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Wisconsin Badgers vs. Northwestern Wildcats Free Pick 10/12/13

Northwestern Wildcats (4-1) at Wisconsin Badgers (3-2)

College Football: Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 3:30 pm (Camp Randall Stadium)

The Line: Wisconsin Badgers -10 See the Latest Odds

TV: ABC HD

The Northwestern Wildcats head to Camp Randall on Saturday to face off against the Wisconsin Badgers.

The Wisconsin Badgers are currently sitting at 3-2 on the season, but both losses for the Badgers have come against solid competition.  The Badgers had the past weekend off, allowing them to lick their wounds from Ohio State, and prepare for the Northwestern Wildcats this weekend.  The Badgers have been impressive offensively this season, especially considering they have played a tough schedule to date.  The Badgers are currently ranked first in the nation in yards per rush, with an average of 7.4, and through the air, the Badgers are decent as well, throwing for 8.3 yards per pass.  Defensively the Badgers are once again stout, allowing just 3.4 yards per carry on the ground, and 5.6 through the air.  The big test here for the Badgers offensively, will simply be holding on to the ball against these Wildcats.  Northwestern’s defense prides itself on forcing turnovers, and despite the Badger offense having some advantages over the Northwestern defense, if they turn the ball over giving this Wildcat offense more chances, it could be a long afternoon for the Badgers.

Wisconsin Badgers vs. Northwestern Wildcats Free Pick 10/12/13

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Northwestern Wildcats are coming off a crushing defeat this past weekend, falling to the Buckeyes 40-30.  It actually pains me to write that score down, as this guy had the Wildcats, and then was burned by one of the worst bad beats I can remember…moving on .  The Wildcats played an excellent game against the Buckeyes on the night, and for the majority of the contest it looked like the Wildcats may pull out the upset, ending Ohio State’s win streak.  The Wildcats defense was opportunistic once again, which has been the case all season long.  The Wildcat offense is very efficient, converting on 48 percent of their third down attempts, and averaging better than 6.4 yards per play.  Defensively the Wildcats may not have the best numbers in the world, but their uncanny ability to force the turnover this season makes them dangerous.  I have said for awhile that Pat Fitzgerald is one of the better coaches in the nation, and that ability will be put to the test here as he needs to rally his team after an emotional loss last weekend.  If there is anyone who could keep his team from having a letdown following a loss like that it would be Fitzgerald…but it will be tough.

The Wildcats are 9-3 against the spread in their last 12 road games, and so far this season, the ‘Cats are 1-0 against the spread away from home.  The Badgers are just 11-6 against the spread in their last 17 games at home, and so far this season the Badgers are 4-0 overall against the spread, and 3-0 against the spread at home.

I’m not a huge fan of this price, but I have to take the Badgers as this is a tough spot for the Wildcats.  Wisconsin has had ample time to prepare for the Wildcats, and it will be tough for Northwestern not to come in emotionally drained.  The Badgers should be able to move the ball on the ground against Northwestern, keeping the ball away from their high powered offense, and limiting the turnover opportunities for the Wildcat defense.  

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Wisconsin -10

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