Wisconsin Badgers predictions: Game 5 at Nebraska

Wisconsin is coming off a shaky win at home against a mediocre Northwestern team and traveling on the road for a night game — a tough proposition, right?

Not exactly, at least in the eyes of those predicting the outcome for the Badgers game against Nebraska.

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The Cornhuskers haven’t exactly sparkled this season, with a bad loss at home to Northern Illinois (but, hey, they are coming off wins over Rutgers and Illinois), that resulted in the firing of their athletic director.

But the Badgers enter the game a heavy favorites — by double-digit points according to Vegas; the first time Nebraska has been that big of an underdog at home since 2008 — and most (but not all) of the prognosticators feel Wisconsin will emerge victorious.

It is a big game — amazingly, Wisconsin and Nebraska are already the last two unbeaten teams in conference play in the Big Ten West and the Cornhuskers will have a reunion of their 1997 team — so, as usual, who knows what might happen. Although our pickers have a good idea.

The Associated Press’ Ralph D. Russo: Wisconsin 24, Nebraska 17.

Pete Fiutak of Collegefootballnews.com: Wisconsin 37, Nebraska 20. “The Badgers will be the Badgers with an efficient, effective passing game to offset a good-enough day from the rushing attack. But this game will be about the defenses. The Badgers will load up against the Nebraska running game, the secondary will pick off three passes to make up for a few big plays allowed, and on the road, the team will lock down and come up with the performance many have been waiting for – at least against a decent team. The way the Northwestern game ended will matter. This will be a more focused, stronger day from the Badgers for a full 60 minutes.”

Tom Dienhart of BTN.com: Wisconsin 28, Nebraska 27.

Steven M. Sipple of the Lincoln Journal Star (via podcast): Wisconsin 31, Nebraska 14.

Adam Carriker via the Omaha World-Herald: Nebraska 21, Wisconsin 20.

Bill Bender of The Sporting News: Wisconsin 38, Nebraska 20.

Eric Sorenson of Athlon Sports: Wisconsin 35, Nebraska 20.  “The key here is that nobody makes better in-game adjustments than the Badgers do, so look for the second half to be where UW starts to wear down the Cornhuskers’ resolve. This battle of unbeatens in Big Ten West play will also certainly be affected by the turnover margin. Nebraska can’t afford to give some freebies away to the more talented Badgers. If the home Big Red gets a case of the butterfingers, this one could get ugly in favor of the road Big Red.”

Athon Sports’ Mitch Light: Wisconsin 27, Nebraska 17.

Zac Al-Khateeb of The Sporting News: Wisconsin 30, Nebraska 17.

Chad Leistikow of the Des Moines Register: Wisconsin 34, Nebraska 17. “After the tumult of losing to Northern Illinois then firing its athletics director, Nebraska has found a bit of a football groove — even if it was against Rutgers and Illinois, the Big Ten’s two worst offenses. Huskers quarterback Tanner Lee had his best game of the year against the Illini. And suddenly with a 2-0 league start, Nebraska has made this a crucial game in the Big Ten West. The Badgers, though, have the league’s most efficient quarterback in Alex Hornibrook, a run game that averages 5.1 yards a carry and a defensive line that averages four sacks a game and should dominate Nebraska in the trenches. Wisconsin played only one good quarter last week against Northwestern but still nearly covered a two-TD spread. I’m guessing it plays at least two or three good quarters in Lincoln.”

As usual, all three Athlon Sports analysts have Wisconsin winning.

All three sports editors at the Daily Nebraskan are predicting a close, low-scoring game, with two picking Wisconsin to win.

The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel: Wisconsin 34, Nebraska 27.

Josh Slagter of MLive.com: Nebraska 24, Wisconsin 20.

Five out of six analysts at USAToday.com pick Wisconsin to win with Dan Wolken the lone exception.

Bill Connelly of SB Nation: His S&P+ projection has it Wisconsin 31, Nebraska 19.

Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press: Wisconsin 31, Nebraska 20.

All seven of CBSSports.com analysts pick Wisconsin to win and five think the Badgers will cover an 11.5-point spread.

Jesse Temple of Land of 10: Wisconsin 21, Nebraska 17.

All the ESPN.com Big Ten contributors picked Wisconsin to win. And yet again we have some scores: Dan Murphy 35-17, Tom VanHaaren 27-24, Mitch Sherman 31-20.

All nine analysts for the Dallas Morning News think Wisconsin will win and all but one believes the Badgers will cover a 12.5-point spread.

The Sagarin Ratings predict Wisconsin 33.05, Nebraska 16.20.

All three analysts at FootballScoop.com went with Wisconsin this week.

Kerry Miller of Bleacher Report: Wisconsin 38, Nebraska 16.

Daniel Gallen of pennlive.com picks Wisconsin.

Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News: Wisconsin 34, Nebraska 27.

CBSSports.com’s Jerry Palm picks Wisconsin to win (and takes the points).

Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune sees a solid “road cover” for Wisconsin.