Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Wisconsin Badgers Betting Preview: Big Ten Championship Odds and Free Pick
Written By: @PayneInsider
Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Wisconsin Badgers Odds
Point Spread: Nebraska -3.5, Wisconsin +3.5
In a rematch from earlier this season the 10-2 Nebraska Cornhuskers, champions of the Legends Division, take on the 7-5 Wisconsin Badgers, champions by default of the Leaders Division. Nebraska hasn’t won a conference title since 1999 when the Huskers – coached by Frank Solich and quarterbacked by Eric Crouch, avenged a regular season defeat to Texas with a 22-6 win over the Longhorns in the Big 12 title game. For Wisconsin, they're one win away from dubious history. A victory Saturday evening in the Big Ten championship game would make Wisconsin the first team ever to go to the Rose Bowl with five losses.
HOW NEBRASKA GOT HERE
Bottom line, Taylor Martinez' immense improvements as a passer is the reason Nebraska has the opportunity to win the Big Ten Championship. He's completing 63.3% of his passes - first time in his career he's eclipse the 60% mark. It's also the first time he's thrown for over 20 touchdowns - both feats are the reason Martinez has a quarterback rating of 148.3! As a whole, Nebraska has been a favorite in 11 of 13 games this season - their biggest win came as a small dog on the road in East Lansing coming from ten down late in the fourth quarter. Taylor Martinez capped the improbable comeback with a five-yard touchdown pass with six seconds remaining.
HOW WISCONSIN GOT HERE
This year’s edition of Wisconsin football is a far cry from last year’s dream season with quarterback Russell Wilson. The drop-off at the quarterback position was massive from that of Wilson. They tried Maryland transfer Danny O’Brien to start the season, but his drastic inefficiencies lead to plan B with red-shirt freshman Joel Stave. Stave was the answer with his uncanny ability to perfect play action - leading the Badgers to massive chunks in the passing game. Unfortunately, Stave was lost in the second half of the Michigan State game. Since then, Curt Philips has stepped into the fold but appears nothing more than a game manager. Simply put, the Badgers moon-walked their way into this title game due to Ohio State and Penn State being ineligible. Looking at the Badgers' resume isn't very impressive, either. Each of their seven wins Vegas aligned them the favorite - Wisconsin hasn't won as an underdog all season; maybe that changes this evening?
Aside from the obvious revenge/playing with house money angles for Wisconsin; the Cornhuskers' will be without two key components with the losses of center Justin Jackson, and nose tackle Baker Steinkuhler. Few understand the importance of the center position, but in the betting world it's the second most important position on the field behind quarterback.
~ Wisconsin is 8-0 in games played in Indiana under head coach Bret Bielema, winning those games by an average margin of 23.8 points.
~ Over is 39-16-1 in Wisconsin's last 56 Big Ten games.
BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP FREE PICK: Wisconsin Badgers +3.5