UNLV Rebels vs Wisconsin Badgers College Football Week 1 Pick
Point spread by VietBet : Wisconsin -35
The UNLV Rebels, out of the Mountain West, open their 2011 football season against the No.11 Wisconsin Badgers from the Big Ten this upcoming Thursday night at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison. Kick-off is set for 8 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
This game will be a major test for a UNLV program that is coming off a 2-11 record overall and a 0-4 record straight-up in non-conference play. Rebel head coach Bobby Hauck enters his second season at the helm of a team that has not had a winning record since 2000.
This team was so bad last season that it ranked near the bottom of Division IA in almost every major category. It was ranked 110th in scoring with an average of 18.4 points a game and 116th in points allowed; giving up an average of 39.7 point a game. It appears that Hauck will go with Caleb Herring as the starting quarterback against the Badgers, but do not be surprised if junior college transfer Sean Reilly sees some action in this game as well.
Wisconsin is coming off an 11-2 record overall and a Big Ten title, but its season ended on a sour note with a 21-19 loss to TCU as a 3.5-point underdog in the Rose Bowl. The Badgers opened their season against UNLV last season and came away with a 41-21 victory as a 20.5-point road favorite. The total went well over the 55-point line.
If Wisconsin is going to make another run at not only a Big Ten title, but a BCS title as well, it has to hope that quarterback Russell Wilson can play like he did last season when he threw for over 3,500 yards for the NC State Wolfpack. He will be taking over as the starter for Joe Budmayr, who is currently out with swelling in his throwing elbow that could end up being a season-ending injury.
Look for the Badgers to rely on a running game that features James White and Montee Ball, who combined for close to 2000 yards rushing last season as a way to help ease Wilson into the starting role.
The total has gone ‘over’ in seven of UNLV’s last 10 games overall and in six of its last nine games as an underdog. The total has gone ‘over’ in seven of Wisconsin’s last 10 games overall and in 20 of its last 27 games as a favorite. While the Badgers should cover the spread, the best bet in this game could actually be the ‘over’.
The College Football Pick: Wisconsin 48 UNLV 13
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