UTEP vs. Wisconsin
Time: 12 PM EST Sat
Spread: WIS -18
Betting Odds from Bovada
From my season preview:
The Wisconsin offense was the toast of the Big Ten last year. They led in both rushing and passing yards, and were an unstoppable machine, ranking 6th in the nation in scoring with 44.1 points per game.
It really all started with one reason, and that reason was QB Danny O’Brien, who transferred from Maryland to suit up with the Badgers, and also stated he “(didn’t) regret one day on the campus of Maryland,” but said he felt “rejuvenated” to be playing for a new program under the tutelage of Bret Bielema. He’s expected to start and the loss of offensive coordinator Paul Chryst (who moved on to coach Pittsburgh) will sting a lot less with O’Brien in the saddle.
The line will feature three players who have started in the past in TB Montee Ball, WR Jared Abbredis, and TE Jacob Pedersen.
The best of these is Ball, who could be a Heisman threat. Ball, however, was involved in an altercation at Badgers’ media day which is still under investigation. It occurred on August 1st, and the senior tailback sustained a concussion but said there was “not much (he) could say” only that “(he) had nothing to do with that fight, honestly.” So, while we find that refreshing to hear, judgement on the matter must still be reserved and it could end up being a huge black mark on the team and organization if anything negative were to surface from it.
With Ball and O’Brien BOTH aboard, the Badgers are a very dangerous team, so Badgers fans are hoping for the best, as the team is expected to have a good year if things fall into place for them.
Wisconsin is the repeating champs of the Big Ten, after winning their second straight over MSU last year. The fact that OSU is ineligible this year gives them a chance at a three-peat.
Last week the Badgers won on a 37 yard missed field goal from Utah State’s Josh Thompons, as the ball went wide right and the Wisconsin team escaped with a two point victory after a Montee Ball TD late in the third quarter gave them the go-ahead 16-14 lead. Ball had 139 total yards on 37 carries, but the OL didn’t create a lot of holes for the talented back, and he had to work for every yard. Ball is 30/1 to win the Heisman on Bovada.
Wisconsin switched QBs at the half, bringing in Joel Stave to take the reigns from Danny O’Brien.
The OL must improve for Wisconsin to cover this spread and win by as many as college oddsmakers are projecting them to, setting the line at 18 points. The Badgers fell out of the top 25 after a loss to Oregon State and fired OL coach Mike Markuson over the matter, so they must find a way to get better blocking and create better pockets for either Stave or O’Brien, whoever is getting the minutes.
The Badgers received five votes in the AP poll, but remain unranked.
Wisconsin Betting Trends:
Badgers are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in previous game, 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 games after accumulating less than 275 total adds in previous game, 1-6 ATS following an SU win, 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
The UTEP Miners caught a break last week after catching then No.4 Oklahoma in week one and getting blown out, then losing by two touchdowns to Ole Miss in week two. In Week 3, the Miners won by 13 over New Mexico State in a game in which Nick Lamaison threw for 300 yards and a career high four TDs.
The Miners scored on their first four possessions, to leap out to a 27-0 lead and 10 mins still to play in the second quarter. Lamaison was 21 of 32 on passes and Jordan Leslie had 147 receiving yards with one of the TDs.
UTEP Miners Betting Trends:
Miners are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games in Sept. They are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs teams with winning records, 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games overall. They are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 following an ATS loss.
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