Wisconsin vs. BYU Total Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Wisconsin is the clear road favorite, as the Badgers are getting odds of -17 points against the Cougars. The over/under total for the contest has been set at 41 points. These two last met in 2013 with Wisconsin picking up a 27-17 home win. Saturday’s game will take place from LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah. The contest airs live on ABC.
The Badgers are off to a 2-0 start to the season thanks to wins over Utah State and Florida Atlantic. Wisconsin is 1-1 with the over/under total so far. The Badgers are averaging 45 points and 521 yards per game through two contests. The run game is averaging nearly 300 yards per game. Jonathan Taylor has emerged as the feature back. He has 310 yards and four touchdowns over two games. Alex Hornibrook has thrown for 445 yards with four touchdowns and one interception while Troy Fumagalli has caught 13 passes for 197 yards and two scores. Wisconsin’s defense has been solid as well, allowing just 12 points and 276 yards per game. Their pass defense is allowing only 180.5 yards per contest.
BYU has played three games this season, going 1-2 while posting a 3-0 record with the under. The Cougars haven’t been able to produce much offense. They are averaging just 11 points and 231.7 yards per game thus far in 2017. Not helping matters is that quarterback Tanner Mangum is doubtful to play on Saturday with an ankle injury. QB injury issues have plagued BYU over many recent seasons. Mangum had thrown for 466 yards and two touchdowns with four interceptions over the first three games. Beau Hoge, a redshirt sophomore, will have to fill in if Mangum can’t play. The BYU run game, usually a strength, has produced just 229 yards in three games. Squally Canada is the leading rusher with 109 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, BYU is allowing 376.3 yards and 17.3 points per game in 2017.
The total is set really low, but it’s for good reason. I don’t know that BYU is going to score in this game. The offense was struggling with Mangum under center and now he is out, so it’s not likely to get better against one of the top defenses in the country. Offensively, the Cougars are still tough and will be up for the challenge of stopping the Wisconsin run game. If the Badgers can’t run the ball, I don’t see Hornibrook carving BYU up with his arm. Wisconsin has hit the under in seven of its last nine non-conference games while BYU has hit it in six of its last eight at home.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREDICTION: WISCONSIN/BYU UNDER 41