The Wisconsin Badgers are now the highest ranked Big Ten team in the nation, and they also have one of the nation’s top defensive units. On Saturday they will try to keep themselves unbeaten as they play host to the Iowa Hawkeyes in a game that is scheduled to begin at 3:30 PM ET in Madison. If you are a VietBetcustomer, you can take advantage of reduced juice, which gives you better value against the NCAA football odds, and can challenge those odds in real time after the game kicks off, using the state-of-the-art software that is available through Live Betting Ultra.
Wisconsin is ranked #3 in the nation in the Coaches’ poll and sixth with the Associated Press. But the Badgers have something of a problem when it comes to their qualifications for the four-team college football playoff, because they are no higher then #9 in the rankings that, ultimately, will mean the most. Of course, there exists the opportunity to play in a Big 10 title game, and that would obviously help. But it doesn’t help them that they have had a relatively soft schedule, and that they have not played either Ohio State or Penn State, both of whom are listed ahead of them in those Playoff Rankings.
Iowa was already known as one of those teams that could cause opponents headaches, as they not only beat Iowa State, but also got to within two points of Penn State and lost by a touchdown to both Michigan state in Northwestern. But last week they really made their mark, running and hiding from the Ohio State Buckeyes by a 55-24 score. In that game, they were all over JT Barrett, who came into the proceedings with only one interception and a pretty strong Heisman Trophy candidacy. He came out of it completing just 18 of 34 passes for 208 yards and FOUR interceptions. So don’t discount this stop unit at all. Iowa is rated 25ht in the nation by the Associated Press.
In the NCAA football odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at VietBet, Wisconsin is, of course, the favorite:
Wisconsin Badgers -.5
Iowa Hawkeyes +12.5
Over 46 points -110
Under 46 points -110
What’s interesting is that against the two best opponents they have faced, Iowa has held each quarterback – Barrett and Trace McSorley – below 6.5 yards per attempt, and generally provided a hassling element. Of course, those games were played in Iowa City, with a defense has most definitely stiffened for them. But they been okay going on the road as well, at least on the defensive side. They’ve had offensive lapses against Michigan State and Northwestern, And they rank just 75th in the nation in Offensive Efficiency.
However, Nate Stanley has been a solid element for them, taking over the quarterback spot as a sophomore as CJ Beathard went on to the San Francisco 49ers. Stanley doesn’t necessarily complete a high percentage of his passes (only 58.3%), but he’s got a great ratio of 22 touchdowns to only four interceptions. Akrum Wadley had a big game against Ohio State, with 118 yards, and he is the guy they’re going to have to turn loose against Wisconsin, which is no easy feat.
Somehow what you have to do against the Badgers is force them to throw. If you can do that, you might be able to put them into trouble, because quarterback Alex Hornibrook is adequate, but he’s not a game-breaker. He does complete 64% of his passes, though, and he’s got about nione yards per attempt, but has also thrown nine interceptions. So a mistake could prove costly.
One thing we can tell VietBet patrons about Wisconsin is that you really don’t want freshman running back Jonathan Taylor to work up a head of steam. Taylor, a 5-11, 214-pound fireplug, has averaged 7.2 yards per carry and 1368 yards overall. He IS the go-to guy.
Wisconsin has the nation’s fourth-best rushing defense, allowing only 88 yards per game and three yards per carry, and they are fifth in the nation in passing efficiency defense. So pick your poison with them. Can they carry this big a number? Well, at home they’ve been strong, and what aided Iowa last week could kill them this week, which is a letdown. Ohio State had come off a huge win over Penn State, and they didn’t seem to have a lot of energy to go into Iowa City. We wonder if the Hawkeyes might be spent going into Madison. So we will lay the points here in this battle of Big 10 teams.
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