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UMass vs. Wisconsin Odds

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MADISON, WI (The Spread) – No. 23 Wisconsin debuts under a new head coach on Saturday when it hosts UMass at Noon ET on the Big Ten Network.

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Wisconsin is coming off an 8-6 season but a second-straight Big Ten Championship title. However, coach Brett Bielema left the program for Arkansas and now Gary Andersen steps in from Utah State. UMass went just 1-11 last year and 4-8 against the spread. This is the first meeting between these two teams.

Trends show that Wisconsin is 0-6 against the spread in its last 6 non-conference games but 14-6-1 ATS in its last 21 games at home. UMass is just 2-6 against the spread in its last 8 road games and 0-5 in its last 5 non-conference contests.

According to oddsmakers from Bovada.lv, Wisconsin is the overwhelming favorite at home, as the Badgers have odds of -44.5 points against UMass. The over/under total for the game has been set at 52.5 points (View Matchup). The opening odds for this game had Wisconsin favored by 45 points. The spread has simply dropped to 44.5 since opening. The over/under odds opened at 53 and dipped down to 52.5 points during the week.

Andersen inherits an offense that has eight starters back from the 2012 team. The Badgers lose ultra-back Montee Ball, but still have quarterback Joel Stave and receiver Jared Abbrederis. The team also has three starters back on the offensive line and a capable running back in James White, who had 806 yards and 12 touchdowns in a limited role last season. On defense, Wisconsin was solid in 2012, allowing only 19.1 points and 323 yards per game. The defense has six starters back, led by linebacker Chris Borland, who had 104 tackles in 2012.

UMass struggled in its first year as a FBS school. The Minutemen went just 1-11, getting outscored 12.7-40.2 in scoring average per game last season. UMass has four starters back on offense, including quarterback Mike Wegzyn, who had 1,825 passing yards last season. The concern for UMass is it will be breaking in four new starters on the offensive line and a new starting running back. On defense, the Minutemen had seven starters back, but none that did much to be excited about. UMass had only 12 sacks as a team in 2012 while allowing over 450 yards per game.

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In terms of Injuries, Wisconsin receivers Reggie Love and Chase Hammond are both questionable with differing injuries while linebacker Ethan Armstrong is questionable with a leg injury. UMass running back Jordan Broadnax is doubtful with a knee injury.

The Public Bets for this game are currently backing Wisconsin by a small margin. The Badgers are getting 51% of the wagers with odds of -44.5 points against UMass.

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