USC vs Wisconsin 2015 Holiday Bowl Odds Preview

Posted by Daniel Strum on Tuesday,December 29, 2015 1:23, EST in

The USC Trojans will look to close out their 2015 season with a victory over Wisconsin so they can head into the off season with a positive mindset after failing to reach their four-team playoff goals this season, but doing so looks like it will be a tall task with the Badgers playing their best football of the season over the last six weeks. Now, let’s find out if Wisconsin can pull off the college fooball betting upset of USC as slight underdogs.

Taking A Closer Look at the Trojans vs. Badgers Holiday Bowl Betting Analysis

When: Wednesday, December 30, 10:30 PM ET
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California
TV: ESPN
LINE: USC -3.5
O/U: 50.5

The Trojans are 3.5-point favorites to beat underdog Wisconsin after opening as a 3-point favorite. The game’s O/U Total is sitting at 50.5 points while the Trojans are a -160 favorite against the Moneyline and Wisconsin, a +140 Moneyline pick.

Why Bet The Wisconsin Badgers Odds at +3

Because they’ve been playing their best football recently and have a great defense! Despite losing their best player early this season in junior tailback Corey Clement (sports hernia), the Wisconsin Badgers managed to right their ship late by winning five of their final six games, including their impressive 31-21 win over Minnesota in their regular season finale.

Quarterback Joel Stave will likely need to play better than he has recently with the strong-armed signal-caller tossing a whopping six picks over his last four games. The good news for Stave is that he will have second-leading receiver Robert Wheelwright back for this contest after he missed the final four games with a broken fibula.

What I like most about the Badgers however is their elite defense. Wisconsin held four of their final six opponents to 13 points or less and two of those to 10 points or less. The Badgers have an elite linebacker Joe Schobert (18.5 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks) a player that forced five fumbles this season. The bad news for the Badgers is that they haven’t beaten a team with a winning record this season, although they lost a pair of heartbreakers’ against nationally-ranked Iowa and Northwestern.

Wisconsin averages 27.1 points per game (79th) while limiting their opponents to just 13.1 points per game defensively to rank a stellar first nationally.

Why Bet The USC Trojans Odds at -3

Because they can score the ball with the best teams in the nation and have an elite quarterback! USC has a high-powered offense that averaged a stellar 34.9 points per game this season (30th), but the Trojans lost to of their last three regular season games while giving up 41 points or more in each game.

Quarterback Cody Kessler had a fine season in passing for 3,315 yards with 28 touchdowns and just six interceptions. Unfortunately, the Trojans offensive line allowed Kessler to be sacked a whopping 35 times this season. The Trojans will look to get the win under new head coach Clay Helton after the former assistant was hired as the permanent head coach to replace the fired Steve Sarkisian.

Do-it-all wide receiver, defensive back and punt returner Adoree Jackson is a player that can change the course of a game in the blink of an eye and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster caught 85 passes for 1,389 yards and 10 touchdowns. USC allows 25.9 points per game defensively to rank 52nd in the country.

My Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction

63 percent of the betting public likes USC to get the win and ATS cover, but I’m going to urge you to back the Wisconsin Badgers for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, the Badgers are the far better defensive team and I expect them to put the clamps on Kessler and USC often explosive offense.

Next, I like the Badgers to cover because I believe that Joel Stave will be able to put enough points on the board against USC’s mediocre defense. The Trojans are 1-4 ATS in their last five neutral site games and an identical 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall. I know Wisconsin is just 1-5 ATS in its last six neutral site games, but again, the Badgers’ defense is so good, that they will not only cover the spread as slight road dogs, but do so by getting the outright win!

My final score prediction: Wisconsin 24, USC 21