2015 Wisconsin Badgers Season Preview – Betting Futures Odds and Win Total
Written by FairwayJay of North Shore Sports, INC
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Following Gary Anderson’s departure to take the head coaching job at Oregon State, Wisconsin brought back a former colleague and offensive coordinator at Wisconsin. Paul Chryst is the new head coach, and he was born in Madison and played QB for the Badgers.
Chryst was the head coach at Pittsburgh the past three seasons and inherits a team that is favored to win the Big Ten West division again after going 7-1 in conference play last season. Don’t buy the hype.
9/5: vs. Alabama (Arlington)
9/12: vs. Miami, Ohio
9/19: vs. Troy
9/26: vs. Hawaii
10/3: vs. Iowa
10/10: at Nebraska
10/17: vs. Purdue
10/24: at Illinois
10/31 vs. Rutgers
11/7: at Maryland
11/21: vs. Northwestern
11/28: at Minnesota
Wisconsin’s schedule is pretty ordinary again despite opening with Alabama as a 9-point underdog on a neutral field at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. The Badgers will be huge favorites in their next three home games and play a fourth-straight at home to open Big Ten play against Iowa as a likely inflated double-digit favorite.
The next week it’s to Nebraska in a near pick ‘em and ‘Husker nation will be ready for redemption following a pair of blowout losses to the Badgers the past three seasons.
Five more weeks lie ahead as favorites and some sizeable, but an upset or two wouldn’t surprise before they close at Minnesota over Thanksgiving and the Gophers will get the Axe back.
SEASON WIN TOTAL
Wisconsin’s season over/under win total is 9.5 with -140 juice to the over. The Badgers also opened 65-1 to win the National Title despite being the favorite to win the Big Ten West division.
Don’t buy into this Badgers team as top-tier, as this is an over-rated Wisconsin team and ‘under’ the season win total must be bet. They’re a definite candidate to start the season ranked in the top-15 and be out of the top-25 by mid-October.
Senior QB Joel Stave returns as the starter, but last year he completed just 53 percent of his passes for 1,350 yards and a 9/10 TD-to-INT ratio. He handed the ball to the Big Ten’s best back often last season and the Badgers had one of the league’s very best offensive lines.
That’s not the case this season, as coach Chryst noted at the start of fall camp, “Right now, today, I couldn’t tell you who the starting five are.” The only sure starters if healthy are senior LT Tyler Marz and center Dan Voltz. So don’t expect the Badgers to come close to last year’s 320 rushing yards per game and note they have their fifth offensive line coach since 2011.
New running backs and a sub-par receiving corps outside of top returning WR senior Alex Erickson makes the Badgers over-valued on offense and perhaps their most inefficient offense in the past seven seasons.
Wisconsin outgained Big Ten opponents by 215 yards per game last season and the defense allowed less than 300 yards per game but 21 points per game. However, with the offense controlling the ball, clock and chains, the defense was fresher and better than projected with limited starters returning.
This year five starters are back and the Badgers are more experienced overall on this side of the ball. The strength is in the secondary which should be one of the Big Ten’s best. Top tackler and senior strong safety Michael Caputo was second team All-American, but teams are still likely to run the ball better on the Badgers, who allowed 126 rushing yards per game last season.
If Wisconsin wins 10 games, which I don’t see, it won’t be because they’re real good. Rather, the schedule isn’t tough, but with the offensive line weakness against Alabama’s strong defensive front seven, I don’t see an upset coming opening week.
Road games at Nebraska and Minnesota could well be losses, so right there the ‘under’ season win total is cashed. But clearly this team could be upset along the way with a stagnant offense and more pressure put on the defense to perform.
Wisconsin might be the favorite to win the Big Ten West, but they’re not nearly as strong nor a worthy wager to make it to the Big Ten title game or attain double-digit victories.
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