Thanks to a perfect 7-0 home record in 2019, the Badgers finished the year with a 10-4 overall record, the fifth time in the last six seasons with double digit wins. Thats exactly the number the oddsmakers want gamblers to bet on as their win total is set at 9.5 wins. The sports book set Wisconsin's over at +135 and the juice is leaning heavily toward the under at -175. Sports Illustrated’s gambling analyst Frank Taddeo and AllBadgers editor Jake Kocorowski reveal which side of the Badgers win total they suggest betting on.
Read the transcript for more of their Wisconsin gambling analysis:
Bill Enright: Sports Illustrated's college football gambling preview continues as we take a look at the Wisconsin Badgers, and for that, we go to SI gambling analyst Frank Taddeo and AllBadgers.com reporter Jake Kocorowski. Jake, I'm going to start with you because no one knows the Badgers better than you. They have over/under win total of 9.5 wins. Are you taking me over or under?
Jake Kocorowski: I'll look more optimistically. I'll go on the over because they have so many returning starters on defense. You're looking at the defensive line. You're looking at the secondary, they should all be the strengths of this team. Even without Jonathan Taylor, Quintez Cephus, Tyler Biadasz and two other starters on the offensive line, they should be able to plug in and find players to contribute, maybe not necessarily to the same production as Taylor in that backfield, but Wisconsin should have replaced those players. The big questions on the defense revolve around Zack Baun and Chris Orr and if they can replace 24 sacks and 33.5 tackles for loss. However, Wisconsin's been known to plug in players and get contributions that way. You look at the schedule, though, at the very least, I think there could be 10 wins. They have hard games at Michigan. Of course, there's Notre Dame, which right now has been scheduled to play at Lambeau Field. Those will be two tough games. It will be interesting to see if there's another slip up in the Big Ten in play, whether it could be the season finale at Iowa, which will be a tough matchup and a rivalry game, or even among the rest of the Big Ten West. But that being said, I think with Paul Christ, his track record, 52 and 16 overall and just how they've been able to replace talent, I think Wisconsin should be able to get above that 10 win threshold.
Bill Enright: It's interesting because you mentioned a couple of difficult matchups, Notre Dame and playing at Michigan, but they will not have to play Ohio State or Penn State this year unless, of course, they meet in the Big Ten championship. Frank, let me go over to you. What are the oddsmakers saying and where is the juice for Wisconsin's win total?
Frank Taddeo: Bill, right now over at Pointsbet Sportsbook, we see sharp steam right now towards the under; heavy steam at odds of $1.75 to go under 9.5 wins. However, after talking to some of my contacts out here in Vegas, I learned that many of the same sharks are actually on Wisconsin in another market. They believe that they will emerge as the Big Ten West champions, and that's based upon the belief that most likely this whole division may come down to the final regular-season game against Iowa. As we know, upon a deeper dive, we see that Wisconsin, in their last five trips to Iowa City, has come away victorious. Right now, that's where the oddsmakers are probably getting that early line right now that we see Wisconsin as four-point road favorites. Bill, the betting play among all the markets right now for the Sharps will be on the Wisconsin Badgers to win the Big Ten West at odds of +$1.50. Grab those odds if you can now, Bill, because, as the season gets closer, I would not be surprised if they don't become prohibitive favorites where you are going to have to lay odds, so grab those plus odds while you can.
Bill Enright: Great insight, Jake and Frank, we appreciate it. We have more college football betting previews, including other teams from the Big Ten and all around the power five conferences. You can check it out by going to SI.com/gambling.
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