Wisconsin at Northwestern
Time: 11 AM (CT), ABC/ESPN
Spread: WISC -6.5
Betting odds c/o 5dimes
The Wisconsin Badgers have won back-to-back weeks over Nebraska and Iowa after its back-to-back losses to Michigan and Ohio State, and the No. 8 ranked Badgers now travel to face Northwestern at 11 AM (Central) on ESPN as 6.5 point favorites over hosting Northwestern. The over/under for the game is set at ’41’ points according to college football oddsmakers at 5dimes.
Check out our college football odds page for instant line updates on every game.
Wisconsin is favored, yes, but this is going to be a close game between two tough Big Ten rivals. The Badgers knocked off Nebraska 23-17 last week to move up from No. 11 to No. 8 in the AP rankings, and it took a Dare Ogunbowale 11-yard TD run in OT to seal up the victory. He finished with a team-high 120 rushing yards on just 11 carries, averaging 10.9 yards per carry as the Badgers picked up 223 team rushing yards. Corey Clement had 82 yards on 19 carries, and Bradrick Shaw had 23 yards and a TD. Freshman quarterback Alex Hornibrook had just 71 yards passing, but he was an efficient 10 of 16 with both a TD and an interception.
It was not his greatest performance obviously, but the backfield carried Wisconsin through this one, as did the fact its defense limited Nebraska to just 305 total yards (while managing 337 itself; this was a defensive affair). The Badgers have been superb defensively all season, ranking No. 3 in the nation while allowing just 14.6 points per game. Its offense has not been so great, but 24.1 points per game will win a lot of football games with the team making the defensive stands it has.
Wisconsin is still a running football team, and Hornibrook has a lot of maturation ahead of him The Badgers rank No. 99 in passing yards with just 197.1 per game, while averaging 179.3 rushing yards (No. 56). Hornibrook has thrown six TDs on the season, but he has seven INTs, and his completion rate is just 57.3 percent. Clement and Ogunbowale have each rushed for 699 and 338 yards respectively and have eight of Wisconsin’s 12 rushing TDs between them.
Shop and compare the best online sportsbooks with our sportsbook review page.
Wisconsin has averaged 4.1 yards per carry and it has mostly been Clement, Ogunbowale and Shaw. Jazz Peavy has done a good job functioning as a dual-back with 129 yards on 12 carries, but his biggest contributions come in the pass game where he leads the team with 408 yards on 27 catches with three of its six TDs. The 6’1” junior wide receiver caught for 268 yards last season, but he did not rush the football in 2015. While he is a WR, getting ground production of out him has been a revelation for the Badgers this season and he is one of the most valuable offensive weapons this team has.
Northwestern is 4-4 after losing last week to then-No. 6 Ohio State. The Wildcats had previously won three straight over Indiana, Michigan State and Iowa. Northwestern is 3-2 in Big Ten play.
The Wildcats have been led by the passing of Clayton Thornton, who has 1,942 yards on the season with 15 TDs and six INTs. His top receiver has been Austin Carr, who has 878 yards on 58 catches with nine of the team’s total 15 passing TDs. Junior running back Justin Jackson has picked up where he has left off from his dominant first two seasons at Northwestern. He had 1,187 yards as a freshman in 2014, upped that to 1,418 last year, and this year he is at 868 on 188 attempts, but his six TDs already exceed all of his 2015 production (5). Jackson has also been active catching passes, with his third-straight 20-plus catch season. He is averaging 6.6 yards per pass attempt.
Get a full season of NFL and college football picks to get in on the winnings at Maddux Sports!