The 2017 Big Ten Football Championship will feature a college football wagering rematch of the 2014 edition of the game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Wisconsin Badgers. There are of course a few similarities and differences between now and then, which was the first time that these two schools could and did meet in the title game, following the conference’s divisional restructuring that landed each program in a different division.
— Big Ten Football (@B1Gfootball) November 29, 2017
- Date: December 2
- Time: 8:05 PM
- Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
- Sportsbook NCAA Football Betting Odds:
Ohio State -7 (-105) 51½ (-110) -260
Wisconsin +7 (-115) 51½ (-110) +220
Party like it’s 2014
The Buckeyes entered the 2014 Big Ten Football Championship game as four-point underdogs in dire need, after having lost to unranked Virginia, of an upset to keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive, and went on to cover the spread like Godzilla’s shadow covers Tokyo, crushing the ever-loving tar out of the Badgers 56-0, leaving nothing in their wake but nuclear fallout. OSU then proceeded to beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and defeat Oregon in the inaugural CFP National Championship game. This year, Ohio State enters the title match as a seven-point fave, but the Buckeyes are also bogged down by not one but two losses, including a shocker to unranked Iowa as 20.5-point faves. Needless to say OSU has to put on an even more impressive performance than in 2014; either that or hit CFP voters over the head with the Forget-me-Stick ™. The Buckeyes are 5-1 ATS in their last six neutral site games, 1-4 ATS in their last five Big Ten games, 1-4 ATS in their last five overall, and 6-2-1 ATS in their last nine meetings with Wisconsin.
The Insult That Turned a ‘Chump’ Into a Champ
Wisconsin had its first undefeated regular season since 1912 (when the season consisted of seven games), going 12-0 (9-0 in conference play) SU and 8-2 ATS – not that the CFP committee cares about covering the spread. Actually, it cares as little for it as it does for the Badgers strength-(or lack thereof)-of-schedule. As a matter of fact, it’s UW’s weakness-of-schedule, whether real or perceived, that will, barring any unforeseen event, keep them out of the playoff. Exacting revenge on Ohio State would be a perfect example of an ‘unforeseen event,’ by the way – not least because Wisconsin is 0-5 SU and 1-4 ATS in their last five encounters with the Buckeyes. The Badgers are, additionally, The Badgers are 4-0 ATS in their last four conference games, 3-7 ATS in their last 10 neutral site games, and 4-0 ATS in their last four overall. Moreover, UV has the best defense in the nation, as evidence by the total going under in four of their last seven games. On the other hand, the total has gone over in six of the last four between UW and OSU, and the Buckeyes are scoring more than 43 points per game. The 51½-point college football wagering suddenly doesn’t seem so high.