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Penn State @ Wisconsin Predictions: PSU on the Moneyline tempts

Camp Randall is set for a big start to the season
Camp Randall is set for a big start to the season
By Neil Monnery

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FOx's Big Noon Kickoff will come from Madison, Wisconsin as two ranked teams open BigTen facing one another. Neil Monnery sees it as a tight encounter...

The schedule makers at the BigTen have certainly decided to kick this season off with a bang for two of its premier programs as Penn State travel to Madison to take on Wisconsin.

For the home side, they’ll be looking at QB Graham Mertz and hoping he starts his 2021 season similarly to how he did the 2020 campaign. He went 20 of 21 that day to break the school completion percentage record - recording a 95.2% completion rate. Five of those 20 completions led to scores as they defeated Illinois 45-7. The next day he would test positive for Covid and he threw only three more Touchdowns in the season.

For the visitors, all eyes will be on their QB as Sean Clifford takes to the field under the tutelage of his third OC in three seasons. Mike Yurcich has come in from Texas with a very strong resume but putting in a new offense is not an easy task.

The Nittany Lions do have a strong running attack that could control the time of possession. This could be key as traditionally the Badgers go into pretty much every game with the best stable of running backs but they have question marks in that position heading into this one.

Both defenses are expected to be among the best in the BigTen although whether Penn State have the personnel to regularly get into the opposition backfield is very much in doubt. Their two-deep at DE are all unavailable for a variety of reasons including turning pro, transfer and injury.

Spread:

Surprisingly for me the line has moved towards Wisconsin in the past few days. It was at 3 but is at the time of writing is Wisconsin-5.5. I think this is a toss-up game as if Mertz isn’t up to the level he was in the opening game last season, the Badgers could love this game. I’ll take Penn State with the points.

Straight-up/Moneyline:

Wisconsin-220 or Penn State+190 is not much of a decision for me. This is a 50-50 game so take the positive odds.

Over/Under Points Totals:

The o/u line is set at 50 and with both defenses expected to be pretty decent and the running game potentially dominating, take the under.

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