Wisconsin Badgers predictions: Game 8 at Ohio State
Well, last week's Wisconsin predictions didn't work out so well.
Badgers fans might want to hope there's a repeat this week.
After falling at Illinois despite being a 31-point favorite, Wisconsin (who no one picked to lose to the Illini) now must face third-ranked Ohio State on the road. The Badgers are a two-touchdown underdog and there's not a big clamoring for an upset.
Of the analysts around the web, we could find just one -- yes, we did find one -- who is picking Wisconsin to win.
The rest? Well, like the Badgers in previous weeks, it's a matter of the score and if they think the Buckeyes will cover.
Fans are seeing things through red-colored glasses (Wisconsin red, that is), although not all.
One thing's for certain: No one will be wrong next week because the Badgers are off. We all might need the break.
Here's this week's predictions from around the web and Twitter:
The Associated Press' Ralph D. Russo: Ohio State 28, Wisconsin 16.
Pete Fiutak of Collegefootballnews.com: Ohio State 30, Wisconsin 17. "Ohio State will go on a second half microburst of points to put the game away, and then the defense will clamp down with the phenomenal secondary erasing the Badger receivers. But it’ll still be a punishing fight along the way. Wisconsin will show that it really is that good, and Ohio State will show that it really is national championship-caliber great."
Bill Bender of The Sporting News: Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 16. “Ohio State has covered against the spread in each of its last six games, but five of the last six meetings with the Badgers have been decided by one score or less.”
Zac Al-Khateeb of The Sporting News: Ohio State 35, Wisconsin 17. "The Buckeyes will stack the box against running back Jonathan Taylor (he rushed 15 times for 41 yards in his last outing against OSU) and force Coan to beat them with his arm. Defensively, Wisconsin has looked stout, but it hasn’t played an offense that can attack them so effectively in so many ways, from Justin Field’s dual-threat ability to a receiving corps with six multiple-touchdown receivers to the two-headed rushing attack of J.K. Dobbins and Master Teague III (1,459 combined yards, 11 touchdowns). Wisconsin looks like it will lose its second consecutive game, and it won’t be as close as the one to the Illini.”
David Kenyon of Bleacher Report: Ohio State 34, Wisconsin 17. "So far, Ohio State has allowed a paltry 2.6 yards per rushing attempt. If Wisconsin fails to run successfully, the possibility of an upset is extremely low. The Badgers can frustrate Justin Fields, but Illinois showed the value of explosive plays. And few offenses are more capable of breaking off huge gains than Ohio State's."
Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press: Ohio State 35, Wisconsin 21.
All three writers at Cleveland.com are picking Ohio State to win. The scores: Stephen Means, 38-10; Doug Lesmerises, 35-14; Nathan Baird, 33-15.
Marcus Hartman of the Dayton Daily News: Ohio State 38, Wisconsin 13.
Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News: Ohio State 38, Wisconsin 20.
Steven Lassan of Athlon Sports: Ohio State 34, Wisconsin 13. “Wisconsin’s defense wins a few battles and keeps this game close until halftime. However, Ohio State’s defense keeps Taylor in check, while the balance on offense eventually puts this game away in the second half.”
Rainer Sabin of the Detroit Free Press: Ohio State 35, Wisconsin 14.
Bruce Feldman of The Athletic ($): Ohio State 35, Wisconsin 17. "No one has gotten close to the Buckeyes yet, and I don’t see the Badgers being able to hang with them in Columbus for four quarters. Wisconsin has a really good defense, but the Badgers haven’t faced a team this complete."
Stewart Mandel of The Athletic ($): Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 14. “Wisconsin’s (still) top-ranked defense will not allow Ohio State to score its usual 40-50 points. And unlike Michigan State, which lost 34-10 to the Buckeyes, Wisconsin has Jonathan Taylor. But Ohio State just has so much NFL talent at every position, it’s hard to envision the Badgers’ offense sustaining drives.”
Chad Leistikow of the Des Moines Register: Ohio State 24, Wisconsin 17. "Only LSU could rival Ohio State as the most impressive team in college football to date. Every week, the spread seems too high … and the Buckeyes cover it. This number, though, seems like an outrageous overreaction to Wisconsin’s face-plant at Illinois. The Badgers will play with a lot of purpose in the Horseshoe. And they still have a great defense — by far the best Ohio State has faced this season — and have stayed within seven points in their past five meetings against the Buckeyes (even though they did lose all five)."
Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Ohio State 27, Wisconsin 17. “This was shaping up to be a colossal Big Ten showdown, then Illinois had to go ruin everything with the upset of the season last week, taking down the impenetrable Badgers. That stripped some luster from this matchup, but if Wisconsin decides to show up in Columbus, this figures to be a slugfest between two great defensive teams and two Heisman candidates in Buckeyes QB Justin Fields and Badgers running back Jonathan Taylor.”
Josh Slagter of MLive.com: Ohio State 34, Wisconsin 14. " Since the Badgers already were looking ahead to this game last week, maybe they can provide a challenge. Wisconsin's defense should at least slow Ohio State some, but the one-dimensional offense is something the Buckeyes' defense will feast on. Ohio State's week-to-week focus has been impressive. Only a slipup keeps it from the playoff now."
Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Leader: Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 14. “Perhaps Saturday is the exception — there is always an exception — but this Ohio State team is the best, and the meanest, I’ve seen since Nebraska joined the Big Ten. OSU’s lines maul opponents. Its skill is very good to great. Quarterback Justin Fields is quite good, as well he should be surrounded by that collection of studs. Ohio State is a 14½-point favorite over a great team for a reason.”
James Kratch of NJ.com: Doesn’t offer a score, but picks Ohio State to win. “This is the Buckeyes’ first serious test of the season, but is it even really a test? If Ohio State can shut down Jonathan Taylor, the Badgers lack big-play ability downfield. Wisconsin’s defense, as good as it has been, has yet to face an offense like the Buckeyes'. The line feels about right.”
The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel: Ohio State 30, Wisconsin 7.
Brad Crawford and Chris Hummer of 247 Sports: Crawford – Ohio State 30, Wisconsin 13; Hummer – Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 14
Joe Broback of Champions Insiders: Ohio State 35, Wisconsin 24. “Wisconsin’s loss to Illinois hurts in more ways than one. However, it also could mean that Wisconsin doesn’t feel the pressure of facing an elite team. Coan’s performance plays a huge role in determining the outcome, because the Buckeyes will force him to beat them. Jonathan Taylor can’t do it all himself. Ohio State’s on a roll, and it doesn’t seem like anyone can stop them right now. History tells us they’re due for a letdown, even if it’s not a loss.”
Tom Fornelli of CBSSports.com: Ohio State 38, Wisconsin 17.
Mark Russell of Buckeyes Wire: Ohio State 30, Wisconsin 17.
Joseph Goodman and Lee Sterling of Al.com: Goodman – Wisconsin 28, Ohio State 21; Sterling: Ohio State 42, Wisconsin 21. (FYI Goodman’s reasoning: “In a battle of elite defenses, I’m going with Wisconsin and Taylor’s ability to stretch out drives on what could be a rainy day in Ohio.”)
Al Arend of the Herald-Palladium: Ohio State 35, Wisconsin 17.
Joe Williams of Sportsbook Wire: Ohio State 30, Wisconsin 13.
SportsLine Projection Model: Ohio State 30, Wisconsin 19.
Bill Connelly of ESPN: His S&P+ projection has it Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 20.
All six analysts at SI.com think Ohio State will emerge with a victory. Laken Litman writes: "The Badgers still have the nation’s No. 1 defense, but haven’t faced anyone as dangerous or talented as QB Justin Fields, who leads the Big Ten with 22 touchdowns to just one interception. Meanwhile Ohio State’s second-ranked defense, which is holding opponents to 2.5 yards per rush, is gearing up for its shot at Jonathan Taylor. The major question for the Buckeyes now as they enter the midway point of the season at 7–0 is can they avoid a Purdue-style upset? The Boilermakers shocked then-No. 2 Ohio State, 49–20, this time last year. And Wisconsin is coming off a bad loss looking to prove itself against the best team in the Big Ten. But the Buckeyes haven’t lost at home since September 2017 (Oklahoma) and haven’t lost a conference game at home since November 2015 (Michigan State).”
All nine analysts for the Dallas Morning News have Ohio State winning, but, hey, seven think Badgers will cover getting 14 points.
All three Athlon Sports analysts are picking Ohio State to win.
All six analysts at USAToday.com pick Ohio State to win.
All seven pickers at KSL.com are taking Ohio State.
All seven CBSSports.com analysts think Ohio State will win and only one (Barrett Sallee) has the Badgers covering a 14 1/2-point spread.
All three analysts at FootballScoop.com pick Ohio State to win.