Don't Bet Against the Gophers on Saturday

22 Points. That's the anticipated margin of victory for Wisconsin as predicted by gambling experts this evening. That's a hefty spread. As discussed by Jeffrick yesterday, Brewster's Gophers have lost to Wisconsin the last three years by a combined 13 points.

I'm not saying that Minnesota should be favored to win this game. They shouldn't. But 22 points? Don't bet against the Gophers on that spread.

Michigan State was able to stuff the Wisconsin running game and slow down John Clay to just 80 yards rushing. If Cosgrove's defense can play at the same level as the Northwestern game, they can prevent Clay from running wild. Scott Tolzien is one of the more efficient quarterbacks in the Big Ten, but Wisconsin is a run-first-pass-second team. Slow the Badger run, and their offense won't be firing on all cylinders.

Minnesota's offense put up over 20 points against both USC and Northwestern, both quality opponents. If the Gopher offense performs in a similar fashion to those games, Wisconsin would have to score nearly 50 points to beat the 22 point spread. That's quite a few points for a run-first team that eats up the clock.

Now, I'm not going to predict that Minnesota will win this game. The odds, and history, are against them leaving Camp Randall victorious. Yet this isn't any game. This is the battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe. The Gophers should be fired up to face their border rival.

Historically, Kevin Cosgrove's defenses have had a difficult time defending teams with a spread offense. Wisconsin doesn't run a spread offense, and they usually don't try too many trick plays. They prefer smash-mouth, in-your-face physical football. Cosgrove's defenses usually hold up well against run-first teams. The Badgers will rack up some yards and tally some points, but I doubt the game will be a lopsided blowout.

If Minnesota is to score an upset this season, Wisconsin could be the victim. I'd still bet on Wisconsin to win the game, but only by about 12 points. If Wisconsin wins, I'll be very surprised if they cover that 22 point spread.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Daily Gopher

You must be a member of The Daily Gopher to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Daily Gopher. You should read them.

Join The Daily Gopher

You must be a member of The Daily Gopher to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Daily Gopher. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker