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Betting Preview: Ohio State Buckeyes at Wisconsin Badgers

10.14.2010     09:51 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Teddy Covers blog entry.
Ohio State -3.5 at Wisconsin O/U 49 
Recommendation: Ohio State 
Saturday, 4 pm PT - ESPN

Last year, Wisconsin statistically dominated its meeting with Ohio State in Columbus, finishing the game with 22-8 first down and 368-164 yardage edges. But Ohio State had two interception return touchdowns, including an 89 yarder, and a 96-yard kick return touchdown. Ohio State was able to cover the 16-point spread, despite being outplayed for most of the game. Since losing three out of four meetings with the Badgers in ’01, ’02 and ’04, the Buckeyes have now won and covered all three recent meetings against Wisconsin.

Camp Randall Stadium is certainly no easy place for opponents to play on a Saturday night in October. The Badgers are 29-3 SU at home in the Brett Bielema era, winning all four of their previous home games this season. But when we take a closer look at that 29-3 SU mark, it doesn’t seem quite as impressive. In their only ‘step up in class’ game in Madison last year, the Badgers lost by ten to Iowa. In their two ‘step up in class’ games at home in 2008, the Badgers lost to Ohio State and Penn State by a combined 44 points. Bottom line? In recent years, the Badgers have been much better at pounding the weak than they’ve been at stepping up against the strong.

Wisconsin has been routinely overvalued by the betting markets so far this season, entering the game without a single pointspread cover against an FBS foe (0-5 ATS). In their two previous ‘step-up’ games, the Badgers escaped with a 20-19 win over Arizona State thanks to a missed extra point on the Sun Devils’ final touchdown. Then, the Badgers were outgained 444-292 in a double-digit loss at Michigan State.

Despite trailing throughout most of that contest against the Spartans, Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien (the guy who threw the two pick sixes against Ohio State last year), completed only 11 of his 25 pass attempts for 127 yards. When Wisconsin can’t run the ball effectively with John Clay and James White, they’ll have a hard time hanging tough against quality foes.

This is Jim Tressel’s most profitable role. The Buckeyes are 15-4-1 ATS in their last 20 tries as road chalk, dating back to 2005. They’ve won 19 of their last 21 road games in SU fashion; 17 of those victories coming by a TD or more. With a third year starter at quarterback and a national championship caliber defense, don’t expect the hostile environment to negatively affect Ohio State’s poise and talent edges.

More Sportsmemo Handicapper Betting Previews       
Iowa at Michigan - Erin Rynning      
Missouri at Texas A&M - Rob Veno     
South Carolina at Kentucky - Marty Otto    
Nevada at Hawaii - Helmut Sports   
Arkansas at Auburn - Brent Crow  
Texas at Nebraska - Andrew Lange 
Dallas at Minnesota - Fairway Jay

Tags: Wisconsin Badgers Ohio State Buckeyes Big Ten Teddy Covers College Football

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