LSU vs Wisconsin College Football Winning Predictions
LSU nearly parted ways with longtime head coach Les Miles after underachieving in a big way in 2015. Wisconsin managed to record another double-digit win season a year ago in Paul Chryst’s first season leading his beloved alma mater. So, who’s going to win and cover the college football betting lines in their intriguing Week 1 showdown? Let’s find out now!
Analyzing The LSU Tigers vs Wisconsin Badgers College Football Winning Predictions
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay WI
When: Sat, Sep 3, 2016 at 3:30 PM ET
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
NCAAF Odds: LSU -10
Bet The LSU Tigers at -10 Because…
LSU has a ton of elite talent and one of the best running backs in all of college football. The LSU Tigers (9-3 SU, 6-6 ATS) ranked 39th in total offense in 2015 (437.9 ypg) and 44th in scoring (32.8 ppg) thanks mostly to their seventh-ranked rushing attack (258.0 ypg). LSU will once again lean heavily on Heisman Trophy candidate Leonard Fournette after the bruising big back rushed for a stunning 1,953 yards and 22 touchdowns in 2015.
Ultimately though, it will be the play of talented but inconsistent quarterback Brandon Harris that could determine just how far the Tigers go in 2016. Harris underachieved in 2015 by completing just 53.8 percent of his passes while tossing just 13 TD passes and six interceptions and that just won’t cut it in 2016.The Tigers do need to replace starting tackles Vadal Alexander and Jerald Hawkins, but with nine returning starters on offense, all excuses are out the window if you ask me.
LSU will be on its third defensive coordinator in the last three years as Dave Aranda takes over a unit that ranked 25th in total defense (347.1 ypg) and 41st in points allowed (24.2 ppg). More importantly, LSU returns a whopping 10 starters on the defensive side of the ball, including All-SEC safety Jamal Adams. The bad news is that the Tigers will find replacing superstar defensive back Jaylen Mills and stud linebacker Deion Jones an unenviable task to say the least. Jones recorded a team-high 100 tackles, 13.5 tackles for a loss, five sacks and two interceptions.
Bet The Wisconsin Badgers at +10 Because…
Wisconsin will be playing in front of some crazed fans at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field and have at least as much talent as LSU. The Badgers (10-3 SU, 6-7 ATS) return an identical seven starters on both sides of the ball in 2016. Unfortunately though, Wisconsin needs to find a new starting quarterback to replace departed signal-caller Joel Stave.
The good news is that the Badgers will have gifted running back Corey Clement back on the field after the heir apparent to Melvin Gordon missed virtually all of his junior season in 2015 with a sports hernia after racking up over 900 yards behind Gordon as a sophomore. Clement will be a big part of Wisconsin’s offensive attack this coming season after the Badgers fell all the way to 95th in rushing last season while posting their lowest rushing total in two decades. Clement will have help in the form of fellow backs Dare Ogunbowale, Taiwan Deal and Bradrick Shaw in what could be one of the best backfield in the nation this coming season.
As for the quarterback spot, senior Bart Houston is the frontrunner to replace Stave, but he has a legitimate challenger that could start right away in freshman Alex Hornibrook. Chryst also needs to find a new No. 1 receiver to replace former star Alex Erickson, who had 77 catches for 978 yards last season.
Defensively, the Badgers need to replace a pair of stars in linebacker Joe Schobert and safety Michael Caputo. Schobert led the Badgers with 9.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for a loss, while Caputo simply made plays all over the field for Wisconsin last season. Still the Badgers look solid with their front seven and have plenty of experience at cornerback, although the safety position is a question mark as they break in two new starters.
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
LSU Heisman Trophy candidate Leonard Fournette will headline this intriguing Week 1 pairing, but I like the Wisconsin Badgers to bag the outright win in their home opener. Maybe it’s me, but unless I see a different Brandon Harris from the one I saw under center for LSU last season, I just can’t put much faith in the Tigers.
Yes, the Tigers could soar to a double-digit win campaign, but again, if Harris isn’t able to pass the ball efficiently then LSU will be the same one-dimensional team they were a year ago. The best case scenario is that Harris plays like Clemson star Deshaun Watson, but that’s kind of like hoping to win your state lottery.
Wisconsin won 10 games in Paul Chryst’s first season and they’ll have gifted running back Corey Clement back for his senior season in what could be a Heisman Trophy contending campaign. Wisconsin has won eight of their last 10 home games and suffered their only two home losses during that stretch by just six and four points respectively.
I know the Badgers are just 1-4 ATS in their last five games against teams from the SEC, but I say back the Badgers to cover the college football betting line as an insane 10-point home dog against an LSU team they match up very well against!