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2015 College Football Betting – Wisconsin-Alabama Preview

Posted by Blake Frazier on 8/24/2015 9:27:56 PM

The college football season starts next week. One of the biggest games in week one will be the non-conference matchup from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, inside the home of the Dallas Cowboys. It’s the Big Ten versus the SEC.

Wisconsin Badgers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (Game in Arlington, Texas)

– Saturday, Sept. 5

Betting Line: Alabama -10.5

Why Wisconsin Will Win

This is a game the Badgers truly can win. The people who have been following Wisconsin closely will tell you that quarterback Joel Stave, who has undeniably struggled the past few seasons and has been a big disappointment for the team, has made forward strides in the offseason, including August camp. If Stave really is throwing the ball well and making good decisions, Wisconsin’s offense really can sing. The Badgers like to run the ball first, and they have another excellent running back in Corey Clement to replace Heisman Trophy runner-up Melvin Gordon, but they need to be able to throw the ball well to keep defenses honest. If Stave does play well, then everything is possible for Wisconsin against Alabama, whose offense is much more of a question mark now that Blake Sims is gone and Jacob Coker is in as the replacement. Alabama must also learn how to throw the ball this year without Amari Cooper, its latest high-level receiver, who is now in the NFL. The Crimson Tide could face all sorts of adjustments in this game, relative to what they did (and which players they used) late last season. Wisconsin, should it get a big game from Stave, is in great position to win this, much more so than a lot of the experts seem to think.

Why Alabama Will Win

The Crimson Tide have the chief advantage of continuity. Under Nick Saban, there is an expectation for how a team should perform – in practice and on game days. The Crimson Tide know that they allowed an opportunity to slip away last season when they blew a big early lead against Ohio State in the College Football Playoff semifinals, so they are going to start this season intent on making the climb back to the top of college football. Wisconsin, on the other hand, will be led by a first-year coach, Paul Chryst. While Chryst has worked within the Wisconsin program for several years, he now has more responsibility than ever before as a head coach, and against Saban, Chryst faces a matchup that probably won’t work well for him.

The big advantage Alabama will have is up front. Wisconsin was absolutely destroyed by Ohio State in last year’s Big Ten Championship Game. The Badgers could not match the Buckeyes’ combination of agility and power. Alabama should be able to establish a similar level of superiority in the trenches. The Tide don’t have to worry too much about throwing the ball, either, since they have running back Derrick Henry, who should be a beast this season running between the tackles. As long as Alabama can establish Henry, it can then set up play action passing for Coker, and the Tide should be able to move the ball just fine.

Who Will Win

The Badgers have enough weapons on offense to keep this game close, but Bama is better coached and is probably going to wear down Wisconsin as the game goes on. Alabama wins, Wisconsin covers.

College Football Betting Pick: Wisconsin +10.5

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