College Football Picks Week 7: Indiana Hoosiers vs. Wisconsin Badgers, Big Ten Preview

Indiana Hoosiers at No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers
Saturday, 10/15/11, 12:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN2
Opening Point Spread:  Wisconsin -39
Current Betting Line:  Wisconsin -40
Opening Total:  60
Current Total:  60
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Wisconsin Badgers tallied a resounding 83-20 win in last year's meeting with the Indiana Hoosiers

Indiana is set to make its first road trip during Big Ten Conference play and will definitely be seeking revenge from last year’s humiliating 83-20 loss to Wisconsin as 22.5-point road underdogs a year ago.  The Hoosiers bring in a potent passing attack that ranks fourth amongst conference members, averaging 250 yards a contest.  Continuing that success may be limited with starting quarterback Dusty Kiel being listed as doubtful with an ankle injury.  Freshman Tre Roberson replaced him, completing 11 of 17 passes for 148 yards and rushing for a touchdown in last week’s 41-20 loss to Illinois as 14-point home underdogs.  Indiana is 10-8 ATS over the last two-plus seasons against conference foes.

The Hoosiers have been able to create turnovers this year, raking third in the conference and 22nd nationally, recovering nine fumbles and tallying four interceptions.  Indiana has forced at least two turnovers in a game four time this season, scoring 40 points off of opponents’ mistakes.  Indiana’s red zone defense has also been superb, allowing opponents to score touchdowns on just 11 of 24 trips, a 45.8 percent mark that ranks second in the Big Ten behind Michigan.

Wisconsin will put its unblemished record on the line Saturday, coming into this week’s game with a 12-game regular-season winning streak as well.  The Badgers are the only team in the country averaging at least 240 yards rushing and receiving this season.  “We’ve got an opponent, I know, whose win-loss record isn’t that good, but they’ve been competitive,” commented Badgers coach Bret Bielema.  “To me a true sign of improvement is if your team is improving each week.”  His program has definitely done so during his time on campus, as Wisconsin has started the season 5-0 for the fifth time in the last eight years.  Over the last two-plus campaigns, Wisconsin is 18-12 ATS.

The Badgers lead the Big Ten in both scoring offense and defense, while being the only team in the country to rank in the top 10 in both categories.  Wisconsin has won eight consecutive conference games by an average margin of 26.8 points, while scoring at least 30 points in each of its last nine home games, averaging 54.2 points over that span.  Senior quarterback Russell Wilson has played a major part in the team’s success this year, leading the country with a 216.9 passer efficiency rating.

Bettors will likely back the Badgers due to their 4-1 ATS mark in the last five meetings, while the Hoosiers are 1-4 ATS away from home.

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