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Wisconsin hosts Utah State Saturday night as they look to bounce back from a 10-7 road loss at Oregon State, a game that cost the Wisconsin offensive line coach his job. The game also featured a blown call by the officials on and onside kick that could have given the Badgers a shot to tie the game with a field goal. Wisconsin opened as a -14 point favorite at 5 Dimes and SBG global which is where the line still sits as of Tuesday evening. Early betting action at the largest sportsbook in the world, sportsbook.ag shows 73% of the early action in the Badgers, while another popular book shows 80% on Utah State.
The performance of both teams two weeks into the season has kept this line down. Wisconsin struggled to get by Northern Iowa and then looked terrible in losing at Oregon State last week, failing to score a TD until the 4th quarter. Utah State on the other hand, knocked off Southern Utah and then upset Utah last week, both home games.
Utah State is the kind of team you love to root for. This team routinely won anywhere from 1 to 3 games for most of the 2000's. In 2009 and 2010 they won 4 games and then 7 last year. But even in their 4 win years they were scaring the big boys. In 2010 they came within 7 of Oklahoma, losing 31-24. They also beat BYU that year. Lat year, they almost upset Auburn, losing 42-38. Now this year, the beat a team they've been wanting to beat for years, the Utah Utes.
But take note, both the Oklahoma and Auburn games were the very 1st games of the year. The Utah game, the 2nd game of the year. Take a glance, for example, at 2010, later in that season, they played Boise State and lost 50-14. Then last year, they lost to Fresno, La Tech and Colorado State and struggled to get by San Jose, New Mexico State, Idaho and Hawaii. The point being, you can understand sneaking up on a top team in game 1 of the season. If you look at the rest of the results from those seasons, you can see that they overachieved in those early games and became a mediocre team in a lousy conference the rest of the way.
Can't imagine Utah State sneaking up on Wisconsin here. The cat is out of the bag. To make matters worse for Utah State, Wisky is in a foul mood after last week. After the last two weeks actually. They need a break out game in the worst way and they get this one under the lights in front of what should be a wild crowd.
The difference between these two programs is like night and day. Wisconsin is a winning program that was 11-3 last year and 11-2 the year before that. This is a program that has routinely won 10-12 games a season over the last decade. They have also easily disposed of non conference FBS teams over the years.
Is there any concern here? Sure. They may miss former offensive coordinator Paul Chryst more than we know, if last week was any indication. But often times teams show great improvement from game 2 to game 3. The feeling here is that Wisconsin will be able to push this team around on both sides of the ball. They should be able to pound the ball with ease which will open up the passing threat and on the other side of the ball they should have no trouble getting to the QB. It may be close for awhile, but the Badgers should wear Utah State down in the 2nd half.
Sometimes, the best time to jump on a team is when they have looked their worst. That's the case here. 3* Key Release Wisconsin -13.5 Play good up to -14
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