Utah State vs. Wisconsin Total Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Wisconsin is the clear favorite in this game, as the Badgers are getting odds of -27.5 points against Utah State. The over/under total for the contest is listed at 52 points. These two last met in 2012, with Wisconsin picking up a 16-14 win as a 14-point favorite. Friday’s game takes place from Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin and will air live on ESPN.
Wisconsin is coming off an 11-3 record in 2016 in which the Badgers lost in the Big Ten Championship Game to Penn State. Wisconsin posted an 8-6 record with the under, as it averaged only 28.4 points per game on offense while giving up just 15.5 points per game defensively. After splitting time at QB last season, Alex Hornibrook is the expected leader of this offense in 2017. He threw for 1,262 yards and nine touchdowns last season. He will have some familiar faces to work with at receiver in Jazz Peavy and Troy Fumagalli. The two combined for over 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns. In the backfield, Wisconsin has a big hole to fill with the loss of Corey Clement, who rushed for 1,375 yards and 15 touchdowns a year ago.
Utah State is coming off a 3-9 record in 2016, its worst showing since 2008. The Aggies were also 6-6 with the over/under total. Utah State averaged 23.9 points per game on offense while allowing 29.3 on defense. This season’s squad is hoping for more offensive production behind senior quarterback Kent Myers. He threw for 2,389 yards and 10 touchdowns last season while throwing eight interceptions. He returns his leading receiver in Ron’quavion Tarver, who had 602 yards on 46 catches in 2016. Also back is Tonny Lindsey Jr., who led the team in rushing in 2016 with 763 yards and six touchdowns.
I can see this being a typical Wisconsin football game. Physical, grinding and low-scoring. The Badgers’ defense should able to shutdown this Utah State offense, which didn’t have the ability to move the ball consistently with most of this returning talent. When Wisconsin has the ball, I can see some struggles as it tries to establish the next stud back in the backfield. Utah State wasn’t the worst defensively in 2016 and now plays an offense that isn’t known for running up the score. Wisconsin has hit the under in 6 of its last 7 non-conference games and 5 of its last 6 September games for a reason.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREDICTION: UTAH STATE/WISCONSIN UNDER 52