WKU Hilltoppers (0-0) at Wisconsin Badgers (0-0)
|Date & Time||Friday August 31, 2018, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Wisconsin Badgers -34.5 -- Over/Under: 51
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and Wisconsin Badgers meet Friday in college football action at Camp Randall Stadium.
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers have made a bowl appearance each of the last four years and hope they can continue to build this program in the C-USA. WKU has some serious issues on the offensive side of the ball, as the offensive line wasn’t good at all a year ago and now the Hilltoppers must find a replacement for Mike White at quarterback. Drew Eckels is experienced and has playmaking ability, but the untrustworthy line and unproven players around him raise some serious questions. Defensively, Western Kentucky must improve as well and it doesn’t help that Joel Iyiegbuniwe is now with the Chicago Bears. The good news is the secondary remains intact and cornerback DeAndre Farris is on of the better defensive backs you’ve never heard of. The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers have won their opening game in each of their last six years.
The Wisconsin Badgers have won double-digit games each of the last four years and can only hope this is the year they make a push for a national title. Wisconsin returns 10 offensive starters, including running back Jonathan Taylor, who makes a case as the best in the country at his position. All five starters return along the offensive line and one would hope quarterback Alex Hornibrook is more consistent with another year under his belt. If the Badgers get better quarterback play, Wisky will have one of the top offenses in the country and it will make them a legit title contender. Defensively is where the issues come into play for Wisconsin with only three returning starters. This unit will have to learn on the fly quickly, but Andrew Van Ginkel will be one of the best pass rushers in the Big Ten now that he’ll be thrown into a full time role. The Wisconsin Badgers have three straight manageable home games before going on the road to Iowa.
The Hilltoppers are 7-19 ATS in their last 26 non-conference games, 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games and 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games overall. The Badgers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games on fieldturf, 7-3 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The under is 6-2 in Badgers last 8 games in August and the under is 5-2 in Hilltoppers last 7 road games.
The Wisconsin Badgers will have an explosive offense and are a team that will make a run for the college football playoff once their defense gets settled after losing so much production. I'm still not sure about laying all this chalk in a season opening game. The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers aren't some pushover team, as this club has played on the road against some respectable team over the years and has held their own. WKU rarely gets blown out and Wisconsin is just 1-4 ATS in its last five games when favored by at least 30 points. Western Kentucky isn't that talented of a team and has questions across the board, but this chalk is just too steep regardless.