No. 2 Ohio State (12-0) meets No. 10 Wisconsin (10-2) in the Big Ten championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday. The game will be televised at 8 p.m. on Fox.
The Buckeyes lead the FBS in scoring (49.9) and rank fourth in the nation in scoring defense (11.8). First-year coach Ryan Day is 15-0 dating back to last season, and the star-studded trio of Chase Young, Justin Fields and J.K. Dobbins are jockeying for Heisman Trophy votes. Ohio State is trying to win a third straight Big Ten championship.
The Badgers are making their sixth trip to the Big Ten championship game, but they have lost their last three appearances there. Ohio State won the regular-season meeting 38-7, so Paul Chryst will have to find a game plan that features more than just Jonathan Taylor, who is second in the FBS with 1,761 rushing yards.
The Buckeyes and Badgers have a lot on the line here. Here’s everything to know about betting on Ohio State vs. Wisconsin, including updated odds, trends and our expert’s prediction for the 2019 Big Ten championship game.
Ohio State vs. Wisconsin odds for Big Ten championship game
- Spread: Ohio State -16
- Point total: 56.5
- Moneyline: Ohio State -110, Wisconsin -110
Ohio State is a 16-point favorite, according to odds at Sports Insider.
Ohio State vs. Wisconsin all-time series
Ohio State leads the all-time series 60-18-5. The Buckeyes have won the last seven meetings, and that includes the Big Ten championship games in 2014 and 2017. The Badgers’ last victory in the series was a 31-18 upset in 2010.
Three trends to know
— Ohio State was 9-3 against the spread this season as a favorite in every game. The Buckeyes are 5-0 against the spread when the spread is fewer than 20 points.
— The Badgers are 7-5 against the spread as an underdog since Chryst took over as head coach in 2015. Wisconsin is 3-4 against the spread on neutral sites.
— Ohio State has outscored Big Ten opponents 436-116 this season, an average margin of victory of 35.6 points per game.
Three things to watch
Badgers’ answer for Chase Young
Young, who leads the FBS with 16.5 sacks, had four of those in the first matchup against Wisconsin. It altered the Badgers’ game plan, and Jack Coan hit just 10 of 17 passes for 108 yards as a result. Wisconsin won’t have to deal with the elements in Lucas Oil, but look for Chryst to borrow some of the schemes Michigan threw at Young last week with chips and double teams. That might give Coan more time to make plays down field, which the Badgers are going to need to keep pace.
Can Jonathan Taylor get going?
Taylor had 20 carries for 52 yards in the first meeting this season, his lowest output with at least 20 carries in a single game. Look for Coan to try a few screens, but Taylor simply needs to be better. The Badgers are 16-1 when Taylor rushes for 150 yards or more, and it’s going to take that kind of effort with 20-plus carries to give Wisconsin a chance. Taylor has 35 caries for 93 yards in two meetings against Ohio State.
Justin Fields going long
Fields has 37 touchdowns and one interception this season, a remarkable year for the Georgia transfer that continued with four touchdown passes against Michigan. Fields had 167 passing yards and two touchdowns in the first meeting with Wisconsin, but it was a 27-yard touchdown pass to Chris Olave late in the first half that got him going. The Badgers need to force a few turnovers, but Fields has not made too many mistakes.
Stat that matters
In the last two Big Ten championship meetings between these teams, Wisconsin has been limited to 69 carries for 131 yards: an average of 1.9 yards per carry. Ohio State has 80 carries for 539 yards in those two games: an average of 6.7 yards per carry.
Ohio State vs. Wisconsin prediction
If these teams’ respective rushing totals keep in line with previous meetings, then this game won’t take long. The Buckeyes will roll to a third straight Big Ten crown with ease and earn a potential No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff. The Badgers will add a few wrinkles that might keep it close early, but Fields will break the game open after Dobbins — who had 20 carries for 163 yards and two scores in the first meeting — loosens up the defense. Ohio State pours it on in the second half.
Ohio State 40, Wisconsin 21