Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#183 Wisconsin vs.
#184 Minnesota
Saturday, November 27, 2021 at 4:00pm EST
Written by Chris King

It’s a Big Ten battle for Paul Bunyan’s axe when the teams meet on the gridiron in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The #14 Wisconsin Badgers are on the road as they travel to face the Minnesota Golden Gophers Saturday afternoon. Wisconsin comes in off a 35-28 home win over Nebraska in their previous contest last Saturday. Minnesota rolled over Indiana by a 35-14 count on the road in their most recent contest last Saturday. In the all-time series, Wisconsin owns a 62-58-2 advantage between the teams and has taken 16 of the last 17 meetings. That includes a 20-17 home victory in the most recent meeting on December 19, 2020.

Wisconsin Badgers Seek Eighth Straight Victory

Wisconsin has really turned things around after their slow start to the season. The Badgers dropped Nebraska last week to run their win streak to seven games to improve to 8-3 on the season and 6-2 in the Big Ten. They are tied with Iowa for the West Division lead but own the tiebreaker. Against Nebraska, neither team led by more than seven points in the contest but took the lead for good with 3:50 to play on a 53-yard touchdown run. Wisconsin was outgained 452-397 in total offense, lost the first down battle 23-15 and lost the time of possession by a 33:17 to 26:43 margin. The Badgers did force a pair of turnovers while not committing a turnover in the contest.

For the season, Wisconsin is 118th in the FBS in passing offense as they average 161.3 yards per game this season through the air. The Badgers are a solid 9th in the country in rushing offense as they grind out 229.4 yards per contest so far this year. Wisconsin is 76th in the FBS this season in scoring offense as they average 27 points a game. The Badgers are a stellar fifth in scoring defense as they allow only 15.8 points per contest this season. Graham Mertz has completed 137 of 231 passes for 1,650 yards with nine touchdowns and nine interceptions on the year. Chase Wolf is eight of 16 for 124 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. The run game is anchored by the 1-2 punch of Braelon Allen (140 carries, 1062 yards, 12 TD) and Chaz Mellusi (173 carries, 815 yards, five TD) this season. Danny Davis III is second on the team with 27 receptions for 418 yards plus two scores this year. Kendric Pryor (26 receptions, 373 yards, three TD), Jake Ferguson (team-high 39 catches, 390 yards, two TD) and Chimere Dike (17 grabs, 225 yards, TD) each have gone over 200 receiving yards this season. Collin Larsh has hit 36 of 37 extra point attempts and 13 of 17 field goal attempts with a long of 43 this season.

Minnesota Golden Gophers Try to Play Spoiler

Minnesota snapped a two-game losing skid as they put the boots to Indiana on the road last week in their previous contest. The Golden Gophers entered this contest 7-4 on the season overall and 5-3 in the Big Ten on the year. Against Indiana, Minnesota trailed 7-0 after the opening quarter and was even in the final minute of the first half before scoring twice in the final 46 seconds to take a 21-7 halftime advantage. That was part of 35 unanswered points by the Golden Gophers, who didn’t give up another score until just 22 seconds remained in the contest. In the game, Minnesota held a 391-218 edge in total offense, rolled up a 20-12 advantage in first downs and dominated time of possession by a 36:43 to 23:17 margin. The Golden Gophers forced a pair of turnovers while not committing one in the game.

On the year, the Golden Gophers are 117th in the nation in passing offense with 163.5 yards per game while they are 23rd in rushing offense as they grind out 204.6 yards per contest. Minnesota stands 79th in the FBS in scoring with 26.4 points per contest and 13th in scoring defense by allowing an average of 18.7 points per game. Tanner Morgan has completed 130 of 221 passes for 1,736 yards with nine touchdowns and seven interceptions. He has 17 rushing yards and two scores on the ground this season. Trey Potts is second the team in rushing with 112 carries for 552 yards and six scores but is done for the season after sustaining an injury against Purdue that required hospitalization. That means Mohamed Ibrahim (30 carries, 163 yards, two TD), Ky Thomas (127 carries, 625 yards, four TD) and Mar’Keise Irving (102 carries, 531 yards, four TD) have to step up and contribute on the ground. Daniel Jackson is tied for third on the team with 20 receptions for 222 yards plus a score on the year. Brevyn Spann-Ford (20 grabs, 234 yards, TD), Dylan Wright (15 catches, 280 yards, two TD), Mike Brown-Stephens (21 catches, 379 yards, TD) and Chris Autman-Bell (team-high 33 grabs, 453 yards, five TD) are over the 200-yard mark in receiving yards. Matthew Trickett has hit 33 of 35 extra point attempts and 13 of 20 field goal attempts with a long of 50 on the year.

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Minnesota has flown under the radar to sit one game behind Iowa and Wisconsin for the Big Ten West lead and a win here would do wonders for them. With that said, they’ve had injury issues that cost them some key contributors and their passing game has struggled offensively. They face a Wisconsin team with a world of momentum as they have strung together seven straight wins after a 1-3 start to the season. The Badgers are a tough team on both sides of the ball as they are capable of beating you into submission on the ground and then suffocating you on the defensive side of the ball. That combination proves to be too much for Minnesota to handle as Wisconsin picks up an eighth straight triumph.

Prediction: Wisconsin Badgers -7

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Wisconsin enters this game having seen the over post a 6-5 mark on the season. With that said, the Badgers have gone over the number in three straight games and four of their last five entering this contest. Minnesota comes in having seen the over post a 6-5 record this season. The Golden Gophers have gone over the mark in two straight games and three of their previous four contests entering this game. We’ve seen the over hit in 16 of the last 21 meetings overall and seven of the last 10 meetings in Minnesota. Look for this one to wind up edging just over the total as the game ends up in the low to mid-40s at the final gun.

Prediction: Over 39.5
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Written By Chris King , "Chris King"

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.