*10* PRIMETIME POWER-HOUSE (Penn St @ Wisconsin) ~ PERFECT 4-0 in November!
Wisconsin vs. Penn State,
12/03/2016 20:00 EDT,
Score: 31 - 38
Point Spread: +3/-115 Penn State
10* Penn State (8:00 ET): This year's Big 10 Championship Game almost has the feel of a "bronze medal game" as the national perception is that LW's Ohio State-Michigan tilt determined the conference's true "champion." But the reality is that a game is to be played in Indianapolis and Penn State and Wisconsin both believe they have a shot at the College Football Playoff. And if either Clemson or Washington were to fall in their conference title games, the winner here has an excellent shot at moving up. Penn State, if they were to win Saturday night, would have a very legitimate argument for inclusion in the top four as they beat Ohio State head to head. They are one of the hottest teams in the entire country right now w/ eight straight wins and seven straight covers, so in what projects as a fairly even game, I'll take the points.
The Nittany Lions have scored at least 39 points in five consecutive games. During this seven-game ATS win streak, they have won by two touchdowns six times and the other win was the upset of Ohio State. I give PSU a huge edge at the most important position, quarterback, with Trace McSorley. In the eight-game SU win streak, McSorely has a 16-2 TD-INT ratio. Meanwhile, Wisconsin may be w/o Alex Hornibrook (concussion), leaving Bart Houston as potentially the Badgers' only option under center. Houston threw for only 123 yds LW in a 31-17 win over Minnesota where the Badgers trailed entering the fourth quarter and were fortunate to force four turnovers. In the L5 games, the Wisconsin passing attack has averaged just 138.4 YPG and that's not going against the best Big 10 teams.
Wisconsin has in fact been very fortunate to force 12 turnovers total the L3 wks. On the other side of the ledger, Penn State has turned it over just three times total in the L5 games. Most feel the Badgers have the better defense in this one, but note that the Nittany Lions were missing their entire starting LB corps against Michigan. Since getting Jason Cabinda and Brandon Bell back, they've been a lot stronger. The L3 wks have seen the Nittany Lions allow an average of just 294.7 YPG. These teams have actually not met since 2013 when PSU shocked Wisconsin as 24-point underdogs - in Madison. Don't discount the Nittany Lions' rather sizable edge on special teams either. Underdogs are 5-0 ATS all-time in Big 10 Championship Games including three outright upsets. 10* Penn State