Wisconsin vs. Minnesota
Wisconsin had higher hopes for this season, but they still have plenty to play for. The Badgers suffered two last minute losses in a row against Michigan State and Ohio State, but this is still a team capable of finishing in the top ten in the nation.
Wisconsin must now try to right the ship and win the Big Ten Leaders Division.
TCF Bank Stadium
Saturday November 12, 3:30 PM EST
NCAA Football Odds from 5Dimes
College Football Spread: Wisconsin -27 (-110) Minnesota +27 (-110)
Minnesota has a solid new coach in Jerry Kill, but this team is a long ways from competing for a league title. The last couple weeks have been very positive steps for the Golden Gophers. These teams will meet Saturday afternoon in Minnesota.
Russell Wilson transferred to Wisconsin just weeks before the beginning of the season, and he has been terrific this year. Wilson is putting up Heisman Trophy type numbers for the Badgers. He has thrown 21 touchdowns and just three interceptions. He is also completing 72% of his passes. Even with Wilson under center, the strength of this team is the running game. The Badgers offensive line is dominating every single year, and this season is no different. Montee Ball is racking up huge numbers at the tailback spot. Ball is averaging 6.6 yards per carry, and he already has 24 touchdowns. This offense may be the most balanced in the nation. [soliloquy id=”82219″]
The Badgers defense has been good statistically this year, though they have allowed a couple of last minute touchdowns that cost the team dearly. This is a unit that wasn’t expected to be all that great this year, but they have done a nice job overall. The secondary has been terrific, while the front seven has struggled at times against the best running teams.
Minnesota looked lost when MarQueis Gray was out of the lineup, but with him back and healthy under center the team has looked much better in their last couple games. Gray isn’t a very efficient passer at this point in his career, but he is definitely a play maker. Despite injury trouble, Gray is easily the Golden Gophers leading rusher. The team has one elite receiver in Da’Jon McKnight, but they are lacking a solid second option. This offense is averaging just 18.7 points per game.
The Golden Gophers defense has been terrible the last few years, and this season is no different. To be fair, this is a defense that has been decimated by injuries this season. Troy Stoudemire is the team’s best cover corner, but he has missed the last five games with a wrist injury. He is listed as questionable for this contest. The rushing defense is allowing opponents to run for 191 yards per game this year. The run defense will be tested in a big way this weekend.
I expect Wisconsin to move the football at will on Saturday afternoon. I don’t like laying this many points, but Wisconsin is so much better than Minnesota at this point that I feel like this is still a solid value.
Free College Football Pick: Wisconsin -27
Score Prediction: Wisconsin 48 Minnesota 17
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