Featured Video from Scott Reichel
When : December 07, 2019, 8:00 PM ET
Where : Lucas Oil Stadium
The slate is set for this year's Big Ten championship game. We will be treated to a rematch between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Wisconsin Badgers, which should be an exciting showdown. This is the third time these two teams have met in the conference championship game, with Ohio State winning the previous two in 2014 and 2017. The Buckeyes have dominated meetings between these two schools as of late. They have won nine of the last ten overall between these two teams and have covered the number in eight of those games.
Ohio State has had an outstanding season as they have run the slate clean and look to remain unbeaten in this contest Saturday. Wisconsin comes into this game with a lot of momentum as well. They are winners of four straight contests after a two-game losing skid against Illinois and then the Buckeyes. Ohio State opened this game as eighteen point favorites and the total opened at 53 and a half for this showdown. I suspect this game will feature plenty of fireworks as the Badgers look to knock off their foe and bring home the conference championship and the Buckeyes fight to win their third straight Big Ten championship and keep their national title hopes alive in the process.
Buckeyes Remain Perfect This YearOhio State's perfect season was nothing short of spectacular. With key victories at home versus Michigan State, Wisconsin and Penn State as well as a 29 point road win against Michigan to close the season out, it's safe to say that the Buckeyes are coming into this game with tons of momentum. Their number one ranked offense averaged 49.9 points per game with over 250 yards per game from both their ground and pass games and their number four ranked defense only gave up 11.8 points per contest. They absolutely steam-rolled their opponents, winning their games by an average margin of 35.2 points.
Quarterback Justin Fields has had an outstanding season with the second-most touchdown passes in a season in school history. He was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year as well as Big Ten Quarterback of the Year. J.K. Dobbins moved into second on the all-time career rushing yards list for Ohio State as well. Ryan Day became the first Buckeyes coach in 40 years to be named the Big Ten Coach of the Year, an award that eluded Urban Meyer during his tenure. Chase Young was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year as well as Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year.
Fields completed 68.2% of his passes this season for 2,654 yards with an amazing 37 touchdowns to only one pick. Dobbins ran the ball 250 times and amassed 1,657 yards and 19 touchdowns during the regular season. Chris Olave led the receiving corp with 705 yards and catching 11 touchdown passes. The defense was led in tackles by linebacker Malik Harrison with 63 of them and Chase Young was a menace from the line with 16.5 sacks on the campaign. Kicker Blake Haubeil was perfect with his 79 extra point attempts. He only attempted ten field goals and made eight of them with both misses coming from between 30-39 yards.
Badgers Back For Conference TitleWisconsin's 10-2 season is nothing to hang their heads on. In their ten victories, they won those games by an average margin of 28.6 points per game and their only two losses were both on the road, first to a sneaky Illinois team 24-23 and then to Ohio State 38-7. They notched key victories at home this season over Michigan, Iowa and lastly Minnesota to lock up their division. Their offense is ranked seventeenth in the country with 35.8 points per game and their defense has been rock-solid this season as well, coming into this game ninth in the country only giving up 14.6 points per game.
Running back Jonathan Taylor firmly took hold of second place on the all-time rushing yards list for the Badgers with 5,932 yards so far. He was named Big Ten Running Back of the Year following an outstanding year. The big question in the future for Taylor, who is obviously ready to take a step into the NFL, is whether he will return for his senior year and look for the last 1,000 or so yards needed to surpass Ron Dayne for not only the all-time team record but the NCAA record as well. Four players were named All-Big Ten for Wisconsin, with Zack Baun, Tyler Biadasz and Taylor all being named first-team and Chris Orr being named second team.
Quarterback Jack Coan completed 72.3% of his passes this year for 2,309 yards with 17 touchdowns to only four interceptions. Taylor has been outstanding, with 279 carries on the campaign for 1,761 yards and 20 touchdowns. Quintez Cephus led the receivers for the Badgers with 45 receptions for 720 yards and six touchdowns. Linebackers Orr and Baun were in the backfield constantly with 23 combined sacks and 133 tackles. Fellow linebacker Jack Sanborn had 63 tackles and 4.5 sacks too. Kicker Collin Larsh hit 50 of his 51 extra point attempts and ten of his 15 field goal attempts with a longest kick of 44 yards.
- Trends for this game provided by oddsshark.com
- Wisconsin is 2-4 ATS their last 6 games overall
- Ohio State is 9-2 ATS their last 11 games overall
- Ohio State is 6-1 ATS their last 7 games versus Wisconsin
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I can't find any reason as to why we should stop backing the Buckeyes now. They have already notched a 38-7 win over the Badgers earlier this season and have dominated them in recent years, winning nine of the last ten match-ups and covering the spread in eight of those nine. Ohio State has been outstanding against the spread this season as well, as they have covered in nine of their 12 games. They have also covered in a neutral-site game while Wisconsin failed to cover the number in theirs. The Buckeyes score 14.1 points more per game than the Badgers and they hold their opponents to around three points less per game as well. I trust Ohio State to come into this game prepared and take care of business against Wisconsin for the second time this year.
Prediction: Ohio State Buckeyes
Full-Game Total Pick
I understand why odd-makers have set this total so high, seeing as how both of these team's offenses combine to average 85.7 points per game. But let's look at the defensive side of things. These defenses combined to hold their opponents to only an average of 26.4 points per game this year. Ohio State had 49 sacks this season and Wisconsin had 44 sacks of their own. That gives us a combined 93 sacks which comes out to 3.9 of them per game from either side. Both of these teams are good at applying pressure in the backfield. They only scored a combined 45 points earlier in the season when they played, and I expect this game to be very similar. Give me the under for this year's Big Ten championship game.