clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Penn State vs. Wisconsin best bets

Wisconsin and Penn State will try and pretend last season never happened as they both look for a big win to start the 2021 season.

NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Northwestern David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The 12th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers will host the No. 19 Penn State Nittany Lions will look to erase the memories of 2020 with a victory to start the season. This will kick off a fantastic Saturday of Week 1 college football action on September 4th starting at noon ET in Madison, Wisconsin.

Penn State started last year with an 0-5 record, while Wisconsin saw a significant COVID-19 outbreak following a hot start to the season and went through a stretch in which they scored seven or fewer points in three straight games. Last season was an extreme outlier for both programs that have been consistently near the top of the Big Ten for many years and are expected to do the same in 2021.

Updated SP+ per team

Penn State: 10 (22 Offense, 7 Defense)
Wisconsin: 6 (32 Offense, 2 Defense)

Injury update for both teams

Penn State

LB Charlie Katshir is questionable (undisclosed)

Wisconsin

CB Al Ashford is out for the season (arm)
NT Keeanu Benton is questionable (ankle)
RB Jalen Berger is questionable (leg)
OL Logan Brown is questionable (head)
TE Cole Dakovich is out for the season (leg)
WR Danny Davis is probable (concussion)
WR Kendric Pryor is questionable (concussion)
RB Antwan Roberts is out indefinitely (suspension)
OL Joe Tippman is questionable (arm)
K Jack Van Dyke is probable (leg)

ATS/Total

Wisconsin -5.5 (-110)
Total 49 (Over -105)

Bet Splits from DraftKings Sportsbook

Wisconsin: 61% of handle, 65% of bets
Over: 78% of handle, 53% of bets

Opening & current line

Opening line: Wisconsin -4.5
Current line: Wisconsin -5.5

Recruiting talent

Penn State
Offense 14, Defense 10, Team 13
Wisconsin
Offense 22, Defense 31, Team 23

Recruiting production

Penn State
Team 78% (56th of 130), Offense 74% (74), Defense 83% (49)
Wisconsin
Team 84% (32nd of 130), Offense 86% (30), Defense 82% (53)

Weather

73 degrees, 32% chance of rain in Madison

The pick: Wisconsin -5.5

Graham Mertz should get plenty of the attention for this Badgers team as the starting quarterback, but they are going to get this done in the trenches. Wisconsin has another fantastic group of offensive linemen, and the Badgers could take advantage of a Penn State defensive line that needs to replace NFL talent.

Wisconsin is expected to be very good against the run this season in what was a real strength in 2020, so Sean Clifford will need to beat them as he heads into his third consecutive season with a new offensive coordinator.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA/MI), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA) or call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN). 21+ (18+ NH). CO/IL/IN/IA/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.