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Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Betting Odds, Picks: Value on Badgers to Cover

Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Betting Odds, Picks: Value on Badgers to Cover article feature image
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Hannah Foslien/Getty Images. Pictured: Head coach P.J. Fleck and the Minnesota Golden Gophers football team.

Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Odds

Saturday, Nov. 27
4 p.m. ET
FOX
Wisconsin Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-7
-115
39
-110o / -110u
-290
Minnesota Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+7
-105
39
-110o / -110u
+230
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The Wisconsin Badgers look to lock up the Big Ten West on Saturday when they travel to Minneapolis to play for Paul Bunyan’s Axe against the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Wisconsin is playing at an incredibly high level right now, winning seven straight games after a 35-28 win over Nebraska on Saturday.

A win on Saturday in Minneapolis or an Iowa loss in Lincoln on Friday would send the Badgers to the Big Ten Championship to potentially throw the College Football Playoff picture into total chaos.

Minnesota has been playing very well under PJ Fleck this season — so much so that Fleck got a seven-year extension to stay in Minneapolis.

The Gophers are at 7-4 but have lost two of their last three games to Illinois and Iowa, so facing another rush-heavy offense is not a great matchup.


Wisconsin Badgers

Badgers Offense

The Wisconsin offense is starting to find its rhythm and Graham Mertz, while he’s bad overall for the season, is starting to play better.

Against Nebraska, Rutgers and Northwestern, Mertz had three of his four best passing grades of the season, per PFF, and averaged over eight yards per attempt in each game. Now, he was only asked to throw it more than 20 times once in those three games, but he’s been much more effective when the game is not in his hands.

Mertz might be called on more often in this game because of how good Minnesota has been against the run this season.

Wisconsin has been running the ball 67% of the time, which is the fifth-highest rate in the country. It’s been pretty effective, ranking 36th in Rushing Success Rate and 34th in Offensive Line Yards with the third-best run-blocking grade in the country, per PFF.

The revelation in the Wisconsin rushing attack has been freshman Braelon Allen, who is the hottest back in America right now, averaging 7.6 yards per attempt and having gone over 100 yards rushing in seven straight games.

Minnesota hasn’t seen a running back like him since the first game of its season against Ohio State.

You hear @BraelonAllen is only 17? 🤣

We kid, but the @BadgerFootball freshman sensation just added another ridiculous TD run to his reel. pic.twitter.com/LG6QQxp7Tl

— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) November 20, 2021

Badgers Defense

Wisconsin’s defense allowed over 20 points last Saturday for the first time since their loss to Michigan back on Oct. 2.

During the Badgers’ seven-game win streak, nobody could move the ball on them. Now, they have a perfect matchup against Minnesota on Saturday.

Wisconsin has the best run defense in the country. The Badgers are only allowing 2.2 yards per carry and rank first in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, Defensive Line Yards and EPA per rush allowed.

This creates a huge advantage in this matchup against a Minnesota offense that is running the ball 69.2% of the time.

The Badgers have only allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw for 6.1 yards per attempt and rank second in Passing Success Rate Allowed. They’re also graded as the 17th-best team in terms of coverage, per PFF, so they have a great matchup against Tanner Morgan and the Minnesota passing attack — a unit that hasn’t been able to move the ball effectively through the air this season.

Finally, Wisconsin is the No. 1 team in college football in creating Havoc, sixth in Finishing Drives and second in big plays allowed. I have no idea how Minnesota is moving the ball in this game.


Minnesota Golden Gophers

Gophers Offense

Tanner Morgan has really struggled this season under center for Minnesota. He has a 71.2 passing grade with 11 big-time throws and 13 turnover-worthy plays, per PFF.

DOWN GOES #20 MINNESOTA!!

Kerby Joseph picks off Tanner Morgan to end it! #Illinois pic.twitter.com/TJb8wNBUzw

— ✯✯✯✯✯ (@FTBVids_YT) November 6, 2021

The Gophers are also 87th Passing Success Rate, which is a major issue going up against one of the best secondaries in college football.

The Minnesota rushing attack hasn’t been what it was projected to be since Mohamed Ibrahim went down with a season-ending injury in the opening game against Ohio State.

The Gophers are only gaining 4.4 yards per carry and rank 48th in Rushing Success Rate and Offensive Line Yards. Minnesota runs the ball at the fourth-highest rate in the country, so this is a rough matchup against the Badgers.

Gophers Defense

Minnesota’s defense has been slightly above average this season. The Gophers allow only 4.9 yards per play and rank 34th in EPA per play allowed.

They’ve been really good up front in stopping the run this season, allowing only 3.5 yards per attempt. Minnesota sits 21st in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, 28th in Defensive Line Yards and 31st in EPA per rush.

However, it hasn’t faced a murderer’s row of rushing offenses this season by any means.

This will be the best rushing attack Minnesota has seen since Ohio State, which averaged 7.7 yards per carry.

Minnesota’s secondary has been pretty good this season, ranking 44th in Passing Success Rate Allowed, 45th in EPA/Pass allowed, and 54th in terms of a coverage grade, per PFF.

However, this game is going to come down to whether or not the Gophers can stop Allen.

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Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Wisconsin and Minnesota match up statistically:

Wisconsin Offense vs. Minnesota Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 36 21
Line Yards 34 28
Pass Success 112 44
Pass Blocking** 28 64
Big Play 101 15
Havoc 22 90
Finishing Drives 115 93
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Minnesota Offense vs. Wisconsin Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 48 1
Line Yards 48 1
Pass Success 87 2
Pass Blocking** 31 12
Big Play 53 2
Havoc 30 1
Finishing Drives 73 8
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 14 76
Coverage 17 54
Middle 8 32 21
SP+ Special Teams 32 58
Plays per Minute 124 129
Rush Rate 67.% (5) 69.2% (4)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Betting Pick

This is a horrific matchup for Minnesota’s run-heavy offense against the best run defense in college football. With Morgan’s struggles in the passing game, Minnesota is going to struggle to move the ball on Saturday.

On the flip side, Minnesota has not seen a rushing attack like Wisconsin’s since the first game of the season, and I don’t think it’ll be able to slow Allen down.

I have Wisconsin projected at -10.6, so I think there’s some value on the Badgers at -6.5. I’d play it up to -7.

Pick: Wisconsin -6.5 (Play to -7)

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