Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Odds, Betting Picks & Predictions: Who Seals Big Ten Championship Game Bid?
Jeffrey Blecker, USA Today Sports. Pictured: PJ Fleck
- Wisconsin vs. Minnesota odds list the Badgers as 3-point road favorites over the Gophers on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC).
- Our experts give their picks and predictions, and break down whether or not Minnesota can retain Paul Bunyan's Axe.
- The winner of this game will head to the Big Ten Championship Game to take on Ohio State.
Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Betting Odds
- Odds: Wisconsin -3
- Over/Under: 44.5
- Moneyline: Wisc. -149, Minn. +130
- Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
- TV: ABC
- Location: Minneapolis, Minn.
Before last season, Wisconsin had beat Minnesota 14 straight times in the battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe. Now, the Badgers will try to take it back in a game that means a whole lot more.
The winner of Saturday’s game will head to the Big Ten Championship Game to take on Ohio State. (And, of much less consequence, take the series lead. These two teams are 60-60-8 against each other and have played every year but one since 1890.)
Minnesota’s offense ranks top 10 in many metrics, and the Gophers have carved teams up through the air since starting Big Ten play.
The Badgers are the complete opposite — running back Jonathan Taylor is among the best in the country running behind a monster offensive line.
Model Prediction for Minnesota-Wisconsin
- Spread: Wisconsin -3.3
- Total: 58.9
Has Minnesota Faced an Offense Like This?
For the gamblers who hold Wisconsin and/or Minnesota Big Ten title futures, this is the biggest game of the weekend. The Gophers come into the season finale with just one loss, as a victory sends PJ Fleck to the championship game in Indianapolis.
A Badgers victory would give us another chapter in the conference championship history between Wisconsin and Ohio State.
Minnesota won at Northwestern in Week 13 after another stellar four touchdown performance from Tanner Morgan. The Gophers defense had three sacks and four quarterback hurries, limiting the Wildcats in their offensive possessions.
But Minnesota now sits with a strength of schedule rank of 77th, much lower than Wisconsin at 12th. And the Gophers haven’t seen a run game like this.
The bread and butter of the Wisconsin offense has always been Jonathan Taylor and the offensive line. As shown by the numbers above, Wisconsin has a rushing success rank of No. 9 generated by a Power Success and Stuff Rate rank in the top 11. That could spell trouble for a Minnesota defense that ranks 123rd and 103rd in those same categories.
Wildcat formation with Aron Cruickshank and Jonathan Taylor sharing the backfield? That has big play written all over it.
27-yards later, Wisconsin lead. pic.twitter.com/zFuDUAOmmc
— George Balekji NBC15 (@GeorgeBalekji) November 23, 2019
Minnesota exposed a Penn State defense that was susceptible to the deep ball. Tanner Morgan continues to drop dimes on Big Ten defenses that are not prepared in the secondary for wide receivers Rashod Bateman and Tyler Johnson.
Unlike Penn State, the Badgers have an excellent secondary that should show more resistance than the Nittany Lions. Wisconsin is 15th in defensive passing success rate, second in sack rate and second in the nation in defensive havoc.
If the Wisconsin defense wasn’t enough to slow down the Gophers prolific passing attack, consider the weather does not look favorable for air attacks. Minneapolis, which is currently under a Winter Storm Warning, has a forecast for snow and wind gusts over 15 mph. That should favor the better defensive team and the offense with a ground attack.
Pick: Wisconsin -2.5 and Under 47.5 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]