Last week the Badgers came out in suffocating fashion and knocked off No. 9 Iowa 27-7. Wisconsin covered the spread early and never looked back, and the under just barely escaped. Unfortunately, for the column, we’re once again on the wrong side of both plays and the zigging when zagging strategy failed.
This week, Wisconsin travels to Rutgers where they are currently listed as a 12.5 point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, the official odds provider of B5Q. The total for this contest opened at 37.5 but currently sits at 38 points as of writing. We’ll dive into both of those numbers, but first, some notable trends.
- Wisconsin is 17-6 ATS as a road favorite under Paul Chryst
- Wisconsin is 20-10 ATS in road contests under Paul Chryst
- Rutgers is 1-5 ATS as a home underdog under Greg Schiano
- Rutgers is 3-6 ATS in home contests under Greg Schiano
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
ATS Pick: Wisconsin (-12.5)
Alright, folks, I have seen enough to get back to feeling comfortable laying points with Wisconsin. It’s a bit uncomfortable, but I think they have finally earned that right. Generally, this is a spot I would stay away from with a big spread and a low total, but if I am picking a side I feel like I have to go with the Badgers.
I mean just look at the trends above! These are the spots where Paul Chryst thrives, and in the small sample size, this is a spot where Rutgers has struggled under Greg Schiano.
Truly though, I think we could see a very similar game to what we saw last week where Wisconsin felt in control for most of the game. I believe Wisconsin will look to run the football (obviously) and while they may get some fight back against Rutgers early I do believe eventually this game will break open and the Badgers will be able to score, so I like this spread with anything under two touchdowns for Wisconsin at this point in time.
Over/Under? Under 38
The write-up on the spread pick was brief but I think it closely corresponds to what I am thinking in terms of the total. Can Rutgers score? Honestly, I am not sure if they can. Coming into this week Rutgers has a slightly better offense than Iowa, but not by much. The Knights are currently ranked No. 104 in terms of total offense while Iowa is No. 124 (Jesus).
The difference between these two units has been Rutgers run offense which ranks No. 87, but I don’t see them having any sort of success against Wisconsin’s top-rated run defense. If that gets plugged up, I think it could be a long day for Rutgers and in turn Wisconsin will be able to cover. It’s a lot easier to cover the spread and for the total to go under if the other team can’t score.
If Rutgers can’t score more than a touchdown I think this total once again goes under as Wisconsin’s offense just isn’t going to put up huge numbers, and I think the Knights defense is respectable. There is always the turnover factor in a low spot like this, but that same thought was there last week and despite Iowa’s multiple turnovers the total still went under.
Additionally, Rutgers ranks in the top five in terms of turnovers lost and Wisconsin has played a much cleaner game in recent weeks. Due to that, I think the under is still very much in play. This feels like a spot where we could have a replica of last week, so I will lay the points and take the under as scary as it may seem.