Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-4) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (6-5)
Week 13 of the 2022 college football season is upon us, and Saturday brings the Big Ten Conference showdown from Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin, where the Minnesota Golden Gophers square off against the Wisconsin Badgers.
It’s the most played rivalry in college football, and Wisconsin leads the series 62-61-8. The Badgers are listed as 3-point home favorites, and the totals sit at 36.0 points.
Minnesota suffered a tough loss in Week 12The Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-4; 6-5 ATS; 4-4 conf.) are coming off a 13-10 defeat to the Iowa Hawkeyes this past Saturday. They stopped a three-game winning streak despite outgaining the Hawkeyes 399-280 in total yards. The Golden Gophers lost the turnover battle 2-0 and rallied from a ten-point deficit just to see Iowa escapes with a victory on Drew Stevens’ 21-yard field goal with 28 seconds left on the clock in the fourth quarter.
“Credit to Iowa, they found a way to win. Really good football team, really good football rivalry,” Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck said. “We had our chances. In fact, we had a lot of chances, we just didn't capitalize on those chances. That locker room is full of winners in there. Unfortunately, and I said this before, winners do lose. And that's all they did tonight.”
Senior RB Mohamed Ibrahim went off for a whopping 263 yards and a touchdown on 39 carries against Iowa. However, in his final game at home, Ibrahim lost a fumble with 5:07 left to play in the fourth quarter. Freshman signal-caller Athan Kaliakmanis went 7-of-15 for 87 yards and an interception, as senior QB Tanner Morgan sat out Week 12 due to an upper-body injury.
Minnesota ranks 65th in the nation in points scored (28.7 per game) and ninth in rushing yards (229.2). Ibrahim has 1,524 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns on his season tally after missing almost the entire 2021 campaign with an injury. On the other side of the ball, the Golden Gophers are allowing 13.1 points per contest (tied-3rd in the country) on 172.1 passing yards (tied-8th) and 102.5 rushing yards (10th).
Wisconsin shoots for its third straight home winAfter a couple of home wins over Purdue 35-24 and Maryland 23-10, the Wisconsin Badgers (6-5; 5-6 ATS; 4-4 conf.) hit the road in Week 11 and suffered a 24-10 defeat at Iowa. Last week, they outlasted the Nebraska Cornhuskers 15-14 as 10-point road favorites thanks to Graham Mertz’s quarterback sneak for a touchdown with 35 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. The Badgers outgained the Cornhuskers 318-171 in total yards, erasing an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit.
"I'm just so proud of our guys right now. We really needed to win a game where we didn't play well for 60 minutes,” Wisconsin interim head coach Jim Leonhard said. “We needed to win a game going through some adversity and to see our offense and defense respond late in the game. I am really proud of the resiliency we showed today. Anytime you win and you have to battle for four quarters, make plays and come from behind, you just gain so much confidence from it. Obviously, this gets us bowl-eligible, which is another huge accomplishment for this team."
The Badgers have held opponents under 200 total yards in 3 straight Big Ten games for the first time this century 🤯 pic.twitter.com/D42lUQDOkJ— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) November 23, 2022
The Badgers racked up 235 rushing yards on 52 totes against Nebraska. Chez Mellusi and Braelon Allen combined for 190 of those 235 yards, while Graham Mertz went 8-of-18 for 83 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Mertz has tossed for 1,966 yards, 19 touchdowns, and six interceptions so far this season, while Braelon Allen has 1,126 rushing yards and ten touchdowns in 2022.
Wisconsin is tallying 27.5 points per game (tied-74th in the nation) while surrendering 20.3 points in a return (tied-27th). The Badgers’ defense ranks 24th in the country in passing yards (191.6 per game) and 11th in rushing yards (103.6).
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This game could easily go either way, as both teams heavily lean on a stout defense and a powerful ground game. The Golden Gophers are yielding 3.6 yards per carry and 0.7 touchdowns through the air per game. On the other side, the Badgers are allowing just 3.0 yards per rush, and their defense will be properly tested in a matchup against the Gophers’ offensive line that has been outstanding thus far.
With three points on the table, I’m going with the underdogs to cover. We should see a tight battle for all 60 minutes, and I would be surprised by a winning margin bigger than three points. Minnesota is 8-4 ATS in its last 12 outings on the road, while Wisconsin is 3-7 ATS in its previous ten contests against the Big Ten Conference.
Full-Game Total Pick
Give me the under on the totals even though the line has been set at 36.0 points. This should be a proper slugfest, and both teams will struggle to move the chains efficiently. The Golden Gophers have only allowed 29 points over their last four showings at any location. On the other side, the Badgers have yielded 48 points through their previous three games overall.
The under is 4-1 in Minnesota’s last five contests overall and 7-2 in the Gophers’ last nine encounters with the Big Ten Conference. Also, four of the last five meetings between Minnesota and Wisconsin have gone under the total. Last year, Minnesota beat Wisconsin 23-13 as a 7-point home dog with a total of 39.0 points.