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NCAA College Football Betting Preview: Northwestern Wildcats vs. Wisconsin Badgers – Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020

by Tyler Vaysman | November 20, 2020 |

A pair of Big Ten unbeaten teams battle on Saturday when No. 10 Wisconsin heads to Evanston to take on No. 18 Northwestern.

Northwestern, at 4-0, is having their best start since 1995. Their most recent win was 27-20 over Purdue.

Wisconsin has had covid implications this season resulting in postponements and shutdowns. The Badgers have played just two games, winning them both. Most recently, the Badgers took down Michigan 49-11.

Visiting Wisconsin has opened as a 7.5-point favorite.

Wisconsin Badgers Betting Preview: Strong Units

Wisconsin has displayed elite units on both sides of the ball in their two games. In total, the offense is averaging 47 points per game, while the defense is allowing just 9 points per game.

That’s quite a disparity that the Badgers will hope to continue on Saturday.

The offense is led by quarterback Graham Mertz, who is completing 75% of his passes for 375 yards, seven touchdowns, and no interceptions.

Junior tight end Jake Ferguson has had a strong start to the year, catching 11 balls for 123 yards and four touchdowns.

The run game has accounted for nearly 60% of the offense. It’s a balanced attack with four different runners getting over ten carries already. They will have their stiffest challenge yet going against a Northwestern defense, letting up just 91 yards rushing a game.

The defense has been smothering against Michigan and Illinois and will look to continue their success. In two games, the unit has four sacks and three interceptions.

Northwestern Wildcats Betting Preview: Close Games

Northwestern has won by just one score in each of their last three games, and Wisconsin offers them the biggest test of the year.

Peyton Ramsey has been the quarterback for the Wildcats, throwing for 723 yards, six touchdowns, and four interceptions. He’s also tacked on another 122 yards rushing with a score.

Northwestern’s best receiver has been Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman, catching 18 passes for 195 yards and three touchdowns.

The offense has had middling production to the tune of 180.8 yards passing per game and 174 yards rushing.

The rushing game is a two-headed attack between Drake Anderson (198 yards) and Isaiah Bowser (182 yards). 

Bowser has been far less efficient with his touches, averaging only three yards a carry. It could be tough to get things rolling against a Wisconsin rush defense, allowing just 89 yards rushing to opposing offenses.

Badgers at Wildcats Betting Odds & Lines

MyBookie has the line at Wisconsin -7.5. Wisconsin is 2-0 ATS this year, and Northwestern is 3-0-1 ATS. 

Free Betting Pick

Even in just two games, the Badgers have dominated, while Northwestern is keeping games close. Wisconsin's offensive line makes everything happen, and going against a Wildcats defense with just seven sacks in four games isn’t going to be an issue.

The Badgers should be able to come into Evanston and leave with a win.

Spooky Express Free Pick: Wisconsin -7.5

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