Ohio State @ Wisconsin Week 7 Picks Guide
The Ohio State Buckeyes and Wisconsin Badgers will both look a lot different from the teams they were a year ago and for vastly different reasons. In the case of the Buckeyes, they lost a pair of superstar performers that were both drafted inside the Top 5 in this year’s NFL Draft in running back Ezekiel Elliott and defensive end Joey Bosa. As far as the Badgers are concerned, they too will have a different look as they seek to find a suitable replacement for departed quarterback Joel Stave. Now, let’s find out who’s going to win and cash in when they square ff in their Big Ten conference battle this coming season.
How To Bet the Buckeyes @ Badgers NCAA Football Odds, TV & Game Info
Why Bet the Ohio State Buckeyes
The Buckeyes are a good bet because they have more overall talent and depth on their roster than does Wisconsin. In addition to losing Elliott, Ohio State also lost wide receiver Braxton Miller and tackle Taylor Decker and have just three returning starters on offense. The good ness is that the Buckeyes still have a ton of talent, starting with dual-threat quarterback J.T. Barrett. Ohio State ranked 42nd in total offense in 2015 and 28th in scoring (35.6 ppg), but will need to improve a passing attack that ranked a modest 100th in the nation a year ago (188.7 ypg).
The Buckeyes are also replacing three starters on the offensive line in 2016, so there could be growing pains early on with this unit. Redshirt freshman Mike Weber is set to replace the gifted Elliott, but he will have his work cut out in replacing the Buckeyes’ all-time leading rusher. Ohio State will also need to find a way to replace the program’s all-time yardage leader Miller, but with a wealth of blue-chip talent, I suspect it’s only a matter of time before Meyer figures it out. The Buckeyes have a new co-coordinator on the defensive side of the ball in former Rutgers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano.
While Ohio State also has just three returning starters on this side of the ball, the Buckeyes have four potential All-Americans in linebacker Raekwon McMillan, defensive ends Tyquan Lewis and Sam Hubbard and cornerback Gareon Conley. McMillan recorded a team-high 119 tackles and he’ll lead the way as Ohio State tries to overcome the losses of Bosa and defensive tackle Adolphus Washington. Ohio State ranked ninth in total defense a year ago and a stellar second in points allowed (15.0 ppg).
Why Bet the Wisconsin Badgers
The Badgers are playing at home and that means they should have a chance to record the outright win. Wisconsin won an impressive 10 games in Paul Chryst’s first season, but could be hard-pressed to repeat that success, if for no other reason than the fact that the Badgers have an absolutely treacherous schedule. Chryst is looking for a replacement for quarterback Joel Stave and wide receiver Alex Erickson and hopes new defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox will be able to improve a unit that was already considered stingy a year ago. Wisconsin will also look to get back to being one of the nation’s best rushing teams after taking a big hit with this unit a year ago.
Super-talented running back Corey Clement, the heir apparent to record-breaking tailback Melvin Gordon, was limited to four games and 48 carries because of a sports hernia injury. Clement is back for his senior season and joins Dare Ogunbowale, Taiwan Deal and Bradrick Shaw to form what could be the best trio of runners in the nation. At quarterback, senior Bart Houston is most likely to replace Stave, but freshman Alex Hornibrook has been impressive.
My Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
Whether you love him or loathe him, there’s no denying that Ohio State’s Urban Meyer is a great head coach. For me, the difference in this contest will be the play both teams’ get at quarterback. Ohio State has a handful of replacements they need to make, but they sill have an elite quarterback in J.T. Barrett that can lead them where they want to go.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Wisconsin as they look to replace Joel Stave. The Buckeyes have won and covered the spread – in four straight against Wisconsin and I can easily see them doing so again in this Week 7 Big Ten battle!
My Pick: Ohio State 24 Wisconsin 21