Bet of the Day – Ohio State Buckeyes at Wisconsin Badgers, Oct. 16, 2010

Ohio State Buckeyes (-3.5) at Wisconsin Badgers (+3.5), Over/Under 49.5

Yesterday’s bet, New York Yankees at Texas Rangers, was a winner. Back to football for today’s pick.  The Ohio State Buckeyes are cruising now.  They are the class of the Big Ten(ish).  Are they prime for an upset?  Wisconsin is up and down.  It seems to hinge on their running game.  They will need to improve to win tonight (Badgers have only covered the spread 1 time in 6 games).

Ohio State has rolled.  They show no signs of slowing down.  Are they just the better team or vulnerable to an upset tonight?  The Buckeyes are averaging 6.7 yards per play (YPP) and 10.8 yards per point scored (YPPT) on offense.  On defense, they are allowing 4.0 YPP and 17.5 YPPT.  They are scoring very efficiently.  QB Terrelle Pryor is averaging 8.82 yards per attempt (YPA) with 15 TDs and 3 INTs for a 170.47 QB rating.  Pryor has also rushed for 354 yards with 3 TDs.  The Buckeyes are now the #1 team in the nation.  Will it last more than 1 week?

Wisconsin has won most of their games fairly handily.  They are 1-1 against ranked teams.  The Badgers are averaging 6.8 YPP and 12.1 YPPT on offense.  On defense, they are allowing 5.3 YPP and 16.2 YPPT.  Not bad.  Senior QB Scott Tolzien is averaging 9.1 YPA for 7 TDs and 2 INTs with a 160.59 QB rating.  A win today would validate Wisconsin as a top team, but this is by far their biggest test to date.

The Sagarin Ratings have the Buckeyes 85.08 and Wisconsin at 80.01.  With the 3.91 home advantage, the fair betting line is Ohio State -1.16.

My football model predicts Ohio State 34.0 over Wisconsin 22.3 for 56.3 total points.  Both teams move the ball well on offense and score efficiently.  Ohio State is the better defensive team; they shutdown the run.  The key variance contributors are the Buckeye passing game and the Badgers ability to move the ball.  What does this mean?  If Ohio State can move the ball through the air, they will be the likely winner.  Wisconsin will have to beat their mean offensive production to win the game.  That will be tough against a very good Buckeye defense.

Tonight I am taking the Buckeyes.  Here’s why.  Better team.  Ohio State shuts down the run; Wisconsin hasn’t been effective passing.  Ohio State has too many weapons. Bet the Ohio State Buckeyes -3.5.

Feel free to comment or ask questions below or email me at derekbets@gmail.com.  Follow me on Twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!

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