Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard
Betting Commercial Content. 21+. Provided by Action Network, official betting partner of The Inquirer.

Wisconsin vs. Ohio State prediction: Back the Buckeyes in a rout

Can the Badgers keep this game within reach?

The Ohio State Buckeyes sing "Carmen Ohio" to the crowd after beating the Arkansas State Red Wolves at Ohio Stadium on September 10, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Gaelen Morse/Getty Images)
The Ohio State Buckeyes sing "Carmen Ohio" to the crowd after beating the Arkansas State Red Wolves at Ohio Stadium on September 10, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Gaelen Morse/Getty Images)Read moreGAELEN MORSE / Getty Images

We’ve got ourselves a Big Ten Football classic on Saturday night as No. 3 Ohio State hosts Wisconsin at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes are big favorites, sitting at -18.5 at FanDuel. The over/under is currently hanging on at 56.5 points.

After barely getting by Notre Dame in Week 1, Ohio State completely dominated two Group of 5 opponents in its last two games, beating Arkansas State, 45-12, and then walloping Toledo, 77-21. Expectations before the season around this Buckeyes offense were that it would be a generational unit. It may not have shown in Week 1, but it looks to be getting there now.

Can the Badgers slow them down enough to keep this game respectable?

Wisconsin vs. Ohio State prediction

Ohio State -18.5 (FanDuel)

Wisconsin vs. Ohio State analysis

Although it had plenty of turnover, Wisconsin came into the season with pretty high expectations. Not only were the Badgers ranked No. 18 in the preseason poll, but they were also the favorites to get out of the Big Ten West. A loss to Washington State has cooled the hype in Madison considerably, but the Badgers did register two lopsided wins on either side of that loss to Wazzu.

Even with those wins, concerns remain about Wisconsin’s offense. Despite an easy schedule, the Badgers rank 40th in rushing success rate, 43rd in line yards and 43rd in passing success rate. That won’t cut it against a Buckeyes defense that is fifth in rushing success rate, 11th in line yards and 20th in passing success rate. Of course, Ohio State hasn’t played any world-beating offenses, but this Wisconsin unit doesn’t seem destined to be one, either.

» READ MORE: Penn State national title odds improving after dominant win over Auburn, 3-0 start

With quarterback Graham Mertz coming off a pedestrian 2021 season, this Wisconsin offense will go as far as running back Braelon Allen can take them. Unfortunately, that won’t work against an Ohio State offense that ranks first in the nation in total yards, second in passing success rate and 10th in finishing drives. Ohio State will be able to score in bunches and that will put a lot of pressure on Mertz to keep pace. That isn’t the type of player he is, as he’s shown to be more of a game manager than a quarterback who is comfortable getting into shootouts.

If Allen and the offensive line can keep the Ohio State offense off the field, that’s a huge plus, but once this game gets off the Wisconsin script, the Badgers will be forced to play a style of game that doesn’t suit them.

This number has already moved from 17 points, but there’s still some value on Ohio State at -18.5, though it would be a pass if it got to 20.

» READ MORE: Kansas vs. Duke Prediction: Has the Jayhawk Love Gone Too Far?

Wisconsin vs. Ohio State odds

  1. Wisconsin: +18.5

  2. Ohio State: -18.5

  3. Over/Under: 56.5

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.