Wisconsin Badgers (10-2) at Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1)
|Date & Time||Saturday December 6, 2014, 8:17 PM (EST)|
The Line: Ohio State Buckeyes +4 -- Over/Under:
The Wisconsin Badgers and Ohio State Buckeyes play in the Big Ten Championship Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Wisconsin Badgers have won seven straight games and rely heavily on their ground game. Wisconsin is averaging 7.2 yards per carry, as Melvin Gordon and Corey Clement have combined for more than 3,000 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns. Joel Stave is completing 58.1 percent of his passes for eight touchdowns and four interceptions. Stave has two touchdowns and zero picks in his last two games, and Wisconsin has 13 passing plays of 25 or more yards. Alex Erickson and Sam Arneson have combined for close to 1,000 receiving yards and seven touchdowns while Troy Fumagalli has a catch in 10 of his last 11 games. Defensively, the Wisconsin Badgers are allowing 16.8 points, 260.3 yards, and they’ve forced 35 sacks and 17 turnovers. Michael Caputo leads Wisconsin with 93 tackles and Vince Biegel has 15.5 tackles for loss.
The Ohio State Buckeyes need to win to remain in the playoff picture but will have to do so without quarterback J.T. Barrett. Cardale Jones will get the start for OSU, a sophomore who has just 19 pass attempts in his career. Ohio State has 30 passing plays of 25 or more yards and 28 of them have come from Barrett. Devin Smith and Michael Thomas have combined for more than 1,300 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns while Jeff Heuerman has six receptions in his last two games. Ohio State’s ground game is averaging 5.6 yards per carry, as Ezekiel Elliott leads the way with 1,182 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Defensively, the Ohio State Buckeyes are allowing 22.9 points, 333.8 yards, and they’ve forced 37 sacks and 25 turnovers. Joshua Perry leads OSU with 108 tackles and Joey Bosa has 20 tackles for loss.
The Badgers are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS loss and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games. The Buckeyes are 29-14-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS loss. The Badgers are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 meetings and the underdog is 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 meetings.
I know Ohio State is without its starting quarterback and key playmaker, but the Buckeyes have one of the top defenses in the country and still have enough pieces on offense to find a way to win this game. Maybe I’m a little crazy but I see value in taking the Buckeyes to win this game outright. Don’t bet against Urban Meyer in big games.