This may not look like a big Game considering it’s a non-Conference matchup late in the season, but there are implications. Most notably for Wisconsin, who is projected by many to make it to a BCS bowl this year. BYU doesn’t have the same projections, but obviously a road win at Wisconsin would definitely boost their chance for a better bowl. The Badgers are currently -7.5 point favorites at betonline.
Wisconsin hasn’t really had much competition at home this year, so this will be something new. Their hardest Game was against a defunct Northwestern squad that was in the midst of a six-Game losing streak. In fact, this may be Wisconsin’s hardest home Game all year with only Indiana and Penn State remaining for the Badgers.
As an independent team, BYU has played its fair share of difficult Games. Their hardest and most exciting Game came at Houston where the Cougars came away with a crazy 47-46 win. BYU has won five straight Games and is coming off a bye week.
Like every other Game this year for BYU, this is going to come down to what Taysom Hill can do. He’s been passing a lot better recently and that could be a factor in this one. Last Game Hill threw for 339 yards and three TDs against Boise State. Hill also leads the team with 841 rushing yards and eight TDs. His worst rushing Games have all come on the road if that says anything. Running back Jamaal Williams gets a heavy dose as well and he’s been pretty consistent, notching at least 4.9 yards per carry in Four straight. WR Cody Hoffman isn’t having a great season by his standards, but he’s still someone to watch out for.
Wisconsin has bottled up most teams defensively. Ohio State and Arizona State are the only two teams to have really gotten anything going against them. BYU’s offense isn’t on the same level as those teams.
The Badgers have one of the best rushing attacks in the nation and no one has really stopped them. Melvin Gordon (124 carries, 1,074 yards, 11 TDs) and James White (127 carries, 804 yards, nine TDs) will be fed as much as possible. And when that gets going, Joel Stave will open up his play-action and look deep toward Jared Abbrederis. The two have done that in almost every Game this year. Stave can be considered a Game manager at QB, so if BYU can stop the run, there is a chance to pull off the upset.
However, it’s easier said than done. BYU has a decent defense and may be able to stop Wisconsin from running for a couple quarters, but stopping the Badgers for an entire Game is unlikely. There will be points scored in this one.
The Cougars are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 13-5 ATS in their last 18 road Games. The Badgers are 7-0-1 ATS in their last eight Games overall and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 Games vs. a team with a winning road record.
The betting public is all over Wisconsin in this one. The betting trends at 5dimes.com show 88% of the action has come in on Wisconsin.
This one should be fun. We hate to side with the public but they may be right here. We have Wisconsin winning this Game by 10 points. At the current number of -8, we can’t get interested. But at a TD or less, we’d have to give the Badgers a serious look. Wisconsin -7 or better.