Wisconsin vs. Penn St. Preview + Free Pick
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Posted on 10/11/2007 7:24:45 PM
NCAA Football Odds: Wisconsin looks for rebound vs. Penn State
WISCONSIN at PENN STATE
Oct. 13, 3:30 PM ET
BetUS College Football Betting Odds: Penn State -6.5
Our top sportsbook – NOTABLE STAT: Penn State has allowed 13.7 points per game.
KEY NCAA FOOTBALL BETTING TREND: Wisconsin is 14-1 SU in its last 15 games.
(For more stats and trends on this weekend’s games, check out our Matchup Tool)
Last year, when Barry Alvarez, the athletic director (and former football coach) at Wisconsin was running down the BCS matchups for the announcers at Fox, I couldn’t help but notice the irony. His team was sitting with an 11-1 regular season record and was clearly better than several of the teams that were playing in that Bowl Championship Series. Since all conferences are limited to two BCS representatives, his team was the odd one out. That’s typical of the way Wisconsin gets treated. They’re the Rodney Dangerfields of the Big Ten, just not getting any respect. That’s reflected in this week’s odds as they visit Penn State, as they’re getting six and a half points against a team that hasn’t really proven a thing yet.
I wouldn’t draw too many conclusions about Wisconsin’s loss to Illinois last weekend, as the Badgers probably played better in that game than Penn State did in its home loss to Illini a couple of weeks back. You’ve got to keep in mind that Wisconsin has still won 14 of its last 15 games SU (straight-up) and was #4 in the country when it suffered the upset defeat to Ron Zook’s team.
Not only that, we’re more impressed with the job Tyler Donovan, who’s thrown for 1400 yards (including 392 against Illinois), has done compared to Anthony Morelli (59%, 10 TD’s), who has never really fulfilled the promise he showed as a highly-touted high schooler. Sophomore P.J. Hill (750 yards) gives Wisconsin some balance as well as an edge in the rushing department, albeit not a huge one. This is no slam dunk, as Wisconsin’s defense allowed Rashard Mendenhall & Co. to run roughshod (or rough Rashard, as it were) over it for 289 yards last week. But, Austin Scott’s absence (disciplinary suspension) doesn’t help the Lions’ depth.
Joe Paterno was knocked out the game with a broken leg during last year’s Penn State loss to the Badgers. But the Nittany Lions don’t have that old, tired “injury excuse,’ as they scored only three points. It was just another of those instances where Joe Pa seemingly forgot to put together a game plan for the opponent, and it showed, with just 201 yards of total offense. Penn State hasn’t put together many quality wins this year or last, and that comes into play, especially during this Big Ten schedule.
Wisconsin has won more games than any conference team since 2003, and has other technical advantages in its favor – for instance, the Badgers, in addition to winning 14 of their last 15 have also won 36 of their last 44 games. Even with the loss against Illinois, Wisconsin is 7-3-1 ATS in its last 11 as a dog, and 5-2-1 ATS in its last eight as the visitor. Not mind-blowing, but solid and steady, just like this Badger team. Hey, you want to get more esoteric about it? Wisconsin is also on a 9-1 ATS run in each year’s Game 7, and 9-1 ATS on the road prior to back-to-back home games. Got all that?
We’re grabbing the points.
JAY’S PLAY: WISCONSIN *** (Graded on a scale of 1-4 stars)
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(Charles Jay of TotalActionExtra.com still has some of that college spirit. He is a regular contributor to the Top Sportsbooks Locker Room)
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