Free Capital One Orange Bowl Prediction: Badgers vs. Hurricanes
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College Football Handicapping: 2017 Orange Bowl
(12-1) Wisconsin Badgers vs. Miami Hurricanes (10-2)
Date: Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017
Time: 8:00 PM ET
Venue: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida
NCAA Football Spread: Miami +6.5
NCAA Betting Total: 45
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As much of an honor as it is to play in the Orange Bowl, these are two teams who probably recognize they were one win away from participating in the College Football Playoffs.
Had they won their last games, they’d be in. That’s a bummer for them, but great for fans of top-tier football.
Entering this contest, the Hurricanes are 6.5-point dogs. The total is set to 45, which, as we’ll get to shortly, may actually be aggressive.
Although the Badgers opened as 5.5-point favorites, that number has risen to 6.5. The reason? We can’t say for sure, but oddsmakers are likely putting a strong emphasis on the terrible loss Miami endured to Clemson to close out the year.
This season, Wisconsin gave up just 4.24 yards per play and 253.2 yards per contest. That second number is good enough for best in the country and really defined this team all year.
In the Big Ten Championship, the Ohio State Buckeyes managed to put up 27 points, but that was the most the Badgers gave up all season. On the year, they allowed opponents to score just 13.2 points per outing, which was good enough for No. 3 in FBS.
On offense, Wisconsin wants to lull opponents to sleep with a slow and steady ground game. And as evidenced by their 12-1 record…it worked.
This season, the Badgers managed to rush for 229.2 yards per game, while passing for just 187 yards per contest.
Defense may be a specialty of Wisconsin, but it’s also what gave Miami an opportunity to compete for an ACC championship.
The team allowed just 19.9 points per game, which was good enough to earn them a tie for 20th in the nation, and 4.74 yards per play.
The Hurricanes won games this season with a simple plan of putting together a balanced offense (they were almost 50-50 in run-pass this year) and then force turnovers to the level that they were second in the nation in that category.
They did get internet famous for their “Turnover Chain” after all.
If Miami can continue to force turnovers, it has a serious shot at not only winning against the spread, but straight up in what should be a low-scoring game. However, if they allow Wisconsin and its fantastic freshman running back play a clean, consistent game, it could spell trouble.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- Under is 9-1 in MIA last 10 games on grass.
- Under is 16-5 in MIA last 21 games overall.
- MIA are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
- WIS are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 road games.
- Under is 7-3 in WIS last 10 non-conference games.
Free Capital One Orange Bowl NCAA Football Pick
As much as this game has the potential to be exciting from start to finish, it’s not the game for you if you like barn burners that light up the scoreboard.
This game has UNDER written all over it.
4* Free NCAA Betting Pick: Miami Hurricanes ATS
Six and a half points, in what should be a low-scoring contest, is a lot. The Hurricanes should get that ATS win even if they can’t force a turnover, but geting one should net them a straight up win.
Give this one to the underdog—the proud owners of the Turnover Chain.
Wisconsin Badgers vs. Miami Hurricanes Free Score Prediction: Miami Hurricanes 23 – Wisconsin 20
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