Fresh off a thrilling 25-21 comeback victory over the Illinois Fighting Illini, the Wisconsin Badgers are set to host the Ohio State Buckeyes in Week 9 in what arguably is their toughest matchup of the season.
Meanwhile, the Buckeyes, who stand at 7-0, are coming off a tough 20-12 victory over the then-No. 6 Penn State Nittany Lions.
What are all of the odds ahead of the game?
Prop 1: Wisconsin WR Will Pauling over 40.5 receiving yards
As long as the prop remains relatively low, I’m hitting the over on Will Pauling’s 40.5 receiving yards, especially in this situation.
Wisconsin likely plays from behind, which means a higher volume in the air, and Pauling has been the team’s top target, regardless of quarterback.
Pauling has a knack for getting open and consistently finds separation, something the Badgers receivers have struggled with, making him a reliable target.
I’m taking the over with Pauling here, especially with his recent ascension, going for at least 60 yards in each of his last three games.
Prop 2: Ohio State TE Cade Stover over 49.5 receiving yards
I was very tempted to take the over on Marvin Harrison’s 103.5 yards, as he’s eclipsed the mark in each of his last three games.
The Badgers don’t really have a cornerback that matches well with Harrison’s 6’4, 205-pound profile, which means it may be a feast over the top for the wideout.
But, I’m going for a more bold approach, and will take the over on Cade Stover’s 49.5 receiving yards.
Stover has hit the over on that total in every single game this season, and with the attention that Harrison, Emeka Egbuka, and the wideouts will require, there may be some nice 1-on-1 matchups for the tight end to operate.
Additionally, Wisconsin’s linebackers have struggled to cover in zone concepts, leading to some opportunities over the middle for tight ends, and I expect quarterback Kyle McCord and Stover to capitalize.
Prop 3: Wisconsin QB Braedyn Locke over 0.5 passing touchdowns
While Ohio State is a heavy favorite, the odds for this prop at -150 seems relatively low, as Locke threw for two scores last week.
Braelon Allen obviously presents a threat on the ground to score with his powerful profile, but I do anticipate the Badgers scoring through the air at least once, especially in trying to win a shootout.
Locke could have a tough game against a top defense, but I do envision at least one passing touchdown for the quarterback.
Braedyn Locke, welcome to Big Ten play.
After a comeback victory last week on the road in his first career start, Locke faces a top-five team in his second start.
Unfortunately for the Badgers, I just don’t see them matching well with Ohio State on either side to keep this one as competitive as it needs to be.
Defensively, while all the talk is on the passing game with Marvin Harrison, Cade Stover, and Co., I don’t see Wisconsin being able to effectively stop TreVeyon Henderson and the run game.
That matchup will allow Ohio State to consistently move the chains, and I don’t think Wisconsin will have enough offensive firepower against a tough Buckeyes defense to keep this one close.
I expect the Buckeyes to field a comfortable victory in this one, much to the chagrin of Badgers fans.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.