Ohio State Favored by 16 vs Wisconsin in 2019 Big Ten Title Game: Picks and Odds

NCAA sack leader Chase Young
To capture the Big Ten Championship the Ohio State Buckeyes will need to beat the Wisconsin Badgers for the second time this season. Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire.
  • Wisconsin (10-2) face Ohio State (12-) for the Big Ten Championship Saturday in Indianapolis
  • The Buckeyes beat the Badgers 38-7 when the two teams faced off earlier this season
  • Ohio State RB J.K. Dobbins outgained Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor 221-57 in that game and has emerged as a Heisman Trophy candidate late in the season

We meet again – this time for the Big Ten Championship.

On Saturday (Dec. 7th, 8:00 PM ET) in Indianapolis, the #1-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (12-0, 9-0 Big Ten) will face off against the #12 Wisconsin Badgers (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten) for the second time this season, this time for the conference championship.

The unbeaten Buckeyes opened as 17-point favorites with the game total at 55, but the Ohio State vs Wisconsin point spread has already moved a point in the Badgers’ favor.

Wisconsin vs Ohio State Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
#12 Wisconsin +16.0 (-105) +450 O 55 (-115)
#1 Ohio State -16.0 (-115) -700 U 55 (-105)

Odds taken Dec. 2nd.

The first meeting between the two teams didn’t go well for the Badgers. Ohio State won 38-7, covering the 14.5 point spread with relative ease.

Will the rematch be any different? For my money, I like Ohio State to win big again for a couple of key reasons.

Dobbins vs. Taylor Matchup Is One to Watch

In most games this season, Wisconsin has one major advantage in RB Jonathan Taylor, but Ohio State has their own weapon running the ball in J.K. Dobbins. In the first match up this year, Dobbins lapped Taylor in production, tallying 163 yards on the ground, 58 more through the air, and two touchdowns. Taylor had the same number of carries, but only managed to gain 52 yards and never found the endzone.

Dobbins had more yards on his own than the entire Wisconsin offense and, while he may not be able to match that production this time around, he is a major home run threat. Taylor ranks 2nd in the country in rushing and Dobbins is 4th. At best, this matchup is a tie for Wisconsin, which is a major problem considering it’s the spot they hold an advantage over so many of their other opponents.

Healthy Fields Will Again Give Badgers Trouble

Justin Fields had two passing touchdowns and one rushing against Wisconsin, adding to his totals that have him in the thick of the Heisman Trophy race. Fields has now accounted for 47 touchdowns and only one interception. That is a level of production nobody could have predicted in his first season as a starting quarterback.

Ohio State was reasonably concerned when he left last Saturday’s win against Michigan with a knee injury, but he returned to the game and continued to rack up the points against an overmatched Wolverines team. Fields finished the day with 327 total yards and four passing touchdowns. The Buckeyes have been held under 34 points only once this season and I expect Fields, Dobbins and company to rack up the offense in the Big Ten finale as well.

Trust History and Bet on the Buckeyes

The last meeting was a 31-point win for Ohio State, as mentioned. The last time these two met in the Big Ten title game it was much, much uglier. The Buckeyes entered as 4.5-point underdogs and won the game 59-0 en route to a national championship.

There’s a reason you see Ohio State listed where they are in the 2020 National Championship odds. They are a dominant program and the line for this game is only 1.5-points higher than the first meeting. Are you willing to trust Wisconsin will be infinitely more competitive than they were last time out? I’m not.

PICK: Ohio State -16 (-115)

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