Wisconsin (7-5) is the underdog against Miami (7-5) at Yankee Stadium on Thursday (December 27, 2018, 17:15ET).
The betting line was first offered at -4.0 points for the Hurricanes. They’ve gone 7-4 straight up as favorites this year, and 5-6-0 against the spread. The Badgers are 1-2 straight up as underdogs, and 1-2-0 against the spread.
Wisconsin had a disappointing season, finishing 7-5. The perennial Big 10 West champions finished just fourth in the division this year, and lost crucial games to Penn State, Northwestern, and Michigan.
Wisconsin QB Alex Hornibrook completed 59.5% of his passes this season for 1,532 yards and 13 touchdowns. Jonathan Taylor earned All-American honors as he gained 2,049 yards from scrimmage and rushed for 15 touchdowns, averaging an outstanding 7.1 yards per carry. The offensive line was once again commendable, with BEau Benzschawel and Michael Deiter also earning spots on All-America teams.
All together, Wisconsin gained 437.0 yards per game and scored 29.3 points per game. The defense allowed 358.8 yards and 24.3 points per game, while Andrew Van Ginkel led the squad with 5 sacks this season.
In Mark Richt’s third year as UM head coach, the Hurricanes failed to live up to their storied pedigree. The Canes also finished 7-5 and fourth in their division, behind Pitt, Georgia Tech, and Virginia.
The Hurricanes offense features QB N’Kosi Perry, who threw for 1,089 yards and 13 TD’s this season. Perry completed 51.6% of his passes, good for a passer rating of 118.5. Travis Homer ran for 1,989 yards and 4 touchdowns, averaging a strong 6.3 yards per carry.
The defense was the highlight of this team. Manny Diaz built a fun, destructive defense around wildly talented players and made every team in the country start using a Turnover Truncheon or whatever. The Hurricanes allowed a stifling 268.1 yards and 18.2 points per game. Joe Jackson recorded 9 sacks this season. If Diaz leaves for Temple, or some other head coaching job, the program will be in a very tough position.
Since both teams love to play defense and struggle to generate big plays on offense, it might make sense to take the points and hope for a tight game. You could also play the under, since 48.0 points seems unlikely to happen with these two teams.