Sharps Love Wisconsin to Cover vs Ohio State in Big Ten Title Game, But 90% of Handle is on the Buckeyes

Brutus Buckeye, mascot of the Ohio State Buckeyes
While sharps are backing Wisconsin, Ohio State is reportedly getting 90% of the betting handle in the Big 10 Championship game. Photo by Michelle Eberhart (Wikipedia) [CC License].
  • Ohio State is getting 90% of the handle against Wisconsin
  • Sharp money is on the Badgers, however
  • Read the preview below to see what team is the better Big 10 Championship game bet 

Ohio State (12-0, 9-0 Big 10) is looking to win a third straight conference championship when they face Wisconsin (10-2, 7-2 Big 10) in the Big 10 Title game on Saturday Dec. 7 (8pm EST).

The Buckeyes are being listed as 15.5-point favorites and appear like a great bet to cover after beating Wisconsin by 31 points earlier in the season.

Ohio State is reportedly seeing a very large amount of the betting handle and total bets at BookMaker.eu, but sharps are siding with the Badgers.

Why are professional bettors backing Wisconsin? Should you side with the public or the sharps in the Wisconsin vs Ohio State odds?

Wisconsin vs Ohio State Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Handle at BookMaker.eu
Ohio State (#1) -15.5 (-111) -675 90.0%
Wisconsin (#8) +15.5 (-109) +492 10.0%

Odds taken Dec. 6

Betting Breakdown

BookMaker.eu reports that Ohio State is receiving an overwhelming 90% of the handle and 80% of all bets at their sportsbook.

While the public is backing Ohio State, BookMaker.eu reports that 66% of sharp money is actually on the Badgers.

General bettors know that Ohio State has the most complete team in the country and beat Wisconsin convincingly earlier in the season, but pro bettors know of a few reasons why Wisconsin could cover the spread on Saturday

Ohio State Dominated Previous Meeting

It should come as no surprise that Ohio State is being backed heavily by bettors in the Big 10 Championship Game. The Buckeyes blew out the Badgers in their first meeting this season on Oct. 26.  J.K. Dobbins rushed for 163 yards and two touchdowns, while Chase Young racked up four sacks to lead the Buckeyes to a 38-7 victory.

Wisconsin was held to just 191 yards of total offense, while Ohio State QB Justin Fields went 12 for 22 for 167 yards and two touchdowns, despite being sacked five times.

Ohio State has been blowing out opponents all season long and their only close game was a 28-17 win over Penn State. Bettors are confident in the Buckeyes because they’ve proved they can score on this sixth-ranked Badgers defense, while Wisconsin has struggled against good defensive teams.

Jonathan Taylor Could be X-Factor

A big reason sharps are confident in Wisconsin is elite running back Jonathan Taylor. He was held to just 52 yards on 20 carries in the first meeting, which is a major reason why the Badgers weren’t able to generate much on offense.

When Taylor is at his best, the Badgers usually win. Taylor has rushed for over 130 yards 23 times in his college career, and Wisconsin has only lost two of those games.

If any team is capable of shutting down Taylor for another meeting, it’s the Buckeyes. Ohio State has a stingy rush defense that is allowing just 91 yards per game on the ground this season, so if the Badgers can find a way to get Taylor going, they have a realistic chance at pulling off the upset.

Justin Fields Injured

Another reason sharp money is coming in on the Badgers is due Fields re-aggravating an MCL injury last week against Michigan. He is vowing to play through the pain on Saturday.

“It hurts right now, of course,” Fields told the Saturday Tradition. “In my mind, I’m playing on Saturday, I don’t care how much it hurts.”

The dual-threat QB is a favorite in the Heisman odds, thanks to an incredible season in which he’s passed for 2,654 yards and 37 touchdowns with just one interception, while rushing for 470 yards and an additional 10 TDs.

Fields looked great playing through the injury against the Wolverines, and coach Ryan Day doesn’t think the injury is going to affect Fields much on Saturday.

Analysis

There are reasons for sharps to back the Badgers in the Big 10 Title game, but the Buckeyes were too dominant in the previous meeting to bet against them Saturday. They enter this game with the best defense in the nation, while Wisconsin has already been held to fewer than 25 points four times this season.

As much as Taylor can be a factor for Wisconsin, the Buckeyes have their own force on the ground in Dobbins, who outperformed Taylor back in October. There’s no reason to doubt his ability to do it again Saturday. He’s averaging more yards per carry (6.33) than Taylor and has exploded for 368 yards over the last two weeks against Penn State and Michigan.

Young is the best defensive player in the country and is once again going to attack a susceptible offensive line to create tons of chaos for QB Jack Coan. Fields is lethally accurate, proven he can perform through injury and the best QB playing Saturday.

Side with the public and bet the Buckeyes to cover.

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