Wisconsin Badgers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Betting Odds Preview, Prediction

OddsShark.comFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2013

MADISON, WI - NOVEMBER 17: Derek Watt #34 of the Wisconsin Badgers makes the catch but is quickly hit by Bradley Roby #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes which ended in a incomplete pass during the game at Camp Randall Stadium on November 17, 2012 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

The Wisconsin Badgers won the Big Ten championship last year and that doesn't sit too well with the Ohio State Buckeyes, who beat the Badgers on their way to a perfect season.

Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, they were serving a postseason ban, and could only watch as Wisconsin went on to win the conference championship game.

The No. 4 Buckeyes, no longer serving that ban, host the No. 23 Badgers in a game that could decide who represents the Leaders Division in this year's Big Ten title game. As of early this week, the Buckeyes were listed as 7.5-point favorites over Wisconsin at most books monitored by OddsShark.com, with a total of 54.

Ohio State opened this season with a 40-20 win over Buffalo, although it couldn't cover the spread at -34. The Buckeyes then beat San Diego State 42-7, covering at -28, even though they lost QB Braxton Miller to a sprained knee in the first quarter.

Then, with backup QB Kenny Guiton stepping in, OSU went out and won at Cal 52-34, covering at -13, then came home and destroyed Florida A&M 76-0, cashing in at -48.

Miller is listed as probable for Saturday's game, but at this point it doesn't really matter whether it's him or Guiton at quarterback. Both are dangerous.

Wisconsin, which was 75-1 to win the conference back in August, opened the Coach Andersen era with a 45-0 victory over UMass, covering as 44-point favorites, then dispatched Tennessee Tech 48-0, covering at -45. The Badgers then, as 6-point underdogs, had a chance to pull off an upset out at Arizona State, but let the clock run out before they could kick the game-winning field goal in a 32-30 defeat.

Last week, UW ground out a 41-10 victory in its Big Ten opener over Purdue, covering at -24.

These teams played a dandy last year at Camp Randall, with the Buckeyes coming away with a 21-14 victory in overtime. OSU led 14-0 early, but Wisconsin tied it with a touchdown with eight seconds to go in regulation. The Buckeyes then scored immediately in the first OT, then held the Badgers on downs.

Wisconsin outgained Ohio State that day 360-237 and outrushed them 206-140. Two years ago, in Columbus, the Badgers led 29-26 in the last half-minute until Miller hit Devin Smith for a 40-yard bomb and a 33-29 Buckeyes win.

ABC has the live television coverage of the happenings from the Horseshoe on Saturday night, with kickoff slated for 8 pm ET.

Prediction: 32-20 Ohio State (via Odds Shark picks computer)