Wisconsin Badgers at UNLV Rebels, Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
Saturday, September 4, 2010, 11:00 pm EST, TV: Versus
Opening line: Wisconsin -18
Current line: Wisconsin -20
Opening total: 58 1/2
Current total: 56.5
Money line: Wisconsin -1400/ UNLV +900
All betting lines taken from online sportsbook Bookmaker.
The Badgers return to Las Vegas for the first time since 2007. Despite being almost 2,000 miles away, it is almost like a defacto home game for the Badgers because of the large number of Wisconsin transplants that live in Las Vegas and because the Badger fans living in Wisconsin love to come out to Vegas for the game. Coach Bret Bieliema leads the Badgers in their trip to UNLV. The Badgers have a shot at winning the Big Ten, and are number 12 nationally in the preseason rankings. The Badgers powerful offense is lead by Heisman candidate running back junior John Clay who rushed for over 1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns last season. Clay is recovering from offseason ankle surgery on both ankles but is reported to be healthy. Quarterback Scott Tolzien returns for his senior season after throwing for 2,700 yards and 16 touchdowns last season. The receivers and tight ends are led by senior David Gilreath and senior tight end Lance Kendricks. The offensive line is solid as well. On defense the Badgers are led by sophomore linebacker Chris Borland. The Badgers are loaded at every position and will be one of the elite teams in the country.
Coach Bobby Hauck takes over the Rebels after Mike Sanford was fired after 5 disappointing season. Hauck had some success at FCS powerhouse Montana. The Grizzlies regularly competed for national champions under Hauck’s watch. The Rebels continue to platoon quarterbacks Omar Clayton and Mike Clausen. Clausen was named the starter earlier this week, but Clayton could get some snaps as well. The Rebels lost all-time school leading receiver Ryan Wolfe to the NFl, but still have talented junior Phillip Payne. Senior Channing Trotter returns at running back after rushing for 541 yards and 9 TD’s last season. The defense must improve as they were awful last year especially against the run. That could be a problem as they are up against one of the best running backs in the country. Last year in a game against arch-rival Nevada, the Rebels were gashed for over 400 yards rushing. Needless to say, they lost that game handily. if the Rebels even give up half that amount, this game will be over at halftime.
The game time temperature will be in the high 90’s and will test the durability of the Badgers. though as they say it is a dry heat. If the rebuilding Rebels even come close to covering the spread against the powerful Badgers I would be surprised. but if the Rebels can give them a game, it will certainly help build their confidence. The Badgers have San Jose st at home next week, while the Rebels travel to Salt Lake City to take on the mighty Utah Utes. Much like the Fresno-Cincinnati game, The Badgers have to travel across the country to play a late night game. It might not matter as the Badgers have so much more talent than the Rebels.
As for our college football predictions on this game, while we have a premium play on the side, the under 56.5 looks like a solid play and is worthy of a wager.
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