Badgers vs Cardinal NCAA Football Spread/Handicapping
If you like tough, physical football, this is the matchup for you. The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. is set to host the Stanford Cardinal and the Wisconsin Badgers, and both teams have quite a bit in common. Each squad runs the football and plays great defense, and while this won’t be the highest scoring bowl game this season, it will still be a battle of which team can assert their dominance from the start of the contest.
No. 6 Stanford Cardinal (8-2) vs Wisconsin Badgers
January 1, 2012
Rose Bowl, PASADENA, CALIF.
5:00 PM ET
Moneyline: Stanford -245, Wisconsin +205 from GTBets.eu
Spread: Stanford -6
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The big question about the Wisconsin Badgers is whether or not they truly deserve to be in the Rose Bowl. An undefeated Ohio State and a rejuvenated Penn State both finished with better records than the Badgers, but because of bowl ineligibility, it’s Wisconsin who earns the nod despite being the No. 3 team.
But that being said, the Badgers are in, and they’ll look to prove that they can make the most of this opportunity.
Wisconsin’s defense is what propelled them to success in 2012. They’re ranked 19th in the country in points allowed, they’re 14th in total yards allowed, and they’ve been solid against both the run and the pass.
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But where this game is going to be won or lost is with running back Monte Ball. The senior tailback wasn’t able to re-create his 2011 Heisman-like season, but he is still the heart and soul of the offense. He’ll be matched up against one of the best run defenses in the country, so getting him going early is going to be a huge part of Wisconsin’s game plan.
The major storyline this season for the Stanford Cardinal was the insertion of Kevin Hogan into the starting quarterback spot. In four of his five appearances, the team scored at least 27 points, and his dual-threat abilities added a whole new aspect to Stanford’s offense. Running back Stephan Taylor also had a good year—he became the university’s all-time leading rusher—and he’ll be another player who looks to get Stanford going.
But the truth is that Stanford’s offense was just a mere footnote on a season that was carried the entire way by an elite defense. The Cardinal have one of the best front lines in all of football, and they showed it on a regular basis. In their statement win of the year—a road victory over No. 2 Oregon—they held Heisman hopeful Kenjon Barner to just 66 yards on the ground, and they’ll look to do the same thing to Monte Ball. [soliloquy id=”82219″]
Stanford’s rushing defense was ranked third this season, as they allowed just 88 yards per game in that category, but their passing defense was just 85th in the country.
They don’t have to worry about Wisconsin throwing the ball too much, as the Badgers ranked 115th in the country in passing yards, but a weak defensive attack in that area could allow their opponent some breathing room.
If Wisconsin can come out and find success against Stanford’s defense, all the talks about whether or not they deserve this game will go away.
But if they can’t, and Stanford comes out prepared as they always seem to be, this one will belong to the Cardinal.
•Cardinal are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games.
•Cardinal are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
•Cardinal are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
•Cardinal are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
•Over is 4-0 in Badgers last 4 games on grass.
•Over is 5-0 in Badgers last 5 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
O/U Pick: Over 47
Score Prediction: Stanford 27 – Wisconsin 20