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Wisconsin Michigan State Betting: Wisconsin Faces First Substantial Test Of The Season

Posted by Blake Frazier on 10/19/2011 6:33:17 PM

The Wisconsin Badgers crushed the Nebraska Cornhuskers earlier in the Big Ten season, but Nebraska has proved to be shaky. Now, Wisconsin meets a formidable foe: Michigan State.

Wisconsin Badgers @ Michigan State Spartans - Saturday, October 22

Sports betting line: Wisconsin -7.5

Why Wisconsin Will Win

The college football betting  experts who study the Big Ten Conference are wondering when the Wisconsin Badgers will ever get tested this season. It’s been a very smooth ride for head coach Bret Bielema and quarterback Russell Wilson. Teams on UW’s schedule that figured to put up a good fight instead flinched in the heat of competition while also regressing on a larger level. Oregon State was expected to be a decent team this season, but the Beavers have cratered in 2011 and did not offer much resistance against Wisconsin in early September. Northern Illinois didn’t do anything to threaten the Badgers despite owning a lot of skill-position weapons on offense. Nebraska was supposed to give Wisconsin a big-league test, but major deficiencies at quarterback and in the secondary turned the Huskers into a very average-looking opponent, a ho-hum team that Wisconsin threw around like a rag doll in a 48-17 blowout from October 1. Wisconsin is simply marching through the landscape of the Midwest and taking down opponents with cold and icy efficiency. The Badgers’ offense is flourishing under the on-field leadership of Wilson, the transfer from North Carolina State who has given UW a full range of playmaking capability. Wisconsin can play smashmouth ball between the tackles, but it can also throw the ball with Wilson. Moreover, if passing plays break down, Wilson owns the legs and the shiftiness to make something out of nothing as a scrambler. There are few holes in Wisconsin’s offense, while Michigan State’s offense can’t offer the same degree of well-rounded completeness. Wisconsin simply has more ammunition in this game; when things get tough, the Badgers will be able to call upon more resources.

Why Michigan State Will Win

When you do your homework and assess your sports bet on this game, you need to realize one thing about Russell Wilson: He has not handled big games very well over the years. Wilson failed to win the ACC Atlantic Division title in his years at North Carolina State. Wilson started games and seasons with promise, only to flinch in the heat of late-October and early-November battles when his team’s division title chances hung in the balance. Wisconsin is certainly a very talented team, but are the Badgers ready to run the table this season? Are they ready to handle a night-game challenge against a fired up Michigan State team with a very solid defense, one that almost gave Ohio State its first shutout home loss since 1982? This game has the feel of an ambush; Michigan State is going to open up the playbook and use every trick in the book to flummox the Badgers. If Russell Wilson isn’t on top of his game, this contest will go down to the wire, and the homestanding Spartans will likely have momentum on their side.

Who Will Win

It’s not an easy call to make. Wisconsin is the better team, but the odds also suggest that the Badgers are going to get pushed here; it has to happen at some point. No college football squad (with a very few historical exceptions, such as the 1995 Nebraska team) goes through a full season without at least one scare. This is the scare Wisconsin will receive.

College Football Betting Pick: Michigan State

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