Wisconsin bombed BYU in Provo last year 40-6, easily covering a two-touchdown spread. Now the Badgers are favored by three touchdowns for Saturday afternoon's clash with the Cougars at Camp Randall. Can Big Red cover the big number? Or is BYU the better bet?
College football point spread: The Badgers opened as 21.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 38.8-13.6 Badgers (College football picks on every game)
Why the BYU Cougars can cover the spread
The Cougars opened their season two weeks ago with a 28-23 upset at Arizona, but suffered a letdown last week and lost at home to the Cal Bears 21-18. So BYU should be primed for a rebound this week, right?
The Cougars, only favored by two points last week, fell down to Cal 14-3, got within 14-10, fell down 21-10 but got back to within three points at 21-18 with just under a minute to go. Unfortunately, an onside kick attempt came up empty.
BYU had chances to score but got stopped on downs twice inside Bears territory in the first half and later threw an interception after reaching the Cal nine-yard line.
The Cougars looked better in their Week 1 victory over the Wildcats, running the ball for 183 yards, grinding out a 37/23 time of possession advantage and winning outright as 11-point dogs on the road.
Why the Wisconsin Badgers can cover the spread
The Badgers are 2-0 this season, following their 45-14 victory over New Mexico last week. Wisconsin actually spotted the Lobos an early 7-0 lead but slowly took over, scoring the game's next 31 points. The Badgers allowed New Mexico to get within 31-14 early in the fourth quarter but re-asserted their dominance and tacked on a couple of late scores to avoid some embarrassment.
Despite a slow start Wisconsin out-gained the Lobos 568-211, ran the ball for 417 yards and won time of possession 37/23. Unfortunately for Badgers financial backers they came up one score short of covering a 36-point spread.
Wisconsin had chances to cash in but lost a fumble at the New Mexico four-yard line in the first quarter and threw an interception on a first down from the Lobos' 43 early in the third.
The Badgers are 0-2 ATS this season, facing two huge spreads. But they're 7-3 ATS their last 10 times out favored by between 15 and 25 points.
Smart betting pick
Wisconsin won this matchup handily last year, but BYU was down a couple of key players. The Cougars are certainly a better team right now than they were that day. Meanwhile the Badgers, playing at home, are probably contending with an inflated spread. Wisconsin should win this game but smart money here grabs BYU and the points.
College football betting trends
Wisconsin is 41-0 SU in its last 41 games at home in September.
The total has gone under in five of Wisconsin's last seven games in Week 3.
BYU is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games on the road in September.
All college football odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.