LSU – Wisconsin Football Pick

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LSU

vs.

Wisconsin

Week 1

College Footbal Pick

9/3/16

This is technically a neutral-site Game, but playing in Green Bay will basically be a home Game for the Badgers. Coming off a successful season, finishing 10-3 with a bowl win over USC, Wisconsin is planning to at least win the Big Ten West this year. LSU finished in a similar situation last year at 9-3, dominating Texas Tech in the bowl Game. But against the best teams in the SEC, LSU faltered. All that said, the Tigers are a huge -10 point favorite at 5Dimes Sportsbook in a road Game.

Whether that line is incorporating this being a neutral-site Game, remains to be seen. The fact is that LSU returns most of its players from a year ago, including every relevant skill position on the offensive side. Leonard Fournette is one of the Heisman favorites and leads the offense, but it’s not just him. Quarterback Brandon Harris had his issues last year, but as the season went along, he definitely looked more comfortable passing the ball. Give him another offseason with top wide outs Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural and this offense could be considered explosive.

Unfortunately for the Badgers, their offense is the opposite of explosive, and once again they’ll go as their defense goes. Wisconsin led the nation allowing 13.7 points per Game last year, but they lose half of those guys. And against SEC competition in the opener, they faltered against Alabama losing 35-17. With a mostly easy Big Ten slate, those defensive numbers were skewed a bit.

Offensively, nothing was skewed as Wisconsin often had trouble reaching the end zone against better teams. There’s no reason to believe this season will be any different with senior Bart Houston and freshman Alex Hornibrook still battling for quarterback a couple weeks before this Game. Sure, the Badgers will probably be able to run a little better with a healthy Corey Clement in the backfield as well as Dare Ogunbowale and Taiwan Deal.

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But the question is, will those running backs be enough? LSU returns its entire defensive front from last season when they allowed 122.9 rushing yards per Game, third-best in the SEC.

Everything in this Game will depend on the Wisconsin ground attack because it’s hard to see the Badgers being just as good on the defensive end as in 2015. But one thing to keep in mind is that LSU is bringing in a new 3-4 defensive scheme so there could be a learning curve early on. If that’s the case, that would play right into Wisconsin’s hand. And as long as the Badgers can run the ball, this should be a close Game, keeping Fournette and company on the sidelines.

But that’s easier said than done. Alabama ran through Wisconsin a season ago and it could easily be the same case with Fournette and LSU this year. Wisconsin backers are hoping a home Game at LAmbeau Field is the difference because otherwise, stopping Fournette may not be a possibility.

Our Pick – LSU was able to light up the board early last year against some weak defensive teams, however, look at their point production down the stretch, scoring 16, 14, 17 and 19 against Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Texas A&M. Furthermore, their defense, with a defensive yards per point number of 14, was nothing to write home about.

The Wisky defense should once again be a force. If they can hold LSU to 3 TD’s or less, as was done in that 4 Game stretch mentioned above at the end of last season, we like Our chances with the Badgers. Also note these two squared off in Texas in 2014 with LSU coming away with a 28-24 win. So, we know that talent wise, Wisconsin can compete with this SEC giant. Wisconsin +10