Why These Teams Will or Won't Make the 2018 College Football Playoff

Minnesota at Wisconsin Lines, Free Pick & TV Info

Written by on November 23, 2016

It’s pretty simple for No. 7 Wisconsin on Saturday: if the Badgers beat Minnesota, they will win the Big Ten West Division and face either Michigan, Ohio State or Penn State in the conference title game. UW also would win the West even with a loss to Minnesota as long as Nebraska falls Friday at Iowa. The Badgers are -14.5 on college football odds.

Minnesota at Wisconsin Lines, Free Pick & TV Info

When: Saturday, Nov. 26, 3:30 PM ET Where: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison TV: Big Ten Network Opening NCAA Football Lines: UW -14.5 (44)

Why Bet on Minnesota?

The Gophers come off a 29-12 win over Northwestern. Emmit Carpenter made three field goals, Shannon Brooks totaled 110 yards from scrimmage and Blake Cashman and Steven Richardson each had two of Minnesota’s season-high seven sacks. QB Mitch Leidner, playing at home for the final time, found Drew Wolitarsky from 9 yards out with 6:46 left and ran in a 12-yard score with 2:31 remaining to give the Gophers a cushion. The fifth-year senior, who was intercepted once, ended a five-game streak without a touchdown pass. Minnesota scored three points off Northwestern turnovers. Through 11 games, the Gophers have tallied 93 points off opponents’ turnovers, while allowing only 23 points off their own turnovers. The Gophers finished with seven sacks in the game, increasing their season total to 33. Last year, Minnesota finished the season with 22 sacks in 13 games. With the win, Minnesota improved to 8-3 overall and 5-3 in the Big Ten. It’s the third time in the past four years the Gophers have reached eight victories, and it ties the 2014 team for the most Big Ten wins since 2003. Tracy Claeys improved to 10-7 since taking over the head coaching duties eight games into the 2015 season. Minnesota’s senior class recorded a 20-8 mark at TCF Bank Stadium since 2013. Overall, this year’s seniors have won 30 games (8 during 2013, 8 during 2014, 6 during 2015 and 8 during 2016), which is the most by a senior class since the 2006 class (2003-06) also won 30 games (10 during 2003, 7 during 2004, 7 during 2005 and 6 during 2006). Since 1948, the Gophers and Badgers have been playing for Paul Bunyan’s Axe and had previously played for the Slab of Bacon trophy.

Why Bet on Wisconsin?

The Badgers (9-2) beat Purdue 49-20 last week. A 35-point scoring storm in the second quarter helped UW earn its fifth win a in a row. T.J. Watt returned an interception 17 yards for a touchdown, while Alec Ingold and Bradrick Shaw each scored twice during the quarter. The win also increased the Badgers’ winning streak to 11 in a row in the series against the Boilermakers. The interception return for a touchdown was the Badgers’ first pick-six since Marcus Cromartie had a 29-yard INT return for a score vs. Nebraska in the 2012 Big Ten Championship Game on Dec. 1, 2012. With three interceptions vs. Purdue, Wisconsin now has 17 INTs on the season, its most since recording 22 picks in 2002. Wisconsin’s Corey Clement rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown en route to breaking his 1,000-yard season rushing mark. He’s the 17th Badger in school history to earn this honor. The Badgers own a 14-3 mark against the Big Ten West Division since the league moved to its current divisional setup in 2014. Since the start of the 2006 season, Wisconsin is 33-7 (.825) in the month of November. UW has won 9 of its first 11 games for the third time in the last four seasons (also 2013, 2014). The Gophers lead the all-time series 59-58- 8 but have lost the last 12 games to Wisconsin. Minnesota last won in 2003, when it posted a 37-34 home win.

Minnesota at Wisconsin Free Pick:

Badgers are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 conference games. Golden Gophers are 2-8- 2 ATS in their last 12 games following a straight up win. Give the points, go under the NCAA betting total.