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Indiana vs Wisconsin Betting Lines, Odds & Picks To Back

David Caraviello for Bookies.com

David Caraviello  | 5 mins

Indiana vs Wisconsin Betting Lines, Odds & Picks To Back

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What looked like a routine dash toward the end zone last week against Maryland took a terrible turn for Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. when he stepped awkwardly after being shoved out of bounds and went down in a heap. The result, confirmed Monday, was a torn ACL, which will sideline the Hoosiers star for the remainder of the college football season.

It’s a huge loss for No. 10 Indiana, given that Penix was the catalyst behind the Hoosiers’ rise. His value is evident in college football betting as well. Indiana is a two-touchdown underdog for Saturday’s contest at 18th-ranked Wisconsin. That’s the second-biggest spread the Hoosiers have faced this year; Indiana was a 21.5-point underdog at Ohio State and lost by seven.

Indiana covered in that game, just as it has done in every other contest this season. Can the Hoosiers keep it going without their starting quarterback? Let’s look at your best bets for this week’s biggest game.

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Best Indiana vs Wisconsin Betting Lines & Picks

Indiana +14.5
(William Hill)
Wisconsin ML
Total Over 48.5

College football odds current as of publication; compare the latest Indiana vs. Wisconsin odds here.

Indiana vs Wisconsin Spread Prediction

With Penix out, Indiana now turns to redshirt sophomore Jack Tuttle, a former top-10 high school quarterback and Utah transfer. Tuttle ably completed Indiana’s rout of Maryland last weekend (where the Hoosiers covered as 11.5-point favorites), but this weekend brings the Big Ten’s best defense in Wisconsin, which allows just 11.7 points per game.

Those numbers, though, are skewed because COVID-19 has shortened the Badgers’ schedule. Thus far they’ve played Illinois, Michigan and Northwestern, none of them offensive juggernauts. And while Penix will be missed, the Hoosiers still have offensive playmakers in tailback Stevie Scott, tight end Peyton Hendershot and receiver Ty Fryfogle. Combine that with an Indiana defense that's better than it gets credit for, and the two-TD spread in Madison seems too big. Back the Hoosiers to cover with William Hill.

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Indiana vs Wisconsin Moneyline Pick

And yet, Penix is simply irreplaceable for Indiana. That's not just because of his league-leading passing numbers, but because of the leadership and belief he brings to the huddle. It’s difficult to see Tuttle replicating all those intangibles in his first start.

The Badgers have suffered through one COVID-19 interruption after another, most recently last week, and in their most recent outing were outschemed by a good Northwestern defense in a 17-7 loss. But Wisconsin has played so few games, it’s really hard to identify any true trends.

This week, we’re leaning on what we know: That the Badgers defense is solid regardless of the schedule, that quarterback Graham Mertz is outstanding, that Wisconsin plays fundamentally sound football that makes it difficult to beat, and that this is a very good team hosting an opponent that’s suddenly without its best player. Back the Badgers to win at Caesars.

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Indiana vs Wisconsin Totals Betting

The Badgers and Hoosiers are both loaded with dynamic offensive playmakers and rank second and third respectively in the Big Ten in scoring. Wisconsin has gone over the total in two of its three games and Indiana has gone over in four of six. So why is this total so low? The loss of Penix factors in, to be certain, and oddsmakers are also likely swayed by Wisconsin’s poor offensive performance against Northwestern its last time out.

We’re chalking that up to the Badgers having a bad day against a bad matchup and we expect Indiana’s bevy of skill players to take some of the load off Tuttle. While the game may not be a high-scoring shootout, it’s also unlikely to turn into the slog this total suggests. Bet the Over with DraftKings.

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About the Author

David Caraviello for Bookies.com
David Caraviello
Veteran sports journalist David Caraviello has covered college football, college basketball, motorsports and golf, covering all three US golf majors, the Daytona 500 and SEC football.