Wisconsin Must Beat Ohio State to Secure CFP SpotBy David A.
Saturday night of college football’s conference championship weekend features a showdown between two top 10 ranked teams when the No. 7 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes play the No. 3 ranked Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The current line has Ohio State favored by 5 points with the over/under point total on 50.5. Ohio State enters this game with an overall record of 10-2 straight up and 5-7 against the spread, while Wisconsin is 12-0 SU and 8-4 ATS.
Despite being the only remaining unbeaten team in the power-five conferences Wisconsin has received little respect thus far due to having an easier schedule than many other teams. The Badgers can try to lock down one of the four spots in the College Football Playoff with a win over Ohio State.
All 12 of Wisconsin’s wins this season were against opponents that did not finish the season ranked in the polls, which has helped to keep the Badgers out of the top four in the CFP rankings, prior to this week when it moved up to No. 4.
The Badgers are coming off a 31-0 win over Minnesota last weekend, while Ohio State is fresh off its 31-20 win over Michigan, giving the Buckeyes three straight wins.
Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett is probable for Saturday’s game after aggravating a right knee injuring last week. Barrett’s production is what fuels the Buckeyes offense, as he has 2,728 yards passing, 672 yards on the ground and accounted for 42 touchdowns.
J.K. Dobbins leads Ohio State is rushing with 1,190 yards. The Buckeyes lead the Big Ten in rushing averaging 250 yards per game.
Wisconsin freshman Jonathan Taylor is a Doak Walker award finalist and No. 3 in the nation in rushing with 1,805 yards on the ground.
Badgers’ linebacker T.J. Edwards leads the team in tackles with 67, of which 11 were for a loss, while cornerback Nick Nelson has 20 pass breakups on the season that set a new school record. Wisconsin’s defense is No. 1 in the nation in yards allowed per game at 237.
Wisconsin has outscored opponents 226-58 during the second half this season.
Ohio State is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games played.
Wisconsin is 4-0 ATS in its last 4 games played.
Prediction: Wisconsin will at least cover while the Badgers could even win outright if Ohio State’s Barrett is not 100%.