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Big 10 Football Pick
Nebraska hosts Wisconsin in a revenge game Saturday Night which can be seen on ABC-TV at 8 pm est. Nebraska is a -13 point favorite at 5 Dimes with the early betting action at sportsbook.ag favoring Nebraska by 68%, no surprise there.
This is yet another Big 10 opener that will be a very telling game of who will come out on top of the Leaders and Legends divisions. After the two Michigan schools got befuddled against Notre Dame, many are picking Nebraska to win the conference. There's no reason they can't either. The Cornhuskers offense has rolled since Week 1. They currently are scoring 48.5 points per game which is good for eighth in the country. Their only loss came at UCLA.
The Badgers season has started very poorly for how they were expected to play. The loss of Russell Wilson is hurting them more than anyone would have thought. They are scoring just 21.5 points per game after having one of the top offenses in the country last yea. Their start running back, Montee Ball, picked up a head injury against UTEP last week and is a question mark to play against Nebraska. While they got by with James White and Melvin Gordon against UTEP, it will be a little harder against Nebraska.
Danny O'Brien is out as the Wisconsin starting QB and in his place is Joel Stave. He looked impressive at times against the Miners completing 12 of his 17 passes for 210 yards and a TD and pick. Still, the Cornhuskers aren't going to leave Jared Abbrederis wide open on multiple plays like UTEP did. This game will be very telling for the rest of the Wisconsin season. They are close to two touchdown underdogs in this one. Not to mention, the Badgers have lost six straight games against the spread and are 1-8 in their last nine.
Nebraska, on the other hand, has looked explosive, covering three of their first four games and again, their only loss came at UCLA. But keep in mind the quality of the opposition here. Idaho State, Arkansas State and Southern Miss aren't exactly powerhouses.
Taylor Martinez is an improved passer and Rex Burkhead returned from a knee injury last week to put in eight carries for 119 and two TDs. Even without Burkhead, the Cornhuskers are killing the ground game totaling 1,270 rushing yards on 192 attempts and 14 touchdowns for the season. That's making things a little easier for Martinez who is completing 70 percent of his passes and has nine TDs to just one interception. In 2011, Martinez finished with 13 TDs and eight INTs while completing less than 57 percent of his passes.
Memorial Stadium is not an easy place to play at in the first place. Throw in the fact that Wisconsin destroyed the Cornhuskers last year and that Nebraska wants to show the Big 10 they are the best team in the conference, expect them to come out gunning. The Cornhuskers are 4-0 ATS in their last four home games and 20-4-1 in their last 25 home games against a team with a winning record.
Watch the injury updates to see if Montee Ball will play. Without Ball, we're not interested. But with Ball, we have to go with Wisconsin. Yes, they have burned us a couple of times this year. But as a result of those games, we're getting some added line value here. Wisconsin is 3-1 with their only loss coming by a field goal to Oregon State. Oregon State just whacked UCLA, who beat Nebraska. The public doesn't like the fact that Wisconsin is winning close games. They want the Wisconsin of last season that scored on every possession.
Wisky still has a defense, one that should give Taylor Martinez all he can handle. We just don't see this game as one sided as many think. We'll go ahead and grab the points here with a Wisky team no one else wants. Just check on the status of Montee Ball. Wisconsin +13
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