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Badgers, Buckeyes Headed for a Slog

Points could be scarce Saturday afternoon as the Wisconsin Badgers visit the Ohio State Buckeyes in one of the biggest games on the Big Ten calendar. The Badgers are looking to rebound from a stunning one-point loss at Illinois, while the Buckeyes looked like national championship contenders with a 52-3 drubbing of host Northwestern.

Matchup Information
  • Wisconsin Badgers vs Ohio State Buckeyes (Matchup Report)
  • Date/Time: October 26, 12 noon ET
  • TV Coverage: FOX
  • Opening Odds: Ohio State -14.5 | O/U 51.0 (Line History)

Opening Odds Analysis

The Buckeyes opening at -14.5 marks just the second double-digit spread between the teams in their last eight head-to-head meetings (including this one). Wisconsin covered at +10.5 in a 30-23 home loss to the Buckeyes on October 15, 2016.

Wisconsin News & Notes

Call it a “look-ahead” loss if you will, but the Badgers underwhelmed at both ends of the field against the host Illini last week – at least, by their lofty standards. Jack Coan threw for 264 yards but had just one TD pass and an interception, while superstar running back Jonathan Taylor needed 28 carries to rack up 132 yards and a touchdown against a suspect Illinois run defense.

Yet, for all the things Wisconsin could have done better with the football, it was the Badgers defense that disappointed most, squandering a 20-7 third-quarter lead while surrendering just six fewer points to Illinois than it had allowed against its first six foes combined. It didn’t help matters that the Badgers turned the ball over three times while securing just one turnover themselves.

Ohio State News & Notes

The Buckeyes had no such concerns at either end of the field against the Wildcats, cruising to their fifth victory of the season by 40-plus points. Justin Fields accounted for five more touchdowns vs Northwestern – giving him an even 30 for the season – while the Ohio State defense held the hosts under 200 yards of total offense.

And while the Wisconsin defense (and its four shutouts) has garnered most of the national praise, the Buckeyes D has been just as good. Ohio State incredibly has held its last six opponents to 35 total points, covering all six of those games while going 3-3 O/U despite averaging a whopping 50.5 points per game over that span.

Betting Pick: UNDER

With both teams eyeing the Big Ten championship and the Wisconsin defense hungry to atone for last week’s late collapse, we see this one turning into a defensive slugfest.

Shark Bites
  • Wisconsin is 14-5 ATS in its last 19 games on the road.
  • Ohio State is 6-0 ATS in its last 6 games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in Wisconsin’s last 4 games (avg. combined score: 43.0).