Ranked No. 3 in the AP Top 25 poll, the Ohio State Buckeyes are primed to make another run at the College Football Playoff. With little margin for error, the undefeated Buckeyes now turn their attention to Saturday against Wisconsin, another Big Ten title contender.
The Badgers (4-1 over the last five games) have been hot of late but are 14.5-point underdogs (-112) against the Buckeyes at home and +485 on the moneyline. Meanwhile, Ohio State is -14.5 (-108) on the spread and -625 to win outright. The projected total is 43.5 (-110 Over, -110 Under).
Can Wisconsin keep pace? Let’s dive into the Ohio State vs Wisconsin odds and break down the matchup in our college football game preview.
Location: Camp Randall Stadium; Madison, WI
Ohio State vs Wisconsin Betting Trends
The Ohio State Buckeyes are 4-0-1 against the spread in their last five games and 4-2-1 on the season. The Buckeyes are also 7-2 ATS in their last nine games against Wisconsin. The total has gone Under in six of Ohio State’s last seven games. Conversely, the Wisconsin Badgers are 3-4 ATS. The total has gone Under in eight of Wisconsin’s last 12 games dating to last year. That’s important to remember when assessing the Ohio State vs Wisconsin odds.
Bucking the Competition
The Ohio State Buckeyes bolstered their undefeated start Saturday, beating No. 7 Penn State 20-12 to move to 7-0, including 4-0 in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes, 4-point favorites, used an 18-yard touchdown grab from Marvin Harrison Jr. with 4:07 remaining to pull away for good. It was their third straight game covering the spread.
Undoubtedly, Ohio State remains on the short list of national championship contenders. Its fate will largely be shaped over the next month, with No. 2 Michigan sitting on the schedule to close the regular season. Michigan is currently a -110 favorite to win the Big Ten, though Ohio State is close behind at +160.
The Buckeyes are also +120 to return to the College Football Playoff and +700 to win the national championship, matching No. 4 Florida State for the third-best football odds.
Harrison Jr. — the son of NFL Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison — had his third straight 100-yard receiving day against Penn State, catching a season-high 11 passes for 162 yards. The junior now has the best Heisman Trophy odds of any non-quarterback (+2000) and is a surefire candidate to go in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.
The Buckeyes also loaded at other positions, including running back. TreyVeyon Henderson, the Buckeyes’ leading rusher per NCAAF stats, maybe on the cusp of returning after missing last week with an undisclosed injury. Henderson hasn’t played since Sept. 23, a 17-14 victory over Notre Dame. His presence would undoubtedly add another dimension to an already dynamic offense. Keep that in mind when analyzing the Ohio State vs Wisconsin odds.
Standing Strong Atop Division
The Wisconsin Badgers capped a wild comeback Saturday against Illinois, scoring 18 unanswered points in the fourth quarter for a 25-21 victory. Offensive lineman Nolan Rucci caught the game-winning 3-yard touchdown pass with 27 seconds remaining. In the process, the Badgers, a 4-point favorite, covered the spread for the first time in three games.
Wisconsin is now 5-2 and sitting atop the Big Ten West standings. In that sense, it has a direct path to the Big Ten Championship game, if not the CFP. Still, the Badgers clearly have their work cut out for them.
SMU transfer Tanner Mordecai remains out indefinitely after breaking his hand, meaning freshman Braedyn Locke is in line for another start at quarterback. Locke was impressive against Illinois, completing 21 of 41 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns.
At the very least, Wisconsin is poised to get to another bowl. The Badgers are now bowl-eligible for the 21st consecutive season. After Ohio State, it doesn’t play another winning team until Nov. 18 against Nebraska.
Much of the Badgers’ fortunes revolve around junior Braelon Allen, the Big Ten’s leading rusher. Allen ran for a season-high 145 yards against Illinois, his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season.
Handicapping Wisconsin vs Ohio State
Locke showed promise against Illinois, orchestrating a game-winning 14-play, 83-yard drive in his first collegiate start. But this week is an entirely different test. The Buckeyes are elite defensively, ranking third in FBS in points allowed (70) and fourth in average yards allowed (260.1). Their performance against Penn State star Drew Allar (18 of 42, 191 yards) was eye-opening.
While the Badgers fortunately have Allen to take some pressure off Mordecai, Ohio State still has enough playmakers on defense to slow them down.
That in itself makes it awfully difficult to fade the Buckeyes, even on the road.