Big Ten Football Predictions: Purdue Boilermakers vs. Wisconsin Badgers

Purdue Boilermakers at Wisconsin Badgers
Saturday, 11/5/11, 3:30 PM EST, TV:  ABC
Opening Point Spread:  Wisconsin -26.5
Current Betting Line:  Wisconsin -25.5
Opening Total:  57
Current Total:  57.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Wisconsin Badgers have lost consecutive games heading into Saturday's contest with the Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue will be searching for its first victory in Madison since the 2003 season and looks to bounce back from a 36-14 loss to the Michigan Wolverines as 14-point road underdogs last week.  The Boilermakers defense is focused to make amends for allowing 535 yards against the Wolverines.  “Way too many,” commented Boilermakers linebacker Joe Holland.  “We’ve had a couple of games this season where we haven’t given up a run over 15 yards.”  Purdue is 4-2 ATS in November the last two-plus seasons and the ‘over’ is 4-2 in those contests.

The Boilermakers have fallen into a trend that they’d like to see continue on Saturday, following up each loss with a win the following week.  Purdue will certainly be up against it when considering its been outscored by a 146-53 margin in the last five meetings in this particular series, including a 34-13 loss as 20-point home underdogs last year.  The team has also lost 13 consecutive road games when facing AP top 25 opponents.

Wisconsin has lost two consecutive road games in dramatic fashion, falling 37-31 against the Michigan State Spartans before last week’s 33-29 defeat versus the Ohio State Buckeyes as 7.5-point favorites.  “We have to make sure we stop the bleeding,” commented Badgers running back Montee Ball.  “We’ll approach it the same.”  He leads the nation with 21 touchdowns and the team is one of three that averages at least 230 yards rushing and receiving.  Quarterback Russell Wilson leads the country in pass efficiency and has thrown a touchdown pass in 36 consecutive games.  Wisconsin is 4-1 ATS at home this season and the ‘over’ is 11-6 in that situation.

The Badgers are likely to bounce back Saturday, coming in with eight straight home wins over Big Ten Conference opponents, outscoring them by an incredible 414-132 margin.  Wisconsin has scored at least 48 points in six of its last seven home games.  The offense ranks sixth in the country in scoring offense, averaging 45.1 points per game, which would shatter the school record (41.5) that was set last year.  The last two weeks has seen the unit go against teams ranked in the top 15 nationally in scoring defense.

Bettors will likely back the Badgers due to their 7-0-1 ATS mark as favorites of 10.5 or more points, while the Boilermakers are 0-5 ATS in the last five meetings.

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