Wisconsin Badgers vs. Oregon State Beavers: Betting Odds, Preview and Prediction

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistSeptember 7, 2012

MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 01:  Quarterback Danny O'Brien #6 of the Wisconsin Badgers celebrates a touchdown with teammate Rob Havenstein #78 against the Northern Iowa Panthers on September 1, 2012 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images)
Tom Lynn/Getty Images

A week after the Wisconsin Badgers struggled in their season opener at home against an FCS team as a huge favorite, they get the chance to atone for that performance on the road as a small favorite.

The defending Big Ten champs go on the road for a visit with a Pac-12 team when they make the trek to Corvallis to play the Oregon State Beavers (4 p.m. ET, FX).

The Badgers sleep-walked through their season opener last Saturday vs. FCS Northern Iowa, and it almost cost them. Leading 26-7 in the fourth quarter, Wisconsin let the Panthers score twice to get within five points.

UNI then got to the Badgers' 41-yard line with about three minutes to go but failed on a 4th-and-1, and Wisconsin was able to run out the clock from there. But Wisconsin didn't come close to covering the 32-point spread.

They still enjoy about 60 percent of the wagering action this week, according to the consensus data in the OddsShark.com matchup report.

New starting QB Danny O'Brien, who came to Madison from Maryland in the same way Russell Wilson joined the Badgers last year, went 19-for-23 passing Saturday for 219 yards and two scores. Running back Montee Ball, playing for the first time since getting mugged a month ago, ran for 120 yards and one score.

Oregon State, meanwhile, had its season opener last week postponed because Nicholls State had travel problems surrounding Hurricane Isaac. So the Beavers, with 15 starters back after going 3-9 last year, go into Saturday's game with more than a month of practice under their belt without having played a game.

The Beavers return seven starters on offense, including QB Sean Mannion (65 percent completion rate as a freshman last year), and eight starters are back on defense.

This game has seen a little line movement. Several online sportsbooks tracked by OddsShark.com opened Wisconsin at -7.5, then bumped the Badgers to -8, but they have since cut Wisconsin to -7.

Also, the total on this game started at around 51 or 52, fell to as low as 47.5 at some college football betting outlets and has since been bumped back up to 50.

These two teams met last year in Madison, with Wisconsin blanking OSU 35-0. The Badgers out-rushed the Beavers that day 208-23, and they covered as 20-point home chalk.

Wisconsin vs Oregon State Pick: They're treating this as a big game in Corvallis, and why not? It's the season opener against a Big Ten team of some note. And the Beavs might be looking for a little revenge after getting blown out in Madison last year. We go with the home dog here after watching Wisconsin struggle a week ago and take Oregon State.