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Big 10 Football Pick
Believe it or not, but Indiana actually controls their own destiny to the Big 10 Championship game. How so? They are 2-3 in conference play while Wisconsin is 3-2. A win here gives them an edge over the Badgers and the two schools with the best record in Penn State and Ohio State are ineligible to play in a bowl game this season. While it's still very unlikely that the Hoosiers will make it to the Championship game, it's possible. Wisconsin still has to play both Ohio State and Penn State after this game.
Wisconsin has not been great on the road this season, going 1-2 with their only win coming against a Purdue team who is 0-5 in conference play. Indiana is coming off a big home win over Iowa last weekend and is a much different team than we've seen from them over the past few years. They have a surprisingly good offense that keeps them in games. Two of their home losses came against Michigan State and Ohio State, but only by a combined seven points. The Badgers are only a 7-point favorite for a reason.
Recent meetings between these teams don't hold much weight as each school is much different than previous years. In the last two games, Wisconsin has outscored Indiana 142 to 27. 142 points in two games? Yeah.
The Badgers don't have the same kind of high-powered offense that we're used to seeing. In addition, Joel Stave, the quarterback who revived the offense earlier in the year is out for the season with a knee injury. Danny O'Brien will probably be the starting QB once again (although it hasn't been confirmed). This is the same QB that started the first three games of the year when they had trouble beating Northern Iowa and Utah State and lost to Oregon State. Indiana's defense isn't great, but with O'Brien at the helm, it definitely helps. Montee Ball will see a huge dosage along with his backup James White. The two have a combined 1,514 yards and 19 TDs. Coming off a bye week, they both will surely be ready to run.
Wisconsin's defense has been tough, but when faced with a better offense, they've struggled as seen when they went to Nebraska and gave up 30 points earlier in the year. Indiana can move the ball. Whether it is Cameron Coffman or Nate Sudfeld at quarterback, they have been able to score. Coffman is the starter, but Nate Sudfeld also gets time and has attempted 31 passes in the last two games. The two have combined for 2,331 yards and 17 touchdowns. They have a slew of wide receivers at the ready with the top three all having a catch of at least 70 yards. Stephen Houston is the main running back and he has nine TDs this season. While Indiana has won two straight games, Houston wasn't able to average more than 3.4 yards per carry in either game.
Both schools have been solid lately against the spread with Wisconsin going 4-1 and Indiana going 5-0. However, the Badgers are just 2-6 ATS in their last eight road games. The Hoosiers are 6-0 ATS in their last six home games vs. a team with a winning record. The Badgers are 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings together, but the home team is 4-1 ATS in this matchup. All numbers point to the over here. The over is 15-6 in Wisconsin's last 21 road games, 5-2 in the Hoosiers last seven home games and 10-1 in the last 11 meetings between the two schools.
This game opened up at -5.5 at some offshore sportsbooks and has moved to -7. Our model says Wisconsin by 7, so right on the number and in line with the line move. As a result, we have to pass this one. Good Luck if you play it!