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Wisconsin-LSU Matchup The Best Game Of Week One In College Football

Posted by Blake Frazier on 8/22/2014 9:46:19 PM

In Houston, one of the Big Ten’s best teams goes up against one of the SEC’s better teams over the past four years. There’s a lot to be won and lost beyond a game. Both of these teams want to win more battles for recruiting and improve the standing of their conferences as well.

Wisconsin Badgers vs. LSU Tigers (Game In Houston) – Saturday, August 30

Sport betting line: LSU -4.5

Why Wisconsin Will Win

When you go over the various details of this game, one of the basic things to realize is that LSU will be breaking in a new quarterback with no prior experience at the position; at least, that’s the direction the Tigers are likely to take. Brandon Harris is a freshman, and he has the lead over Anthony Jennings in the competition, but the coaching staff has not yet named a starter. Jennings has some prior experience from the 2013 season, but the fact that he has not yet earned the starter’s job suggests that he’s just not as talented as Harris. If it is the case that Harris is the starter for this game, he’ll be in a brand-new situation, and that should carry a lot of pressure with it. Wisconsin’s defense will relish the ability to get after a quarterback that probably won’t be mentally ready to handle the adrenaline, the pressure, and all the other sensations that go with playing in a first college football game before a huge crowd in a neutral setting at night.

Another reason to go with Wisconsin is that the Badgers suffered a very disappointing conclusion to their 2013 season. A loss to Penn State took Wisconsin out of a possible Bowl Championship Series game, and the Capital One Bowl loss to South Carolina only compounded the Badgers’ sense of frustration. That’s the kind of season-ending sequence which lingers throughout the offseason, and so Wisconsin might have a level of determination which will exceed anything LSU brings.

Why LSU Will Win

The Tigers might have the younger quarterback, but they might not have the deficient one in this game. Joel Stave really wobbled late last season. He regularly struggled with interceptions during the whole season. There were only three games in which he avoided interceptions entirely. However, the end of the season was when Stave got worse, not better. He imploded against Penn State, tossing three picks and looking rattled from start to finish against a defense that was not overly strong. Stave continued to make mistakes in the Capital One Bowl loss to South Carolina, failing to use a month off in the best possible way. He didn’t make the adjustments head coach Gary Andersen was expecting. Wisconsin’s situation is little different from LSU’s under center, the only difference being that Stave is an older quarterback than Brandon Harris.

Who Will Win?

The Wisconsin quarterback situation is a question mark, but a veteran, Stave, will probably be asked to play. LSU, on the other hand, faces a total uncertainty at quarterback with Harris, and while he could be good, the chances of a collapse are notable – maybe not great, but notable. Wisconsin feels like the better pick against the spread, getting more than a field goal.

College Football Betting Pick: Wisconsin +4.5

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