Biggest Line Move of the Week: Arizona State Vs Wisconsin Analysis
Arizona St Sun Devils at Wisconsin Badgers, Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wisconsin
Saturday, September 18, 2010, 3:30 pm EST, TV: ABC, ESPN2, or ESPN Gameplan (check local listings)
Opening Line: Wisconsin -17
Current Line: Wisconsin -12.5
Opening Total: 48
Current Total: 48
Money Line: Wisconsin -475 / ASU +395
The opening and current lines were taken from Bookmaker Sportsbook, who is the first offshore book to post a betting line on the games.
Dennis Erickson leads his Arizona St Sun Devils into Madison to take on Bret Bielema’s Wisconsin Badgers. Both teams are 2-0 but haven’t played any serious competition, so this will be the first test for both teams. Sun Devil quarterback Steven Threet transferred from Michigan. Two years ago he led the Wolverines to a come from behind victory over the Badgers after trailing by 19 at halftime. So Threet is familiar with the Badgers and vice versa.
Arizona St had opened with two teams from the FCS Big Sky Conference. They destroyed Portland St 54-9 and beat Northern Arizona 41-20. Both games were in Tempe, so it is difficult to know what to make of the Sun Devils. They are only giving up 61.5 yards a game on the ground, but haven’t faced the quality of Wisconsin’s John Clay or Montee Ball yet. Threet has thrown for 630 yards, 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions in two games so far. He has only been sacked once so far, so the offensive line is doing a good job protecting him. The running game has been somewhat effective led by Cameron Marshall with 132 yards and 4 touchdowns already this season. Threet has done a good job spreading the ball around, as 4 players ahve touchdown catchers this year. His top two targets are Aaron Pflugrad with 12 catches and Mike Willie with 10 catches. Against Northern Arizona the Sun Devils were only up 17-10 at halftime before pulling away in the second half to win 41-20. The Sun Devils run a very quick offense similar to Texas Tech and Houston. Wisconsin hasn’t faced a team with this kind of speed so far this season, and the coaches are a little worried they won’t be able to keep up with the Sun Devils.
The Badgers are 2-0 but haven’t been very kind to chalk bettors this year. They gave up a late touchdown to UNLV to allow them to get the backdoor cover or push depending on what college football betting lines you got, and last week they only beat San Jose St 27-14 after opening as a 38 point home favorite. The strength of the Badger attack is the running game led by John Clay. The Badgers are averaging almost 250 yards a game running the ball. Clay has been splitting the carries with Montee Ball as Clay recovers from off-season surgery on both ankles. Clay is expected to get more and more of the carries as he recovers his strength and power. Quarterback Scott Tolzien doesn’t have to do much in the Badgers smashmouth offense. He has thrown for 388 yards and a touchdown and 2 interceptiosn so far this year. Though they only won by 13 against San Jose St, the Spartans were never really in the game. The Badgers jumped out to a 20-0 lead. The Spartans scored two late touchdowns when the game was already decided. The Spartans were held to 307 total yards.
The Sun Devils haven’t played a team from the Big 10 in 5 years. Wisconsin is usually pretty strong against Pac-10 teams at home. They are 8-1 straight up and 6-3 ATS in their last 9 games against Pac-10 teams in Madison. Rain is likely and the temperature should be in the 60’s, perhaps a little chilly for the desert dwellers from Arizona St. The value at this point is clearly on Wisconsin after a 5 point move from the opening number, but unless something changes in the next 18 hours or so we will be sitting this game on the sidelines. We do have 7 strong picks we like this week and you can get those winners by visiting our weekly college football picks page. Currently on a 14-3 run, there is no better time than now to hop on board with the experts.