At the onset of their matchup at South Florida, the Badgers are a solid 10-point favorite. At first glance it’s understandable. Despite a lackluster 2018 season, Wisconsin is still a respected upper-tier Big Ten program. South Florida was a middle of the pack American Athletic Conference last year with a terrible defense. Thus, it’s understandable that the college football betting public would favor UW by a solid margin. The big question is if Wisconsin will regain the sharp focus and play from 2017. Along the same lines will USF make a leap of improvement after falling back last year?
Wisconsin Badgers vs. South Florida Bulls
|Date and Time:||Friday, August 30, 2019, 7 p.m. ET|
|Location:||Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida|
|Wisconsin vs. South Florida TV Coverage:||ESPN|
Wisconsin vs. South Florida Overview
Last season was a letdown for both USF and Wisconsin. South Florida finished 7-6 straight up, 4-9 against the spread, and 6-7 under the total. USF had some of the ugliest metrics in America for 2018. They had college football betting rankings of 70th for scoring offense and 104th for total defense. Furthermore, their 123rd ranking against the run does not bode well against Jonathan Taylor and Wisconsin. Wisconsin finished 8-5 straight up, 4-9 vs. the odds, and 6-7 under the total. UW slipped to 62nd for total offense and 34th for points allowed.
Lots of Bull and Not so Strong
At the beginning of Charlie Strong’s arrival were hopes of a sports betting success story. The first-year record of 10-2 enhanced that belief. Strong was a respected defensive coordinator at Florida. However, he flopped as head coach of Texas and was fired before taking the USF job. Last year’s inability to stop the run and overall sloppy play have put his abilities into question.
A clear difference can be seen with Wisconsin compared to the start of last year. Wisconsin was a top-five pick to contend for the 2018 college football playoff. But they were quickly exposed as pretenders in an early-season home loss to BYU. What was most disappointing was that the highly touted offensive line failed to dominate. Overall it was a great lesson on how Wisconsin is at their best when under the radar. They are still unproven as college football betting top tier favorites.
Top Players to Watch
Namely USF quarterback Blake Barnett is a potential asset. Barnett threw for 1205 yards and 12 touchdowns last year. Running back Jordan Cronkite ran for 1121 yards and nine touchdowns in 2018. By contrast, running back Jonathan Taylor is a Heisman Trophy candidate. Taylor ran for 2194 yards with 16 touchdowns and 7.1 yards per carry in 2018. Keep in mind he ran for 1977 yards in 2017. Veteran Jack Coan and five-star freshman Graham Mertz are battling for the starting QB job. Of course, the offensive line will be big and powerful.
Wisconsin and USF vs. The Line
- 10-2 ATS as a road favorite
- 6-3 over the total as a road chalk
South Florida is:
- 4-5-1 ATS as a home dog
- 6-1 over the total getting points at home
Wisconsin vs. South Florida College Football Betting Prediction: Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin vs. South Florida College Football Betting Score Prediction: Wisconsin 35, South Florida 10
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