Miami Hurricanes vs. Wisconsin Badgers
Date and Time: Thursday, December 27, 2018, 5:15 p.m. ET
Location: Yankee Stadium, New York, NY
Opening CFB Odds: Miami -3, 47
Miami vs. WisconsinTV Coverage: ESPN
The Badgers beat the Hurricanes by 10 in last season’s Orange Bowl, extending Wisconsin’s bowl winning streak to four. Can they make it five?
Miami is favored in this game, but the Badgers should have confidence given last year’s results. That’s good since Wisconsin struggled ATS this year at 3-9 and have gone just 3-4 in their last seven games SU.
The Badgers lost their last game heading into this bowl showdown by 22 to Minnesota 15-37. In that game, Alex Hornibrook threw three interceptions. It was his fourth straight game with at least two picks.
Wisconsin has struggled throwing the ball all year. They’re a run first offense ranked in the top-10 in rushing attacks with 268.4 rushing yards per game. Jonathan Taylor is a beast with 1,989 yards and 15 touchdowns while notching 7.1 yards per carry. In total, this is an above average offense. The defense is also solid overall, allowing just 24.2 PPG, five fewer than the team’s scored.
On the other side, the Hurricanes have seemingly bounced back nicely from a four-game losing streak earlier this year. Miami has since won back-to-back games, including a 24-3 win to wrap up the season.
This team is driven by the defense that ranks second in yardage allowed per game at just 268.1. The pass defense is best in the country.
On offense, Miami is efficient at least. They’re scoring 30.9 points per game. That’s a solid total, particularly compared to the 18.2 they’re allowing, but the team ranks No.92 in total yards and struggles to move the ball in the air.
Miami is a far cry from teams like Clemson, Alabama and Georgia, but the Hurricanes rank right up there with those three in defensive efficiency at 84.2, good enough to rank fourth in college football, just behind Clemson, Alabama and Michigan State. They’re also a spot ahead of the Bulldogs.
The Hurricane’s offensive efficiency is lacking, as is its special teams’ numbers. That leaves the team’s overall rank a lot less promising, still the defensive prowess of this team is important and should drive down the total in this game.
Wisconsin, by comparison, ranks No.47 in defensive efficiency and while the squad has proven itself better offensively, that mostly just boils down to Taylor running basically at will.
Matchup To Watch
Miami’s strength is its defense which can dominate the passing game and has done rather well against the run over the course of the season as well. With that in mind, the key matchup will be Taylor against the Hurricane’s rush defense.
Under center, Hornibrook isn’t all that reliable. He’s completing 60-percent of his passes but has a poor touchdown to interception ratio. He’s also only throwing for 1,532 yards to the 1,989 Taylor has rushed on his own. The Badgers’ ability to run the ball against the Miami front will be instrumental in their ability to repeat with another bowl win over the Hurricanes.
Taylor probably won’t average over seven yards a carry against Miami has he’s done on the year, but the sophomore back has been rather consistent over the year. He’s only failed to rush for at least 100 yards once and has eclipsed the 200 mark on four occasions, including a staggering 321 yard game. He’s also rushed for five touchdowns over the team’s last two games which is huge as the Hornibrook has struggled with the interceptions of late.
Bet the Pinstripe Bowl at BookMaker.eu
Look for a good, low scoring game with the under paying out on Thursday night and the Badgers covering the spread and likely extending their bowl game win streak.
Taylor will have a big game. He’s proven himself against all kinds of competition this year and while Hornibrook has issues with turnovers, he’s able to move the ball enough to keep the defense honest, even a good defense like Miami.
That said, the defense will play its role in keeping the score down and the game close. This game should go down to the wire and given that, take the points for a team more accustom to playing in the cold weather while these two battle it out in the cold of winter in New York City.
CFB ATS Betting Pick: Wisconsin +3 & Under 47.5 at BookMaker.eu
CFB Score Prediction: Wisconsin 23 – Miami 21
BookMaker offers play-by-play betting odds for live sporting events every day! The user-friendly wagering interface on your smartphone provides an easy way to place bets on the go. Mobile betting lines are updated by the minute, so click here to start gambling on thrilling live action at BookMaker Sportsbook!