Last Updated: 2017-12-29
The Capital One Orange Bowl is one of the most prestigious bowl games of the year. They always have two quality football teams competing for the victory and they always put on a good show. It should be more of the same this year.
The Orange Bowl kicks off at 8:00 p.m. eastern standard time and will be the prime time game on Saturday December 30th. This will be the last of four great college football bowl games that will be played on Saturday. This year this game features two very good teams. One of those teams is from the Big ten conference and one is from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
This year the game will be played at the Hard Rock Stadium which is in Miami Florida and that could give the significant edge to one of the teams in this game. The Miami Hurricanes will play in this game against the Wisconsin Badgers. Two very different teams will face off and will put on a great show for everyone to watch and wager on.
The Hurricanes will be happy to be playing in Miami, but still have something to prove. They finished 10-2 overall and they were 7-1 in ACC play. That record was good enough to clinch the Coastal division. At one point the Canes looked like they were going to go to the college football playoffs but they stumbled badly in the last two games of the season.
They somehow slipped and lost in a game to the Pitt Panthers who were not a very good football team this season. They could have rebounded and made the playoffs if they beat Clemson in the ACC Championship but it was not even close. The Canes were blown out and sent to the Orange Bowl, missing the playoffs.
The Canes had trouble at the betting window this season as they were just 5-7 against the spread (ATS) in the season. They were just 3-4 ATS at home and they only covered in four of the last ten games that they have played this season.
The Wisconsin Badgers were even closer to going to the college football playoffs. In fact they only lost one game, but it was a big one. They were 12-1 overall and they were a perfect 9-0 in Big ten play as they won the West division by two games over the Northwestern Wildcats.
Many did not believe that they should have been in the playoffs but could have made it easy to get in if they took the Big 12 Championship from the Ohio State Buckeyes. They lost by six points and instead they will be playing in the Orange Bowl in Miami.
The Badgers paid off big time at the betting window this year as they were 8-5 ATS on the season. They won six of the last ten games against the number and they were 4-1 ATS when they played away from home this season.
The Orange Bowl opening point spread had the Badgers favored by a touchdown as they were big favorites at one time. That number has dropped as many as three points at certain sportsbooks and they are now showing (-4.5) at many locations. This game has had even betting according to the public consensus. Over 53 percent of the bets on this game are coming in on the Badgers which makes this a game that will be tough to gauge from a public betting perspective.
The same thing could be said with the total as only 51 percent of the bets coming in on this game are on the over. The total opened at 45 points and has had a slight adjustment of 45.5 at one or two sportsbooks.
The last time that these two teams met on the football field was in 2009. In that game the Badgers won 20-14 in a closely paid ballgame.
The Badgers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games won playing against a team with a winning home record, 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games on grass and 10-1 ATS in their last 11 road games. They are also 20-6 ATS in their last 26 games after accumulating less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up loss.
On the other side the Hurricanes are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games against a team with a winning road record and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game. However they are also 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a loss against the spread and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 bowl games.
The difference in this game could come down to turnovers as Miami likes to bust out the turnover chain. That may not see the light of day against a Badgers team that has a heavy ground attack and a very disciplined with few turnovers.
The Badgers will feed running back Jonathan Taylor who is one of the best young runners in the country. He had over 1800 yards and 13 scores and will be the main target of the Miami defense. This running game disappeared in the Big Ten championship as they just gained 60 yards on the ground. This will provide a blue print to use in the Orange Bowl.
Mark Richt has the Hurricanes heading in the right direction and a bowl win would help him keep the program going in a positive direction. It helps that they are playing this game in the same place where they play all of their home games. That will help in providing fewer distractions for the Canes leading up to game day. They have won three straight games at home and by no fewer than 18 points. That includes some big victories against highly ranked teams.
Richt and quarterback Malik Rosier will do enough to win in a very hard fought game where points will be at a premium. That makes the underdog even more tempting and the Canes the side to take in the Orange Bowl.
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