The Wisconsin Badgers head to Champaign Illinois to take on the Fighting Illini on Saturday in a Big 10 affair. The Badgers come into the game ranked 5th in the most recent Associated Press poll, and hold a 7-0 record.
The Badgers are coming off a blowout win over the Terrapins of Maryland. This is just the third road game of the season for the Badgers, with wins over Brigham Young and Nebraska. Wisconsin leads the Big Ten West by 2 games over Nebraska and Northwestern.
On the other side, the home team – Illinois Fighting Illini are 2-5 on the season and 0-4 in Big Ten play. The Illini and Indiana are the only winless conference teams this season.
Illinois has dropped five straight games follow their back to back wins over Ball State and Western Kentucky. The latest game for the Illini was on the road at Minnesota, where they lost 24-17. Illinois comes into this game as a major underdog. Wisconsin is listed at -26 over the Illinois Fighting Illini.
Wisconsin Can Run The Football
The Wisconsin Badgers are a team known for their ability to run the football. Jonathan Taylor has been outstanding for the Badgers, with over 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns. Wisconsin is 15th in the nation with more than 256 rushing yards per game. The Badgers are also fantastic on the defense side, where they are allowing just 13.3 points per game.
In the 7 games that Wisconsin has played this season, their opponent has only scored 20 or more once this season. Three times this season, Wisconsin has allowed 10 points or less in a game. The Badgers are on the road at the Indiana Hoosiers next week.
Illinois Slumping Big Time
Lovie Smith and the Fighting Illini of Illinois are in a major slump right now. The Illinois scored 22 points per game in wins over Ball State and Western Kentucky, but since then are scoring under 18 points per game The Illini rank 94th in all of college football in passing yards, and have been even worse on the ground. Illinois is picking up just 118.7 yards per game on the ground.
Illinois on the season is scoring 18.3 points per game, while allowing just shy of 30. The top offensive threats for Illinois are Mike Epstein and Ricky Smalling. Epstein leads with 3 rushing touchdowns, while Smalling has 2 touchdown receptions. Illinois is on the road at Purdue next week, before coming back home to host Indiana.
Badgers Win Big
The Wisconsin Badgers are going to be able to do about whatever they want in this game. The Badgers will keep the ball on the ground for much of the game, so a complete and utter blowout may be out of the picture.
But, even at that, Wisconsin is going to run wild. Wisconsin is favored by less than 4 touchdowns. Illinois will have a tough time scoring. If we had to make a score prediction for this game; 34-6 Wisconsin would be a good pick. Therefore when you are betting on this game, take the Wisconsin Badgers -26.