Point spread: Wisconsin -7.5
The Wisconsin Badgers face-off against the Michigan State Spartans this Saturday night at Spartan Stadium in a huge showdown that will have major ramifications in both division races in the Big Ten. The game time is slated to get underway at 8 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Wisconsin has climbed its way to No. 6 in the initial BCS rankings behind a dominating 6-0 straight-up start (5-0-1 against the spread) that has featured blow-outs in all six games. The Badgers closest margin of victory was 31-point pasting of then-No.8 Nebraska on Oct.1 as 9.5-point home favorites. The total has gone ‘over’ in four of their six games.
The difference-maker for Wisconsin this year has been transfer quarterback Russell Wilson who is picking-up where he left off last season at NC State. He has completed an impressive 74.2 percent of his passes for 1,557 yards and 14 touchdowns. The Badgers have also been a wrecking-ball on the ground with an average of 257.5 yards a game.
Michigan State has wrung-up some solid numbers of its own including a 5-1 SU record and the 16th spot in the BCS rankings. The only setback of the year was a 31-13 loss to Notre Dame on Sept.17 as a six-point road underdog. The total has stayed ‘under in five of the six games behind a defense that is giving-up an average of just 10.8 points a game.
The Spartans have not put up the numbers on offense that Wisconsin has, but they have been very well balanced as well with an average of 244.3 yards a game through the air and 142.8 yards a game on the ground.
The Badgers are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games as a favorite and 5-2 ATS in their last seven games on the road. The total has gone ‘over’ in eight of their last nine games as a road favorite.
The Spartans are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games as a home underdog and 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games as an underdog overall. The total has stayed ‘under’ in five of their last seven games at home.
Head-to-head, the underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings and the total has gone ‘over’ in the last eight games. These two have gone 4-4 both SU and ATS in the last eight meetings and while the home team has gone a perfect 6-0 SU it is just 3-3 ATS.
This is shaping up as a one-touchdown game with the Badgers coming out on top on the road, so the current half-point on the spread tips the scales towards the Spartans in this one.
The Pick: Wisconsin 27 Michigan State 20
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.