Big Ten Championship Game: Ohio State vs. Wisconsin Odds, Analysis, Betting Pick

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2017

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett rushes during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Michigan, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, in Ann Arbor, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

The Ohio State Buckeyes hold the upper hand in the recent rivalry with the Wisconsin Badgers, winning the last five meetings outright, including that 59-0 spanking in the Big Ten Championship Game three years ago, going 4-1 against the spread. Can Ohio State spoil Wisconsin's hopes of an undefeated season when the teams meet in the eighth Big Ten Championship Game Saturday night in Indianapolis?

     

College football point spread: The Buckeyes opened as 6.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report.)

College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 39.8-30.1 Buckeyes (College football picks on every game.)

Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more picks and a breakdown of this week's top sports betting news.

      

Why the Ohio State Buckeyes can cover the spread

The Buckeyes carry a three-game winning streak into Saturday, following their 31-20 victory over rival Michigan at the Big House last week. Ohio State spotted the Wolverines the first 14 points of the game but used a 24-6 run to take the lead and iced the win on Mike Weber's 25-yard touchdown run with two minutes to go.

On the afternoon, the Buckeyes outgained Michigan 350-295 and outrushed the Wolverines 226-100. So Ohio State has now outgained 10 of its 12 opponents this season, six of them by 300 yards or more.

The Buckeyes lost starting quarterback J.T. Barrett to a sore knee in the third quarter last week, but freshman backup Dwayne Haskins looked good in relief, connecting on six of seven throws for 94 yards, running for 24 more, leading the offense to 17 points on four possessions.

At 10-2 overall, Ohio State still harbors hopes of making the College Football Playoff. It might take a convincing victory Saturday and help from elsewhere, but it's still possible.

       

Why the Wisconsin Badgers can cover the spread

The Badgers completed an undefeated regular season with a 31-0 blanking of Minnesota last week. Wisconsin took a 7-0 lead with a touchdown late in the first quarter, pushed that to 17-0 at the half and put the clamps on from there, on its way toward the cover of a 19-point spread.

On the afternoon the Badgers outgained the Gophers 456-133, outrushed them 287-93 and held a 33-27 advantage in time of possession. So Wisconsin has now outgained and outrushed each of its 12 opponents this season.

As West Division champions the Badgers are back in the Big Ten Championship Game for the fifth time in seven seasons.

Wisconsin is also now 18-0 in quarterback Alex Hornibrook's last 18 starts.

        

Smart pick

The Buckeyes are the team with two losses, while the Badgers are unbeaten, but Ohio State is favored, and rightly so. Wisconsin just hasn't played anybody, occasionally takes halves off, and its quarterback throws too many interceptions. Meanwhile, Ohio State looks like it can move the ball regardless of who's playing QB. Smart money here bets the Buckeyes.

            

College football betting trends

Wisconsin is 0-5 straight up and 1-4 ATS in its last five games against Ohio State.

The total has gone over in eight of Ohio State's last nine games.

Ohio State is 1-4 ATS in its last five games against its conference.

            

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.