run the ball better then they’ve passed it this year, and with the forecast they will probably try and keep the ball on the ground even more than they normally do. That could all change if Wisconsin keeps up their stout run defense, but even if the Huskers turn to the air the weather plays into Wisconsin’s hand. I project this game to be around 34-20, but with the weather you can adjust both team totals down a bit. Windy games are a profitable system, so to me it’s under or pass in this match-up.