Badgers predictions: Game 8 at Illinois
Another week, another non-top 25 matchup for Wisconsin. Still, there’s a fair amount of predictions for this week’s game between Wisconsin and Illinois in Champaign.
You’d think the status of Corey Clement would be one pitfall to the picks, but not really. Most think the Badgers will win regardless (well, except one notable national writer).
Here’s a look around the web and Twitter for this week’s predictions:
Three of the four experts at FOXSports.com are picking Wisconsin to win. Stewart Mandel is the lone wolf, thinking Illinois will be victorious, 20-14. Mandel: "It’s a strange sight to see Wisconsin ranked 12th in the Big Ten in rushing offense (one spot ahead of Illinois). The 4-2 Illini, coming off a bye, pull off the upset." Bruce Feldman thinks UW will win 23-20. "Illini QB Wes Lunt is playing well, but he’s facing a very good Badger defense that is allowing just 246 yards in its last three games. The Badgers run game hasn’t been very good of late, but I think it’ll get cranked up against the Illinois D which has been gashed the past two times out."
All three Big Ten Network analysts are picking Wisconsin to win. The scores: Tom Dienhart — 23-10; Sean Merriman — 31-27; Brent Yarina — 24-13.
All four Athlon Sports analysts have Wisconsin winning. The scores: David Fox, 28-14; Braden Gall, 30-20; Steven Lassan, 34-20; Mitch Light, 28-22.
Pete Fiutak of Collegefootballnews.com: Wisconsin 27, Illinois 17. "Wisconsin will get by on defense. Joel Stave will be smart and solid for most of the game but Illinois will get back in the game with two key interceptions. Over the second half, drive after drive will stall for the Illini in an effective, but ugly win for Bucky."
Whatifsports.com simulation: An average score of Wisconsin 27.5, Illinois 25.7. The sim gives the Badgers a 53.3 percent chance of winning.
CSNChicago.com’s Vinnie Duber predicts an Illinois win.
The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel: Wisconsin 26, Illinois 14.
All six ESPN.com Big Ten contributors picked Wisconsin to win.
By way of the PickCenter, Teamrankings.com has an average score of Wisconsin 25.2, Illinois 19.7 while numberFire has the average score Wisconsin 30.1, Illinois 24.4 (and also gives the Badgers a 40.4% likelihood of covering a 6.5-point spread).
The Sports Xchange has it Wisconsin 21, Illinois 17.
All seven writers at the Columbus Dispatch are think Wisconsin will beat Illinois.
Follow Dave Heller on Twitter