In contrast to the previous two seasons Western Kentucky took a major step back last year. Counter to back to back double-digit win seasons the Hilltoppers finished 6-7 in 2017. A clear difference to many was coaching. Jeff Brohm led WKU to 12 and 11-win seasons before departing for Purdue. Alternatively, Mike Sanford paled in comparison. Moreover, the Hilltoppers collapsed down the stretch. Indeed a 1-5 finish to the season ended Sanford’s honeymoon. Additionally, gamblers were disgusted with Western Kentucky’s 3-10 mark with the college football betting odds. Following this comes a brutally tough 2018 opener at Wisconsin.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. Wisconsin Badgers
Date and Time: Friday, August 31, 2018, 9 p.m. ET
Location: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wisconsin
College Football Betting Online Odds:
|Western Kentucky||+34½ (-110)||51 (-110)|
|Wisconsin||-34½ (-110)||51 (-110)|
Western Kentucky vs. Wisconsin TV Coverage: ESPN
Young Roster and Lack of Experience
As was previously stated Mike Sanford is already under pressure. Encompassing that was the season ending free fall with the college football betting odds. As a result, the second-year coach will take over offensive play calling himself. Concurrently he developed a strong reputation as a quarterback coach and offensive coordinator. Stanford, Boise State, and Stanford were all pleased with his work. However, a game at Wisconsin doesn’t bode well for a reboot. While recruiting has gone well WKU’s roster is quite young and inexperienced. Especially worrisome is a bad defense that could get worse.
Certainly Madison, Wisconsin is the opposite college football universe. Presently there is a new meaning to the term “Mad Town.” To bring to light such enthusiasm is Wisconsin’s status as Best of the West. To illuminate the Badgers have won back to back West Division titles in the Big Ten. What’s more 10 starters return from last year’s prolific offense. Especially critical is the return of the entire offensive line. Equally important is the O-line’s depth. Consider that as many as three linemen will be early NFL draft choices. Hence UW’s return to its roots as the premier school for big bruising offensive line excellence.
Return of Alex Hornibrook
Equally important is the return of junior quarterback Alex Hornibrook. Consequently, he already has two seasons experience as starter. Most of all he has improved as a clutch performer. Equally important is the return of 1977-yard rusher Jonathan Taylor.
Team vs. Team Stats
Western Kentucky has been a terrible sports betting play in road games. Two show they have lost nine of their last 12 in that role vs. the line. Additionally, just six of their last 16 road tilts went under the total. Balanced against that is Wisconsin’s profitability at Camp Randall Stadium. For one thing Bucky Badger has lost just three of their last nine at home. Six of those nine matchups went over the total. To exemplify the Badgers are also 3-1 vs. the line as home chalks of 20 points or more.
Matchup to Watch
This is a mismatch with the college football betting odds. It is true that Wisconsin does have a number of new defensive starters. Along those same lines Western Kentucky is hopelessly outclassed. Granted, it’s a big lay on Bucky Badger. Balanced against that is WKU’s terrible lineup and road marks.
College Football Betting Odds Picks
In sum, Wisconsin can name the score in this one!
College Football Betting Online Pick: Wisconsin Badgers
College Football Betting Online Score Prediction: Wisconsin 48, Western Kentucky 7
Check out Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst’s views on the upcoming college football season!