The spotlight shines on the Big Ten on Saturday as the 5-1 Indiana Hoosiers are in Madison for a battle with the 2-1 Badgers of Wisconsin inside Camp Randall Stadium as part of College Football's Week 14 slate. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. ET. In a series that dates back to 1907, the two schools will meet for the first time since 2017, with the Badgers riding a nine-game winning streak against the Hoosiers. IU's last win in Camp Randall came in 2001, which was the first of three straight Indiana victories in the series before the current nine-game skid.

Dream Season Over?

Indiana is one of the college football season's darling stories, entering this matchup with five wins out of six tries. Their only loss came to national power Ohio State when their nearly remarkable comeback bid came up just short two weeks ago. At the time, they were ranked in the top 10, but despite the setback to the Buckeyes, they were able to bounce back last week to take care of business against Maryland.

The Hoosiers still have plenty to play for while keeping an eye on the developments in Columbus. If Ohio State has another game canceled this season, they'll be ineligible for the conference championship, opening the door for Indiana to take their place in the Big Ten title game. Make it or not, they'll have to do so without Michael Penix, Jr. The Hoosiers' breakout QB tore his ACL against the Terps and will miss the remainder of the season. Utah transfer Jack Tuttle, who replaced Penix this past Saturday, will take over under center from here on out.

Badger Ball

With their loss to Northwestern two weeks ago, it was unlikely Wisconsin would advance to the Big Ten Championship. Last week's cancellation with Minnesota made it official. The Badgers are now ineligible to advance to the conference title game because they won't play the minimum of six conference games when all is said and done due to three of their games getting nixed. 

That cancellation ended the sport's longest uninterrupted series as the Badgers and Gophers had played for 113 consecutive years. As part of the fallout, cornerback Rachad Wildgoose is declaring for the NFL draft and isn't expected to play in the teams' remaining games this season.

Betting Line and Pick

Indiana has been the most profitable college football team to bettors this year, sitting at a perfect 6-0 ATS so far this year. A healthy Penix at quarterback, and this line is certainly in the single digits. But with Tuttle under center, Wisconsin is favored by two touchdowns, despite not being able to chase the Big Ten title carrot. 

The Badgers are the more talented team, but are they motivated? That is the X-factor. Indiana is certainly a bit deflated, losing their signal-caller for the year. Still, they have more to play for (especially if Ohio State faces another cancellation), and the disrespect of this line should provide even more motivation.

Pick: Indiana +14

Posted 
Dec 1, 2020
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