Bowl eligibility is on the line for both teams tonight when the Nebraska Cornhuskers travel to Madison for a Big Ten matchup with the Wisconsin Badgers.
A victory by either team sends the winner to a postseason bowl appearance, and the college football odds seem to point to a competitive, low-scoring contest.
Join me as I break it all down and give my best free college football picks for Nebraska vs. Wisconsin on November 18.
Nebraska vs Wisconsin best odds
Nebraska vs Wisconsin picks and predictions
Saturday will be an interesting matchup, and with the winner becoming bowl-eligible, it will be a tough physical contest between two stout defenses facing two struggling offenses. The Nebraska Cornhuskers may not know who their quarterback will be on Saturday, but they do know their defense will show up because it has all season long. The Cornhuskers have limited their conference competition to 20 points or fewer five times this season.
As impressive as that is, there are some additional things about the Nebraska defense. The Cornhuskers’ rushing defense hasn’t allowed a touchdown in five consecutive games and has yielded only six rushing touchdowns this season on the fourth fewest total rushing yards surrendered per contest nationally.
That doesn’t bode well for Wisconsin Badgers RB Braelon Allen at all. Allen boasts the second-most career rushing yards among active FBS running backs. Slowing down Allen is the key to slowing down the Wisconsin offense because the new air-raid offense the Badgers installed this past offseason tends to be more “air” and miscues than “raid” and scoring strikes.
Wisconsin also has a pretty good defense. Safety Hunter Wohler is second in the Big Ten in tackles, but his 61 solo tackles are the most by any player. This group is 25th nationally in scoring with the 44th-best rushing defense alongside a passing defense, allowing a robust 207 yards per game with nine passing TDs at home.
As heady as those numbers are, the Badgers have given up 84 second-half points this entire season and haven’t allowed a second-half touchdown in their previous two contests.
Nebraska will want to rush the football. Quarterback Heinrich Haarberg is the team's leading rusher but left last week with an ankle injury, and his status is unclear. RB Anthony Grant is the second-leading rusher for an offense with eight rushing plays of 30+ yards. They don’t throw the ball much and look to grind the clock and rely on defense.
Finally, I believe Saturday’s contest will be a defensive war between two of the better defenses in the Big Ten. While each offense has one or two special players, both groups rely heavily on the rush, and that will cause two things to happen–the clock will grind on, the scoring will be at a premium, and the game will end Under 37 total points.
My best bet: Under 37 points (-110 at DraftKings)
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.
Not intended for use in MA.
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Nebraska vs Wisconsin same-game parlay
This Same-Game Parlay card pays $395 on a $100 wager, and I like this ticket and how it all fits in nicely with the Under 37 best bet.
Nebraska is going to rush the football. It’s what they do, and they’ve done relatively well, but with their QB and leading ground gainer nursing a bum ankle, moving the ball will be hard for them against an above-average Badgers rushing defense, allowing 135 rushing yards per game.
It will be sunny in Madison, but the winds are expected to blow, hurting Wisconsin QB Tanner Mordecai and the Badgers' “Air-Raid” offense. That will force them to rush the football right into the heart of the Cornhuskers' defense, and that will absolutely keep their team total Under 17.5.
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Nebraska vs Wisconsin spread and Over/Under analysis
DraftKings opened this game with Wisconsin -205 on the moneyline, and that number hasn’t budged. Superbook offers Wisconsin -190 if that is more to your liking. Conversely, DraftKings has the best number for Nebraska (+180). DraftKings opened Wisconsin at -4.5 (-110), and that number has shifted to -5 (-110). That half-point jump never budged the ML or the vig, and that’s interesting. The vig usually moves in favor of the bettor with a spread change, but it didn’t at DraftKings.
DraftKings opened the total at 37 (-110) and hasn’t moved at all. FanDuel offers the Over 36.5 (-110,) and that’s the best number at the present time for Over bettors. The Under 36.5 is also available at FanDuel at -105, but we prefer the 37 points. I’m leaning toward a possible Nebraska upset. Their defense allowing 20 or fewer in five Big Ten games is interesting as is their rushing defense being able to stymie the Badgers rushing offense. Nebraska doesn’t rely on the passing game at all, and with the wind blowing 15 mph or more, the Cornhuskers offense has a slight edge.
Nebraska vs Wisconsin betting trend to know
Under is 5-0 in the Badgers' last five home games and the Under is 4-0 in the Badgers' last four games as a home favorite. Find more college football betting trends for Nebraska vs Wisconsin.
Nebraska vs Wisconsin game info
|Location:||Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI|
|Date:||Saturday, November 18, 2023|
|Kickoff:||7:30 p.m. ET|
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