Wisconsin Win Total Prediction
After a 10-win season in 2015, can the Wisconsin Badgers make a push for the Big Ten Championship in 2016?
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, the Badgers are listed with an over/under of just 7 wins for the 2016 regular season. The over is listed with a line of +100, while the under has a line of -130. Wisconsin is also listed with 125/1 odds to win the College Football Playoffs and 20/1 odds to win the Big Ten Championship.
Paul Chryst is entering his second season as head coach of the Badgers. He is coming off a 10-3 season in his first year with the team. Aside from a 35-17 loss to Alabama to start the year, Wisconsin’s other two losses were to Iowa and Northwestern by a combined 10 points.
Wisconsin’s offense took a step back last year, as it lost its ability run the ball effectively while quarterback Joel Stave had as many interceptions as touchdowns. Stave is gone and will be replaced by either Alex Hornibrook or Bart Houston. Houston saw some action last year, throwing for 281 yards and three touchdowns. Either man will be hoping to have a steady run game to hand the ball to. Corey Clement is back for Wisconsin after dealing with injuries throughout 2015. He had just 221 yards last year but had 949 yards in 2014 while splitting time with Melvin Gordon. Dare Ogunbowale and Taiwan Deal are also back. They combined for over 1,300 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns in 2015. Wisconsin has a pair of solid linemen back as well in center Michael Deiter and guard Dan Voltz. One issue for the Badgers will be at receiver, where they don’t have any established talent. The leading returning receiver is Robert Wheelwright, who caught 32 passes for 416 yards and four scores in 2015.
Defensively, Wisconsin was one of the best in the country in 2015. They ranked second in the nation in yards allowed at 267 per game. The Badgers also allowed the fewest points in the country at 13.1 per game. Wisconsin tallied 74 tackles for loss and 29 sacks in 2015. Leading the way this year will be outside linebackers Jack Cichy and Vince Biegel. Biegel had 66 tackles with eight sacks in 2015 while Cichy had 60 tackles with five sacks. The team also returns leading tackler in LB T.J. Edwards, who had 84 tackles last season. The big loss comes in the secondary with Tanner McEvoy, who had six interceptions a year ago.
Wisconsin will be tested early, as it opens the season against LSU at Lambeau Field. The Badgers then host Akron and Georgia State before opening Big Ten play with a very difficult stretch. It starts at Michigan State and then at Michigan before hosting Ohio State. After that, the Badgers then travel to Iowa and host Nebraska. The schedule softens from there, but Wisconsin could be out of the running for the conference by then. The Badgers haven’t been held to 7 runs since the 2008 season. While the schedule looks very difficult, the program knows how to win football games. Look for them to find a way to get to 8 wins.
2016 COLLEGE FOOTBALL WIN TOTAL PICK: WISCONSIN OVER 7 (+100)