College football Thursday and we will see the Wisconsin Badgers take on the Auburn Tigers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida in the Outback Bowl. The game has a start time of 12:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on ESPN 2. Current Vegas betting odds have the Tigers listed as 7 point favorites, while the total is set at 63.5.
Analysis: The Wisconsin Badgers won the Big 10 West with a 7-1 record, but then they got crushed by Ohio State 59-0 in the Big 10 Title game. Now the 10-3 Badgers look to finish the season on a high note vs a strong SEC Squad. The Badgers are 15-3 ATS in their last 18 games after accumulating less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game, but just 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games overall and 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games following a SU loss of more than 20 points. Wisconsin has been a solid offensive team this year, ranking 23rd in total yards, 118th in passing, 4th in rushing and 30th in scoring (34.6 ppg). The defense for the Badgers has been very good this year, ranking 4th in yards allowed, 4th vs the pass, 17th vs the run and 16th in points allowed (20.0 ppg).
After playing in the National Title game last year, the Auburn Tigers had a bit of a down year as they finished with an 8-4 record overall, including just a 4-4 mark in the SEC. The Tigers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 bowl games and 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game, but just 0-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. Auburn has been a solid offensive team this year, ranking 15th in total yards, 65th in passing, 12th in rushing and 24th in scoring (35.8 ppg). The defense for the Tigers has been rather average, ranking 59th in yards allowed, 88th vs the pass, 44th vs the run and 59th in points allowed (26.1 ppg).
Pick: I will be going with the Tigers in this one. Gus Malzahn is 17-4 ATS after playing a non-conference opponent, while the Badgers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 bowl games. Wisconsin had a bad showing in the Big 10 Title game and I'm not sure they will get over that 59-0 pasting at the hands of the Buckeyes. For Auburn they come from the powerful SEC West and they have played the much tougher schedule. That means I will put little stock in the 10-3 vs 8-4 record. The Tigers did lose in the SEC Title game, but it was a much closer game and they did score 44 points on a very tough Alabama defense, and while the Badgers have a solid defense they have struggled at times vs the better offenses on this schedule. The Auburn defense is not as good, but this SEC defense is good enough to keep the Badgers from putting up the kind of points which would get them the cover here. Tigers by double digits in this one.
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