NCAAF Betting Odds: 2010 Wisconsin Badgers
By: Jimmy Sirody
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Senior QB Scott Tolzien returns to direct the Badgers’ offensive attack.
The Wisconsin Badgers had the highest scoring offense in the Big Ten last season. The Badgers racked up their gaudiest scoring and yardage totals against their weakest opposition, but there’s a lot to like about the balance of a unit that posted at least 150 yards rushing and 150 yards passing in the same game nine times last fall.
The Badgers are listed at Bookmaker.com with a season win total of 9½, with the 'under' a juicy minus 150. The same shop has them at 40/1 to go all the way and win the BCS.
Wisconsin’s three losses last season were to quality opposition. They will face only three teams in 2010 that enjoyed winning seasons last year — ironically the same three that took them down in 2009. That leaves nine foes sporting losing ledgers and, behind 16 returning starters, coach Bret Bielema is obviously anxious to let the games begin.
Bielema, who is 38-14 in four seasons with the Badgers, has seen his team involved in 13 games that were decided by three or less points. He is 9-4 in those games, with wins in five of the last six.
The Wisconsin offense has the potential to be one of the Big Ten’s best in years.
Senior quarterback Scott Tolzien completed 64 percent of his passes in his first years as a starter and found a groove in the second half of the season. Junior wide receiver Nick Toon was his favorite target, pulling in 54 receptions for 805 yards, and tailback John Clay ran for more than 1,500 yards. They’re back, along with all five road-graders on the offensive line.
Defense and special teams remain a concern, however. The Badgers graduated their team leaders in sacks, tackles, and interceptions, and will lack experience — especially along the defensive line.
The non-conference schedule is a complete cakewalk and Wisconsin should be favored in at least 10 games. The Badgers two biggest challenges come in mid-October when they host Ohio State and then travel to Iowa. If the Badgers can come out on top in one or the other, a BCS bowl game is not out of the question.
Wisconsin went 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS versus OSU from 2001-04; but under Bielema, the Badgers are 0-3 SU and ATS, losing by 14 points per game. The Badgers are 7-3 as home short-enders with five outright upsets the last nine years.
Wisconsin is 2-6 as road pups under Bielema. The Badgers have lost six of eight and failed to cash seven of eight versus the Hawkeyes.
UNLV provides the opposition in Wisconsin’s season opener at Sam Boyd Stadium. The Badgers are 9-0 SU and 6-2 ATS in non-conference road games since the infamous power outage in Las Vegas in ’02. However, Wisconsin has come up short at a 29-15-1 clip over the past 11 seasons as double-digit chalk.
The Badgers have thrived as short-priced favorites, grabbing the green in 12 of 17 when laying three or less and 28 of 47 as single-digit chalk.