Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:45 AM EST odds are subject to change.
Minnesota @ Wisconsin -3½ +100
Camp Randall Stadium - Madison, WI
3:30 PM EST. You didn’t think we’d pass up this opportunity to fade “Row the Boat” and his band of merry Gophers one more time did you? Truth be told this play has little to do with PJ Fleck, or the Badgers for that matter, as this is a straight up play on this price. However, we will point out that Fleck is not the genius he thinks he is, as he’s just treading water in Minnesota. The Gophers have not been able to find any consistency, especially on offense under Fleck. Last week, in his third start against Iowa, quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis was just 7-of-15 for 87 yards and threw the interception that cost his team the game. This is a tough spot to try and rebound.
PJ Fleck will give a rousing pregame speech filled with catch phrases. A video recording of the speech will leak at some point, and will show that he uses the phrase “Row the Boat” a total of 42 times in 9 minutes and “Ski-U-Mah” 17 times. At no point does he talk about football
The Badgers have not covered in two weeks, including last Saturday at Nebraska as a 10-point favorite. That 15-14 final does not show just how the Badgers dominated that game, but they did. Wisconsin had 21 first downs to Nebraska’s 12, it dominated the time of possession by nearly 14 minutes and the Badgers outgained the Cornhuskers by 147 yards. All that said, Whisky was down 14-3 going to the fourth quarter and it was never going to cover that number. What is the appetite going to be to lay points with the Badgers today as they battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe?
Barely qualifying for a bowl game is way below the Badgers’ standards, but it must be noted that interim head coach Jim Leonhard deserves a boatload of credit for turning the ship around after Paul Chryst was fired. It would have been easy for Wisconsin to roll over and die after that poor start, but it didn’t. The Badgers showed their character in the face of that adversity. That’s the kind of team we like to back when spotting a number.
When the oddsmakers throw up the “hook” on a “key number” like 3, 7, 10, or 17, they are enticing the market to bet on the underdog. There is a perception in the market that you are getting an “edge” when you take back a price that crosses those key numbers, but that could not be further from the truth.
Back to that freak P.J. Fleck for a moment. Nobody likes you, not even your wife. PJ Fleck is a modern retelling of the snake oil salesmen of the 1800s. In front of a bunch of drunk, cheese obsessed fans, we envision PJ Fleck’s Minnesota tenure coming to an end. A hysteric Fleck has to be taken off the field by security after the game, as he has chained himself to the goalpost after the AD told him earlier that week he would be fired the minute he was off the field following the game. Players cannot wait to get away from this arrogant prick and we highly doubt they are going to show up one last time.
Wisconsin -3½ +100 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.00)