It’s a possible trap game for No. 9 Wisconsin on Saturday as the Badgers could be caught looking past Georgia State and ahead to their Big Ten opener against ranked Michigan State next week. But MyBookie oddsmakers don’t appear worried as UW is a nearly five-touchdown favorite in online college football betting.
Taking a Closer Look at the Georgia State at Wisconsin Betting Lines, Expert Pick & TV Info
When: Saturday, Sept. 17, Noon ET
Where: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison
TV: Big Ten Network
Opening NCAA Football Lines: Wisconsin -34.5 (49.5)
Why Bet on Georgia State?
GSU hasn’t looked good thus far, losing by 10 at home to Ball State and then last week 48-14 to Air Force. Georgia State got off to a strong start with a touchdown on its opening drive, and the Panthers trailed 20-14 late in the second quarter, but Air Force (2-0) scored on its final possession of the first half and first two of the second half to take a 41-14 lead midway through the third quarter.
Outside of their opening drive, the Panthers couldn’t generate any sort of offense. They finished with six first downs — and none on the ground. It’s the fewest first downs allowed by Air Force since 1966. The Falcons scored points on seven of their first nine drives and finished with 531 total yards. They dominated time of possession (45:14 to 14:46). Robert Davis finished with three catches for 79 yards, and the GSU senior is now nine receptions behind the Panthers’ career record of 175 by Albert Wilson (2010-13). Davis also topped the 2,500 mark for receiving yards. Davis is the top active receiver in the Sun Belt. He ranks eighth among all active FBS players in career receiving yards (2,563) and 13th in receptions (166).
Georgia State played without standout receiver Penny Hart and starting defensive end Mackendy Cheridor due to injury. Both are questionable here. Last year, Hart led the Sun Belt Conference with 5.5 receptions and 84.5 receiving yards per game, and he set the Sun Belt freshman record for receiving yards (1,099). This will be the Panthers’ eighth game against an opponent from a Power 5 conference in seven seasons of football but first meeting against a Big Ten foe.
Why Bet on Wisconsin?
The Badgers (2-0) routed Akron 54-10 last week. Corey Clement ran for two scores before rolling his left ankle on his last carry. Bart Houston was 15 of 22 for 231 yards, showing chemistry with Jazz Peavy against the porous Zips. Peavy finished with seven catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns. Wisconsin had 294 yards rushing and 292 yards through the air. It was its first game with more than 290 in each category since at least 1996. On defense, Wisconsin had a safety, and the secondary accounted for two second-quarter turnovers.
Through two games UW is averaging 35 points, has a pass completion ratio of 67.2 percent and has amassed 462.5 yards of total offense per outing. Each of those stats would rank among the top four in program history going back to 1946. The last time UW had different 100-yard receivers emerge in consecutive games was 2008 when David Gilreath and Isaac Anderson did it against Minnesota and Cal Poly, respectively.
Wisconsin did lose junior cornerback Natrell Jamerson to a left leg injury and he won’t play in this game. His loss is substantial on several fronts. Jamerson is Wisconsin’s third cornerback and used extensively in the defense’s nickel subpackage with three defensive backs in at once. Jamerson is also a special teams standout as Wisconsin’s No. 1 kickoff returner (three returns, 20 yards per).
A season after leading the nation in points allowed (13.7 per game), Wisconsin has opened the year by allowing an average of 12.0 points across its first two games. UW’s defense allowed LSU (1 touchdown) and Akron (1 field goal) a combined 10 offensive points. Wisconsin has limited its first two opponents to a combined 3-for- 20 on third down, holding Akron to 1-for- 10 and LSU to a 2-for- 10 showing.
The Badgers seek their 37th consecutive win in a nonconference home game, which would give UW sole possession of the sixth-longest streak in NCAA history. The Badgers are 74-9 at Camp Randall Stadium since the start of the 2004 season.
My Expert Pick
This might be a trap game for UW if the opponent was better. But give the points and go under the total on NCAA Football odds as GSU probably won’t score.