Wisconsin Badgers vs. BYU Cougars Odds, Analysis, College Football Betting Pick

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2017

Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor (23) celebrates his touchdown run with teammates Michael Deiter and Austin Ramesh (20) during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Florida Atlantic Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin won 31-14. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Morry Gash/Associated Press

Wisconsin owns a 44-game winning streak against non-Power Five conference opponents stretching all the way back to 2003, including a victory over Brigham Young four seasons ago.

However, the Great Equalizer—the point spread—does take its toll, as the Badgers are only 7-7 against the spread in their last 14 such games. Wisconsin shoots for 45 in a row when it battles BYU in Provo, Utah, on Saturday afternoon.


College football point spread: The Badgers opened as 14.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 25.8-14.8 Badgers (College football picks on every game)


Why the Wisconsin Badgers can cover the spread

The Badgers are 2-0 this season following their 31-14 victory over Florida Atlantic last week. Wisconsin grabbed a 14-0 lead nine minutes into the game on a pair of long Jonathan Taylor touchdown runs, let the Owls get within seven points twice after that, but closed out the victory by holding FAU scoreless in the second half.

On the afternoon, the Badgers outgained the Owls 564-248, outrushed them 357-106 and dominated time of possession by a 39/21 margin. The freshman Taylor rambled 26 times for 223 yards and three touchdowns, while junior Chris James added 101 yards on 16 carries.

Meanwhile, the Wisconsin defense limited Florida Atlantic to a 2-for-15 performance on third-down and fourth-down conversions.

The Badgers opened this season with a 59-10 romp over Utah State, covering at minus-27.


Why the BYU Cougars can cover the spread

The Cougars are shooting to stop a two-game losing skid after falling to Utah last week 19-13. BYU trailed 9-0 at the half, fell down 16-0 in the third quarter, pulled to within 19-13 with three minutes left but couldn't quite complete the comeback. The Cougars also just missed the cover as five-point dogs.

On the evening, BYU only came up with 233 yards on offense, committed three turnovers leading directly to 10 Utes points, failed on a two-point conversion and missed a 28-yard field goal. But the BYU defense kept them in the game, stiffening in the red zone and holding Utah to four field goals and a single touchdown.


Smart pick

Wisconsin may have found its new main ground gainer in Taylor, and when Wisconsin gets its ground game going, it can be very tough.

Meanwhile, it looks like BYU will be without starting quarterback Tanner Mangum, who injured his ankle on the last play of the game last week. And the Cougars are having enough problems on that side of the ball as it is. Smart money here bets the Badgers.


College football betting trends

The total has gone under in 10 of BYU's last 11 games.

BYU is 3-8 ATS in its last 11 games in Week 3.

Wisconsin is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games in September.


All college football odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.