Wisconsin Badgers at Iowa Hawkeyes
Saturday, 10/23/10, 3:30 PM EDT, TV: ABC
Opening Point Spread: Iowa -5.5
Current Betting Line: Iowa -5.5
Opening Total: 48.5
Current Total: 48
Current Moneyline: Iowa -230 / Wisconsin +190
Wisconsin’s 31-18 win over Ohio State on Saturday was the Badgers’ fourth-ever victor over the nation’s No.1-ranked team and the program is now 4-5 all-time against No. 1 foes at Camp Randall Stadium. “We’re only three games into the Big Ten schedule. We’ve done some good things, but to beat the No. 1 team…It’s good,” said coach Brett Bielema. The Badgers are now seeking to win back-to-back games against ranked opponents for the first time since October 2004. In a game that many expect to be close, Wisconsin’s 9-1 record in its last 10 games decide by eight points or less may be the difference, especially considering the team leads the country in fewest penalties per game. Wisconsin has gone 5-7 against the college football spreads on the road over the last three years and the total is 9-2 Over/Under in those contests.
The Badgers are led by runnings backs John Clay and James White as the only duo in the country to average at least 80 yards per game. Their 1,356 combined rushing yards is the best in the country. Clay has gained 100 yards or more in six of Wisconsin’s seven games, failing to reach that mark only in a 34-24 loss to Michigan State. The rushing attack managed to gash the Ohio State Buckeyes defense for 184 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, a unit that ranked fourth nationally at the time in giving up just 78.7 yards per game. Another strength of the team is holding onto the football, as the team has turned the ball over just five times, tied for second-fewest in the country. Quarterback Scott Tolzien has proven to be a capable leader in big games and has produced a 16-4 record when starting over the past two seasons.
Iowa is set to play the Badgers for the 86th time and lead the series 42-41-2. The Hawkeyes have won the last two meetings and six of the last eight, while holding a 24-15-1 advantage in Iowa City. Last week, the team tallied a solid 38-28 road win over Michigan and has an advantage in hosting all of its top competitors for the conference crown. “I’m not looking at the Big Ten race,” coach Kirk Ferentz commented. “I hope our players aren’t. To me, there is no race yet.” Iowa has won 20 of its last 23 games and is ranked 15th in the initial BCS rankings that came out last weekend. The team is 4-1 ATS thus far in 2010 and 21-9 ATS over the last three campaigns.
The Hawkeyes may have allowed 28 points to the Wolverines last week, but the defense still ranks sixth in scoring defense at 13.2 points per game and 13th in total defense (288.8 ypg). Surprisingly enough, Iowa surrendered two rushing touchdowns last week, the first two it has allowed all season. It will certainly be a battle in the trenches between these two schools, with the Badgers ranking 13th nationally in rushing yards. Offensively, quarterback Ricky Stanzi ranks third in the nation in passing efficiency and has thrown 13 touchdown passes and only two interceptions. He will be tested this week against a stop unit that ranks 23rd in total defense and looked dominant at times against Ohio State.
College football picks handicappers will be interested in knowing that the Badgers are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 road games versus a winning opponent, while the Hawkeyes are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games as a home favorite of 3.5 to 10 points. Maddux Sports has released a premium pick on this game. We know we have the right side and this figures to be another easy winner. Visit the college football picks against the spread page to get signed up for our Saturday package which includes 7 winners including a rare 20 unit release.