Badgers, Gophers searching for Big Ten West crown – The Athletic

Remember when Wisconsin started 1-3? Neither do we. The Badgers have ripped off seven wins in a row, including last week’s 35-28 decision over Nebraska, and are now one game away from a trip to Indianapolis. Wisconsin is winning by an average of 21.6 points per game during this stretch. The Badgers have been one of college football’s best defensive teams all year, ranking first in rushing yards allowed and in the top five for scoring defense and total defense. But as good as that side of the ball has been, Braelon Allen has been even better. The freshman is still only 17 years old, yet he’s been the offensive catalyst of this run, rushing for over 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns in the last seven weeks.

Wisconsin opened as 6.5-point road favorites against Minnesota. The Badgers and Gophers kick off at 4 p.m. ET on Fox.

The Gophers’ 35-14 win over Indiana last week gives Minnesota an outside chance to win the Big Ten West. Beating Wisconsin is the first step to the equation, except P.J. Fleck’s team, would still need Nebraska to beat Iowa and Purdue to beat Indiana. Maybe focus on beating Wisconsin first? This rivalry has been played 130 times, beginning in 1890. Wisconsin is 13-2-2 all-time when only the Badgers are ranked for this game, and Minnesota is 1-16 in the past 17 meetings.

Odds, Over/Under, Moneyline

Team Spread Total Moneyline

-6.5

38.5

-250

+200

Odds updated at 3:55 p.m. ET on Thursday. Click here for live odds.

Betting Trends

  • Minnesota is 7-1 ATS as underdogs in its last 8 games
  • Minnesota is 15-6 ATS as home underdogs in its last 21 games
  • Minnesota is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 games
  • Wisconsin is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
  • The Over is 4-1 in the last 5 Wisconsin games
  • Wisconsin is 6-2 ATS on road in its last 8 games
  • Wisconsin is 6-2 ATS as away favorites in its last 8 games

Click here to learn more about The Athletic’s FREE betting contest with BetPrep.

Wisconsin-Minnesota storylines

Wisconsin is proud of its turnaround, but knows the same approach is required against rival Minnesota

Why early special teams success has Wisconsin bullish about freshman Hunter Wohler’s future on defense

Expert picks against the spread

Picks made at Wisconsin -6.5

Pick

Dan Santaromita

Jason Starrett

Chris Vannini

Ari Wasserman

(Photo of Braelon Allen: Patrick McDermott / Getty Images; The Athletic may receive an affiliate commission if you open an account with BetMGM through links contained in the above article.)

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