College Football Picks Week 8: Wisconsin Badgers vs. Michigan State Spartans

No. 6 Wisconsin Badgers at No. 16 Michigan State Spartans
Saturday, 10/22/11, 8:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Wisconsin -6.5
Current Betting Line:  Wisconsin -7
Opening Total:  48.5
Current Total:  49.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Wisconsin Badgers seek revenge from last year's loss in East Lansing

Wisconsin is 6-0 for the first time under head coach Bret Bielema and will be looking to capture its 14th regular-season win in a row.  The Badgers will also be looking to gain revenge from a 34-24 loss in last year’s trip to East Lansing, a loss that Bielema took to heart.  “That’s my fault,” stated the program’s front man about not having his team prepared.  “I probably didn’t stress playing on the road in the Big Ten as much as I should have going into that game.”  The team leads the Big Ten Conference in scoring offense and defense.  Wisconsin is 4-2 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 10 points, while the ‘over’ has cashed in five of six of those opportunities.

The Badgers are incredibly balanced in having 1,594 passing yards and 1,545 rushing yards this season.  Wisconsin has won each of its last 10 regular-season games by at least 20 points.  Quarterback Russell Wilson is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate, leading the country in passing efficiency, while completing 74.2 percent of his passes.  He ranks third among all active signal-callers in total offense, trailing only Houston’s Case Keenum and Boise State’s Kellen Moore.

Michigan State comes off its fourth consecutive win over Michigan, capturing a 28-14 win as three-point home favorites.  The Spartans only loss this season was a 31-13 defeat against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as six-point road underdogs.  Defensively, the unit ranks second nationally, while also allowing just 180 yards per game during its three-game winning streak.  Michigan State is riding an 11-game home winning streak, the longest for the program since 1964-66.  The team will be playing its first game in the last two-plus seasons as home underdogs of 3.5 to 7 points.

The Spartans will be playing just their 11th night game in the history of Spartan Stadium, posting a 6-4 mark in those contests.  In fact, the home team has won the past six games in the series.  ESPN College GameDay will be on campus for the first time since 2005.  Michigan State’s strength is a defense that has allowed opponents just seven trips inside the red zone this season, which is the second-fewest nationally, trailing only the Boise State Broncos.  The program is 21-31 in its last 52 games against teams ranked in the AP Top 25 poll.

Bettors will likely back the Badgers due to their 15-5-1 ATS mark in their last 21 games, while the Spartans are 1-7 ATS as an underdog of 3.5 to 10 points.

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