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Wisconsin vs. Michigan

Betting Line: Wisconsin -4.5 o/u 67

11/20/10

It is customary for a mascot of any given football team to do pushups after its team scores. Poor old Bucky Badger had to do in excess of 500 pushups after Wisconsin ran up the score in an 83-20 win over Indiana. He could be in store for another arm draining experience this week as Wisconsin travels to face Michigan. The Wolverines have a sorry excuse of a defense, but their offense can go score for score with just about anyone when clicking on all cylinders. They enter this game after a 27-16 win over Purdue last week. Before that game they took down Illinois in a thrilling triple OT event that resulted in a 65-63 win for the Wolverines. Let's take a look at how Wisconsin and Michigan matchup in this Big Ten battle!

Vegas has tabbed the Badgers as a 5 point favorite. Early action favors them 65% to Michigan's 35%. Wisconsin is 4-5 ATS this year. Michigan is slightly worse at 3-6. The last meeting of these teams resulted in a 45-21 win for the Badgers. The home team in this game has won in the last 6 games in a row.

The most significant injury to note is that of Wisconsin RB John Clay. He missed last week's game against Indiana, but should get action here. Don't expect to see him get a whole lot of carries though. This game is very important for both teams, but more so for the traveling Badgers. They are in a three way tie atop the Big Ten standing with Ohio State, and Michigan State. If they slip up and lose here their hopes of making it to the Rose Bowl will come crashing down.

Unless you have been living in a cave you know why Michigan has made it through 10 games with a not so shabby record of 7-3. There is one reason for this, and his name is Shoelaces. That's nickname, but his momma calls him Denard Robinson. The sophomore QB is the college version of Michael Vick. He can sling the ball quite well, but he is more deadly when in the open field on his feet. This kid is like grease lightning. He can really move!

Robinson's last two games haven't been so impressive, but we are confident he can get things moving again. The young 'fella has passed for 4 TDs and 4 INTs in a two game span, and hasn't registered a rushing TD in that span. That is a stark contrast from his performance against Penn State where he found the end zone 3 times using his legs, passed for another TD, and didn't throw an INT. One of his best games of the year came early in the season when he ripped up Notre Dame for 244 passing yards, 258 rushing yards, and 3 combined TDs. He broke loose on a 87 yard run in that game. His numbers have been much tamer against teams like Iowa, and Michigan State, so don't expect him to go buck wild on Wisconsin. He will have a good team and be the reason his team wins, if they in fact do that. 

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The Badgers are deadly not only because of a stout defense, but because they can get points on the board in a hurry. They rank 8th in the nation in Points For at 40.2 PPG. HC Brett Bielema has put together quite a team. We can expect to see them go out and give their all on the road as they try to keep their Rose Bowl hopes alive. It appears they possess miss matches on both offense and defense. Michigan has encountered trouble when facing top defense, and Wisconsin clearly owns one of the better defenses in the Big Ten. Also, Michigan's defense can't stop a sneeze. The Badgers put up a school record 83 points last week.

James White and Monte Ball will pick up the slack at RB for Wisconsin as Clay heals on the sidelines. The duo have combined for 20 TDs this year. QB Scott Tolzien won't "wow" anyone, but he does a good enough job of minimizing mistakes and managing the game. Wisconsin should come close to their average of 40 points for the year if things go right.

This game opened at Wisconsin -6 at some sportsbooks and moved towards Michigan to where it now sits at -4.5 and -5. We hops it continues to move in that direction as we like the Badgers here. We simply feel they are the much better team. We'd be interested in the Wisconsin side here all the way up to -7.

Wisky has lost just once and that was by a touchdown to a very good Michigan State team. They knocked off Ohio State 31-18 and beat Iowa at Iowa. In fact Michigan doesn't measure up to any of the 3 teams we just mentioned, Michigan State, Iowa and Ohio State.

Wisconsin has yards per point numbers of 10.7 offensively and 16 while Michigan is a 14 on offense and 13 on defense. Michigan is -7 in turnover margin while Wisconsin is among the Nations best at +7. To top it all off Michigan has their big game with Ohio State on deck. The difference between these two teams is like night and day. The best team doesn't always win. But, if the best team wins this game, then it's Wisconsin on top by enough to get the money.

Predicted score Wisconsin 42 Michigan 28. Wisconsin -4.5
 

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