The Wisconsin Badgers might not have been the college football team the world thought they were when the 2019 season began, but that doesn’t mean they are ready to see their season slip away without a few more statements made.
The No. 14 Badgers (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten) likely lost their hold over the Big Ten West after Minnesota knocked off Penn State last Saturday, but an opportunity awaits on the road this week against the struggling Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-5, 2-4), who seem wayward after high expectations followed them into the season.
Let’s take a closer look at the college football matchup between divisional rivals.
When and Where: Wisconsin at Nebraska
- Location: Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
- Date: 11/16/19 (Saturday)
- Time: 11 a.m. CT
- Coverage: Big Ten Network
Follow the Heavy on Betting for all the latest betting news, odds, and picks
There was a time just three weeks ago where the Badgers were looking like they might just be ready to enter the College Football Playoff conversation at No. 6 in the country, but back-to-back losses dissolved any such possibility.
Still, after a 24-22 win over No. 18 Iowa, the Badgers are still among the best in the conference. Jonathan Taylor remains the driving force of their offense as one of the nation’s best running backs, averaging 6.1 yards per carry with 1,258 yards and 19 total touchdowns — four of which came on receptions.
With the Cornhuskers almost guaranteed to prioritize Taylor, the burden of racking up points will fall on quarterback Jack Coan, who owns a 156.2 quarterback rating through nine games and is nearing 1,700 passing yards in his first full season as the starter.
Even at home, the Cornhuskers are facing an uphill battle against the Badgers. Scott Frost looked like things could be on the up-and-up coming into the 2019 season, but a losing record and a current three-game losing streak suggests things aren’t going to get much better this year.
The fluctuating health of Adrian Martinez might have something to do with the downward spiral, but it didn’t poke the only hole in the Huskers’ ship. The defense is more than responsible with more than 30 points allowed in five of six Big Ten games this season — the exception being a 13-10 “thriller” at Northwestern.
Nebraska has been competitive in most of its games this season, but not against quality competition. Ohio State and Minnesota combined to outscore the Huskers 82-14, each allowing just a touchdown before cruising to the finish line. At 4-5, the time is running out for both the season and, perhaps, the program.
Betting Odds & Trends
- Wisconsin (-14.5) vs. Nebraska
- Over/Under: 51
*All odds are courtesy of Odds Shark
- 8-2 SU in last 10 games
- Total has gone UNDER in 4 of last 5 games
- 2-4 ATS in last 6 games
- 0-6 ATS in last 6 games against Big Ten opponents
- 1-4 SU in last 5 games
- 2-8 SU in last 10 games played in November
Head to Head
- Total has gone OVER in 6 of last 8 series games
- Wisconsin is 7-1 in last 8 series games
- Nebraska is 2-1 ATS in last 3 series games
Martinez is a talented leader for the Huskers, but the sheer willpower of Taylor and the Badgers offense can be expected to thrash his defensive companions. While he could pull off some heroics, as he did when Illinois threatened in Week 4, it would be a stretch to assume he is capable of matching everything Wisconsin throws at him.
Pick: Take the Badgers to fall back in line as one of the conference’s powers and pick them to cover the spread in the process. The Huskers’ bad season is about to get even worse.