Big Ten Football Odds: (10) Wisconsin Badgers at Iowa Hawkeyes

C.J. Beathard-iowa-2015Wisconsin-Iowa
Spread: WIS -4
M/L: WIS -185, IOW +160
Total: 42.5

Betting odds c/o 5dimes

The No. 10 Wisconsin Badgers have lost two straight, but both losses came to Big Ten powerhouses Michigan and Ohio State. Getting back on track at Iowa will not be easy, but the Badgers find themselves 4-point favorites in the game which will air at NOON (ET) on ESPN.

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It took overtime last week for No. 2 Ohio State to finally defeat Wisconsin. J.T. Barrett’s 7-yard pass led OSU over Wisconsin 30-23 in OT, but the Badgers would not fall in the rankings with the loss to Ohio State. Running back Corey Clement carried Wisconsin with 164 yards on 25 carries, including long run of 68-yards.

The Badgers had more total yards than Ohio State, 450 to 409, but QB Alex Hornibrook did throw one interception while going 16 of 28 for 214 yards. Jazz Peavy had a big game out of the backfield with 70 rushing yards and another 76 receiving yards on four catches, including the lone Badgers’ passing TD.

Clement is now a senior and getting his first big carry season since 2014 when he rushed for just under 1,000 yards. He has averaged 4.5 yards per carry on his 107 attempts this season with five TDs. Clement has caught just two passes for 15 yards, but in 2014 he was good for 119 receiving yards on the season.

It is unclear whether the Badgers will seek to involve him more on short pass routes, but Peavy has been doing just that. Peavy has rushed for 124 yards on the season and caught for another 357 yards on 21 catches, including three TDs. The 6’1” wide receiver had just one catch in the loss to Michigan, but he has caught multiple passes in every other Badgers game. Last week was his most dominant performance in the loss.

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At QB, Hornibrook has done well for a freshman. He has thrown 54 of 96 for 680 yards (56 percent) while throwing five TD passes on the year. His six interceptions are (very) problematic, however, as is the fact he has already incurred eight sacks. His passer rating is still a good 120.4, but he has thrown five interceptions in the last three weeks and his three against Michigan pretty much put Wisconsin out of a winnable 14-7 game.

Hornibrook has also really struggled to rush the football, basically coming up with -59 yards on the season, all losses incurred in the last three contests. Hornibrook has plenty of promise and his arm is strong, but he is having the difficulties expected of first-year NCAA quarterbacks. Even so, Wisconsin should be a program that only gains in momentum. It is the best 4-2 team in the nation right now, anyway.

Iowa is 5-2 on the season and has won the last two weeks over Minnesota and Purdue. Last week’s 49-35 win over Purdue came on the heels of an efficient pass game by CJ Beathard and some strong running by Akrum Wadley and LeShun Daniels Jr. Beathard threw 10 of 17 for 140 yards with a pair of TDs (no interceptions) and both Daniels and Wadley ran over 150 yards apiece.

Wadley, in particular, was a first-down machine, averaging 11.7 yards per carry on his 15 attempts and scoring a TD. Daniels rushed a team-high 23 times for 150 yards and two TDs. At WR, Riley McCarron had a big game with four catches for 74 yards and a TD.

Defensively, Iowa pretty much shut down Purdue’s paltry rush attack, limiting the Boilermakers to just 47 yards on 21 carries. David Blough had a big game and threw for five TDs, but the lack of balance in Purdue’s attack bred both predictability and stagnancy. Purdue WR Cole Herdman had a monster game with 104 receiving yards on seven catches—but Purdue simply fell behind by too much for a 21-7 fourth quarter to have any saving grace on the game’s outcome.

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