College Football Week 13 Picks: Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Wisconsin Badgers

No. 19 Penn State Nittany Lions at No. 16 Wisconsin Badgers
Saturday, 11/26/11, 3:30 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Wisconsin -16
Current Betting Line:  Wisconsin -14.5
Opening Total:  48
Current Total:  49
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Wisconsin Badgers are 9-1-1 ATS as a home favorite

Penn State finishes off its regular season and comes in off a solid 20-14 win over the Ohio State Buckeyes as 6.5-point road underdogs.  The Nittany Lions have clinched no worse than a share of the Leaders Division with a 6-1 record, but must win to earn a trip to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Conference title game.  It’s important to note that the program is 4-0 on the road this season and have tallied a 14-4 regular-season mark away from Beaver Stadium over the past four seasons.  Penn State is 0-3 ATS as an underdog of 10.5 to 21 points the last two-plus years.

The Nittany Lions will need to win this game on the defensive end, ranking eight nationally in allowing 287.4 yards per game, while sitting third in giving up just 13 points a game.  Penn State is being led by interim head coach Tom Bradley, who took over for longtime leader Joe Paterno due to a scandal involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.  From a handicapping perspective, the Nittany Lions are 7-1 in games decided by 10 points or less this season.  Definitely monitor  the health of running back Silas Redd, who carried the ball just eight times for 63 yards versus the Buckeyes due to a lingering shoulder injury.

Wisconsin will say goodbye to 21 seniors on Saturday and the class is 37-13 over the last four years, which is tied for fifth-most in such a span.  The Badgers have won 15 consecutive games inside Camp Randall Stadium, which is the second-longest home winning streak in the country.  “Against Penn State, there’s a lot on the table and we know its senior day,” stated Badgers head coach Bret Bielema.  “It’s an opportunity for us to play together.”  Wisconsin is 5-1 ATS at home this season and the ‘over’ has cashed in five of the six contests.

The Badgers offense is one of the best in the country and is led by running back Montee Ball, who will come in with 30 touchdowns.  Quarterback Russell Wilson has also been great to give the attack incredible balance, leading the country with a 199.3 pass efficiency rating.  Wisconsin has won nine straight home games against conference opponents, winning those games by an average of 36.3 points.

Bettors will likely back the Badgers due to their 9-1-1 ATS mark as a home favorite, while the Nittany Lions are 0-4 ATS following a spread win.

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