10/01/2011 06:43 AM
Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema didn’t beat around the bush in his postgame press conference Saturday. He was quick to let everyone know that he and his well-balanced bunch of Badgers have been waiting for Nebraska since the season started.
With no disrespect to UNLV, Oregon State, Northern Illinois and South Dakota, which all ended up in Badgers’ victories, Wisconsin has had Week 5 highlighted for a good long while.
For on Saturday night, the Badgers and Cornhuskers, two Top 10 programs, will collide in Madison, Wis., in Nebraska’s first game as a member of the Big Ten.
So, you can understand that this is a big deal to Bielema. And he’s not afraid to admit it.
“I’m very excited for this week to finally get here. You guys might’ve heard, but we’re playing Nebraska, so there are some fun things to prepare this week,” he said. “It’s a really exciting time for us because you put in all this hard work and effort into getting through the nonconference schedule, playing as clean as you can and get into a Big Ten race. There’s also the opportunity to play at home and at night. It’ll be a great scene, a great environment for college football.”
And it’s a game that will be heavily bet, for sure.
“Nebraska will always be well respected by the books,” Pete Korner, of Esportclub, LLC, in Las Vegas told Covers.com. “Even when they’re not that good of a team, they draw big money every week. And with this Nebraska team being pretty good, that only adds to it.”
But Korner also realizes the power and precision with which Wisconsin runs things, especially at home. As such, he made the Badgers 7-point favorites.
“It’ll be interesting and entertaining, and it should be high scoring,” Korner said. “Wisconsin is a favorite, but not an overwhelming one. We’ll see how much Nebraska money we get with this line.”
And with that, let’s take a look at some of next week’s other marquee games:
South Florida (+1.5) at Pittsburgh
“South Florida is a good team, very athletic and has a chance to show something to the nation here,” Korner said. “We have respect for Pittsburgh, but the reason they’re the favorites is because of the home field. That’s it. South Florida can definitely win this one.”
Alabama (-3.5) at Florida
“We wanted to make sure we got it over the key number 3, so that’s why we have the half there,” Korner said. “Alabama is just so good right now, we could have gone higher. We were all on Alabama when we first looked at this one. But we’ll see where the line goes.”
Auburn (+10.5) at South Carolina
“Not expecting a close game. We could have gone all the way up to 14.5 on this one for South Carolina,” Korner said. “But that was a little too high for a tough SEC game. Still, South Carolina is better all around.”
Kentucky (+27) at LSU
“We don’t like Kentucky at all,” Korner said. “But we’re hoping they can slow the game down a little. LSU looks very good these days.”
Arkansas (+3) vs. Texas A&M (Arlington, Texas)
“We didn’t have much of an opinion here. These are not great teams, and there’s not a lot there,” Korner said. “No home field, but it is in Texas, so we gave a slight edge to A&M, but not much.”
Michigan State (+3) at Ohio State
“In Big Ten play now, and we expect a really close one here. Both teams are very even,” Korner said. “Purely a home field line here. Ohio State has done nothing for us, and they are just not the kind of team we’re used to seeing there. So, they’ll have to prove something to us.”
Clemson (+7) at Virginia Tech
“Should be a really good, entertaining ACC game with a total in the 50s,” Korner said. “Virginia Tech is tough at home, but Clemson can definitely win here. They’re showing some great signs and may have what it takes.”
Notre Dame (-17) at Purdue
“Not a close one here. The Notre Dame offense should be able dominate, start to finish,” Korner said. “We are expecting an absolute blowout. Notre Dame is at a point in the year where they need to pile up wins, and this is a good place and time to get another one.”
UCLA (+22) at Stanford
“Good chance for Stanford to have a blowout,” Korner said. “We could have easily put this up to 24, as we really expect Stanford to have no mercy here against a team they really don’t like much.