The finale of Championship Weekend will show Wisconsin (10-2) having a rematch against Ohio State (12-0). Earlier this year, Ohio State dominated Wisconsin in Columbus 38-7. The Badgers will definitely want to prove they can hang around with the Buckeyes unlike in their first meeting. Ohio State is most likely in the College Football Playoff, but they will want to do everything they can to keep the number one seed to avoid a potential semi-final game against Clemson. As of writing this, 77 percent of bettors are siding with Ohio State as 16.5-point favorites, and 72 percent believe the game will go over 57 points.
Date: Saturday, December 7, 2019
Time: 8:00 PM ET
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
Wisconsin was held to seven points, and Jonathan Taylor only had 52 rushing yards in their first matchup against Ohio State. The Badgers are a bit of a one-trick pony on offense, but head coach Paul Chryst will make adjustments the second time around. Wisconsin and Ohio State matchup evenly when the Badgers have the ball. The Badgers offensive line matches up well with Ohio State’s. However, the Buckeyes rank fourth in havoc created, which was a big part of the reason for their dominant performance in the first game. Chryst will need to get their passing game going more in this matchup. Jack Coan should be used in play-action passes to throw off Ohio State’s defense as they have one of the best pass defenses and pass rushes in the nation. Michigan showed that they can be vulnerable, so look for Wisconsin to try and exploit it.
The biggest question Wisconsin needs to ask is how can they slow down the Buckeye’s offense. One issue the Badgers have is limiting explosive plays. Ohio State ranks 11th in explosive offense, so this could be something that hurts Wisconsin. However, the Badgers rank second in the nation in havoc created. The last few weeks, Justin Fields has felt pressure from Penn State and Michigan. Wisconsin can create havoc better than both teams, so this is something the Badgers are going to need to do to have a chance at pulling off the upset. Justin Fields has been prone to hang onto the ball too long this season. This hasn’t been a huge issues, but against a Wisconsin team that can create havoc will make it a bigger one than imaginable.
Ohio State Analysis
No teams has scored more points per game than Ohio State. They score a hair under 50 points per game, and have the 10th most successful offense in college football. In their first matchup, the Buckeyes put 38 points of offense against Wisconsin, and could have trouble doing that on Saturday. The Badgers biggest edge is being able to create havoc. Justin Fields has been known to hang onto the ball too long. If this happen this Saturday, then Wisconsin will be able to create pressure on the Ohio State offense. However, the Buckeyes do have a big edge in explosiveness. Wisconsin has struggled to defend explosive plays, so look for that to be the deciding factor in this matchup. Explosive rushing has the biggest mismatch, and JK Dobbins is more than capable of exploiting it.
Not only is the Buckeyes offense incredible, so is their defense. They rank third in points per game allowed, and first in the nation in success rate. Their defense matches up very well against the Badgers offense, and held them to seven points in their first matchup. However, as of recently the Buckeyes secondary has been vulnerable. Now, Wisconsin is obviously known for running the football, especially with Jonathan Taylor. Paul Chryst is good enough to make the adjustments for quarterback Jack Coan to exploit their Buckeyes secondary. Michigan was able to move the ball downfield last week in the first half, and it might not be surprising if Wisconsin does the same thing. Ohio State has one of the best defenses in the country, but they will probably allow more than seven points on Saturday.
Betting Pick: Wisconsin +16.5
I would hold out for +17 if possible. This isn’t the trendiest pick, especially with a majority of America taking the Buckeyes, and why shouldn’t they. Ohio State has shown no signs of slowing down, and they can cover the 17 points. However, I think Wisconsin can keep it closer than people expect. Chryst will make the adjustments needed to have more success in the second matchup. Also, Ohio State’s defense has been vulnerable as of late, so this can help Wisconsin’s offense move the ball downfield. This is going to a gross spread to root for, but the Badgers should do enough to cover it even if they never have a true shot at pulling off the upset.