Wisconsin Badgers vs. Northwestern Wildcats Odds & Predictions

November 21, 3:30 PM EST

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Wis -7.5/NW +7.5
Badgers -300/Wildcats +250

The Big Ten offers up a rivalry match-up of ranked outfits when the Northwestern Wildcats tangle with the Wisconsin Badgers Saturday afternoon in Evansville. Both teams come in unbeaten in conference play, so this game could well decide a berth in the Big Ten championship game. The Badgers are favored by a touchdown for this one, but the Wildcats aren't scared; they beat Wisconsin rather regularly. How are we playing this game with our free college football pick?

College Football Betting Odds

College football betting odds opened Wisconsin at -6.5 over Northwestern, with an over/under of right around 45.5. Early betting action then bumped the Badgers to -7 and dropped that total to 44.

Wisconsin vs. Northwestern Betting Preview

The Badgers are 2-0 so far this abbreviated season, after mauling Michigan at Ann Arbor last week 49-11. Wisconsin punted on its first possession of the game, then scored touchdowns on its next four to lead 28-0 at the half. Wisconsin later tacked on a couple of scores to create its largest margin of victory against the Wolverines in the history of the series.

The Badgers also easily covered the spread as seven-point favorites.

Wisconsin out-gained Michigan 468-219, out-rushed the Wolverines 341-47, dominated time of possession by a 40:20 split, and won the turnover battle 2-0, turning both Michigan turnovers into touchdowns. The Badgers opened their season a month ago with a 45-7 win over Illinois, covering easily at -20. Wisconsin then had its next two games canceled. But it looks like the situation in Madison has cleared up. The Badgers are playing with their back-up quarterback, freshman Graham Mertz, but he's been great so far, hitting on 32/43 passes for 375 yards and seven touchdowns against zero interceptions. Meanwhile, Northwestern is off to its first 4-0 start since 1996, its last Rose Bowl season, after winning at Purdue last week 27-20. The Wildcats drove the game's opening possession 75 yards to a touchdown and led 17-10 at the half. Northwestern then scored the first seven points out of the locker room and held on from there for the victory and the cover as a four-point favorite. The Wildcats out-gained the Boilermakers 292-265 and won the time of possession by a 35:25 split. And yet Northwestern has only out-gained two of its four opponents this season. Two weeks ago, the Wildcats got out-gained by Nebraska by 125 yards but won 21-13 and covered as four-point favorites. Three weeks ago, Northwestern fell behind to Iowa 17-0 but rallied to win 21-20. At 4-0 in conference play, the Wildcats lead the Big Ten West by one game over 2-0 Wisconsin.

Badgers-Wildcats Recent History

These teams have split the last 14 meetings in this rivalry straight up, but Northwestern is 10-4 ATS over that span, and 5-1 ATS over the last six meetings. Last year Wisconsin ground out a 24-3 lead through the first 50 minutes of the game, but the Wildcats scored twice from there, lost outright 24-15 but covered as 23-point dogs.

College Football Betting Trends

  • Wisconsin is 54-16 SU, 40-29-1 ATS in Big Ten play under Coach Chryst.
  • Northwestern is 57-59 SU, 61-55 ATS in Big Ten play under Coach Fitzgerald.

Totals Report

Overs are 2-0 in Wisconsin games this season, which are averaging 56 total points against an average over/under of 51.5. Unders are 4-0 in Northwestern games this season, which are averaging just 42 points against an average O/U of 49. Unders are 6-1 over the last seven meetings between these teams, which have averaged 38 points against an average O/U of 48.

Wisconsin vs. Northwestern Prediction ATS 11/21/20

Wisconsin is probably the better team in this match-up and probably should be favored, but its romp over Michigan last week probably inflates the line on this game by at least three points. And let's face it, Michigan stinks. Meanwhile, Northwestern, thanks to good coaching and a similar style of play, is always a pain in the ass for the Badgers. The Wildcats own seven outright victories over the last 14 meetings between these teams, every one of them upsets on the betting line. Most recent meetings have played out tough and low-scoring, and we expect another one here. We like Northwestern, plus the points.   

Free Pick: 
Take Northwestern +7.5