The 132nd meeting in the battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe takes place this Saturday in Madison and oddsmakers project it will be quite the slugest. According to Draftkings, the line for this game currently sits at 3.5 in favor of the Badgers. The total for this game is, once again, incredibly low sitting at just 34.5 points. Yes, that’s low but its still a whole 3 points higher than Minnesota/Iowa last week which means oddsmakers CLEARLY respect Wisconsin’s offense, right? Sure, anyway, let's dive into these.
(Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.)
ATS Pick: Minnesota +3.5
Look, these teams feel dead even to me. I think the Badgers could very well win this game but the chances of it being by more than a field goal seem slim to me at this point in time. This game, like the last couple of years, feels like it's going to be very low scoring and close. Getting a field goal in a game with this low of a projected total feels like a ton of points. The lower the total, the more valuable points are. Getting over 3.5 with Minnesota is just too many points to pass up in this spot. Let’s hope the Badgers win this one on a late field goal, eh? Hell, or they can win 49-0 and save us all the stress. That’s worth more than whatever you might win on a bet here!
Over/Under? Under 34.5
Coming into this week both of these teams look similar to what we’ve seen the last few years from each side. Both teams are looking to run the football, and both teams are looking to stop said run. Defensively, each team has done so pretty well as both teams rank in the top 15 in terms of rushing defense. Minnesota sits at number 10, while the Badgers sit one spot behind them at number 11.
Offensively, Minnesota has had more success running the ball than Wisconsin this Fall as they come in ranked 9th in the nation. Wisconsin has struggled more this year than in years past as the Badgers rank just 50th in the nation running the ball. Not bad, but certainly not up to the Wisconsin standard.
Overall, I think both sides will struggle to move the ball and score points in this game. To me, I think you are going to see both teams trying to establish the run and looking to win the field position battle. These offenses will be doing that against two of the stronger run defenses in the country, and to me that gives the advantage to both defensive units. This game feels like its going to be a classic 17-14 Big Ten West game so give me the under in this spot.