Gophers are 14-point underdogs to Badgers

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Talk about a slap in the face to one of the best stories in college football right now. The Gophers (8-2) are riding a four-game winning streak but the oddsmakers in Las Vegas have made them a 14-point underdog in this Saturday's game against the Wisconsin Badgers (8-2).

The 14-point spread comes as a bit of a surprise considering the Badgers will have to beat the Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium. Minnesota is 5-1 at home with its only loss coming in the Big Ten opener to Iowa.

Why is Wisconsin favored by two touchdowns? They're 8-2 record is the same as Minnesota's, but they were arguably robbed of a win in their first loss of the season to Arizona State, and they nearly beat Ohio State, which still has dreams of reaching the BCS National Championship game.

Other than that, they've played a fairly soft schedule against teams that don't do a good job stopping the run, which happens to be Wisconsin's bread and butter.

The Badgers are sixth in the nation averaging nearly 308 rushing yards per game, but part of that has to do with the fact that they haven't been challenged by many top-notch rushing defenses. Check out where their opponents rank against the run this season.

  • Game 1: Massachusetts (45-0 win) -- 111th
  • Game 2: Tennessee Tech (48-0 win) -- 70th (FCS)
  • Game 3: Arizona State (32-30 loss) -- 17th
  • Game 4: Purdue (41-10 win) -- 110th
  • Game 5: Ohio State (31-24 loss) -- 4th
  • Game 6: Northwestern (35-6 win) -- 68th
  • Game 7: Illinois (56-32 win) -- 121st
  • Game 8: Iowa (28-9 win) -- 25th
  • Game 9: BYU (27-17 win) -- 57th
  • Game 10: Indiana (51-3 win) -- 120th

There are 123 teams in Division I college football, and Wisconsin has played four teams ranked 110 or worse.

Their three most challenging games of the season were losses to Ohio State and Arizona State, and a win over Iowa. All three of those teams have top 25 rushing defenses, and all three held the Badgers to 231 rushing yards or less -- nearly 80 yards from their average.

Moral of the story: Stopping, or even slowing the Badgers down on the ground will give the Gophers a much better chance to the pull the upset.

The Gophers' rushing defense ranks 38th in the country, but slowing down the Badgers will take some brute strength in the trenches. Wisconsin's starting offensive linemen weigh an average of 319.2 pounds.

The Badgers' team website says there's no way Wisconsin overlooks the Gophers, despite winning nine straight in the battle for the axe.

The game will be televised on ESPN at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Next Up

MNDeptofHumanRightsPhoto

Eagan-based Villaume Industries pays $90K fine in gender discrimination case

After the Minnesota Department of Human Rights found the company refused to hire women, Villaume committed to reforms

magazines

11 more people charged in massive magazine scam plead guilty

In total, 63 people from across the U.S. were charged in what prosecutors called the "largest elder fraud scheme in the nation."

Alex Stalock

Wild goalie Alex Stalock claimed off waivers by Oilers

The South St. Paul native will be heading to Edmonton.

Mortensen becker-finn

Shakopee GOPer posts DFL lawmaker's personal cell number on Facebook

Rep. Erik Mortensen has been accused of 'doxxing' Twin Cities lawmaker Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn.

derek chauvin

Minneapolis scraps plan to pay 'influencers' to share information during Chauvin trial

The plan to pay influencers to share city-approved messages during the trials of the officers charged in George Floyd's death drew criticism.

Doll

Toddler called 911 and said 'baby' was dead, turned out to be her doll

We're checking into whether the doll is named 'Chucky.'

Target Center

NCAA Women's Final Four 2022 will be held in Minneapolis

The NCAA unveiled the logo for the 2022 Final Four on Monday.

49920879552_ef6458affd_o2

As golf season approaches, book your round now at Dacotah Ridge GC

The stunning course is designed by world-renowned architect Rees Jones.

ambulance

Pedestrian killed in hit-and-run in St. Paul Sunday evening

The incident occurred near the intersection of Phalen Boulevard and Atlantic Street.

Related