It’s hard to determine which team was the bigger disappointment in 2018. Both the Wisconsin Badgers and Miami Hurricanes were thinking CFP last year before eventually falling short and squaring off in the Orange Bowl. And this was the year for redemption. Bucky was widely considered the favorite in the lesser Big Ten West and a showdown in the conference title game was circled on the calendar at the start of the season. The Canes were ready to give Clemson a go in the ACC. We saw how that turned out and the rematch will take place on Thursday in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.
BookMaker has the best line for bettors and is the only place to wager on all college football bowl games. The New Era Pinstripe Bowl will take place on Thursday, December 27, 2018 at 5:15 p.m. ET at Yankee Stadium in New York.
NCAA Football Betting at BookMaker.eu
Miami Hurricanes -3.5
Wisconsin Badgers +3.5
Winning seven games and reaching a bowl isn’t so bad. But for these programs, with so much expected entering the year, the season has to feel like a disappointment. So it makes us wonder just how motivated they are going to be when meeting in a bowl game for the second straight year.
The Canes were cruising along with five straight wins after an opening loss to LSU then the roof caved in. A four-game stretch doomed them with losses to Virginia, BC, Duke and Georgia Tech where the offense sputtered. The Canes lost them all scoring a total of 60 points cashing the under in each.
Losing at home to BYU in the third game of the year was a glimpse of things to come for the Badgers. They alternated wins and losses over the last eight games and were one of the worst teams at the betting window with a record of 3-9 against the spread.
Player to Watch
With Alex Hornibrook dealing with concussion-like symptoms, Paul Chryst made the announcement that sophomore Jack Coan will start on Thursday. Coan will be making his fourth start and appearing in his fifth game this season. He started for the first time in a showdown with Northwestern on Oct. 27 completing 20 of 31 for 158 yards with a touchdown. The Badgers lost the game 31-17 and they are 1-2 in his starts. For the year Coan has completed 61 percent of his throws for 442 yards with four TDs and two interceptions.
The Canes are stoked about the news since Hornibrook tossed four touchdown passes and threw for 258 yards in Bucky’s 34-24 win in last season’s Orange Bowl. And the Canes’ top ranked pass defense will certainly make things difficult for Coan. Miami allowed just 140.8 yards per game through the air this season.
Matchup to Watch
With Miami boasting the top-ranked pass defense and the second-best defense overall, we can expect to see plenty of Jonathan Taylor to take the pressure off Coan. The Badgers’ down year cost Taylor some respect in the Heisman race, but he’s having another fantastic season and needs just 11 rushing yards to reach 2,000. We saw Wisconsin’s O-line wear down the Canes last year and Taylor raced for 130. The Badgers have plenty of NFL talent up front to open holes and Taylor will take advantage. Coan needs to hit a few passes early to soften up the Canes and it’s not like he’s seeing action for the first time. Coan has some experience and got meaningful snaps down the stretch that will make him more confident and comfortable in this matchup.
Live Betting Preview
The Badgers run the football because they have one of the best backs. The Canes run it because their quarterback situation is all screwed up. Travis Homer isn’t a bad option for the Canes, but N’Kosi Perry never got in a rhythm after taking over for Malik Rosier and the offense suffered. The Canes are also entering a different environment with cold temperatures and rain expected. They don’t typically play in those conditions and it makes us wonder how they are going to handle the elements.
Because both teams are better running the football and the weather will play a role, there will be plenty of rush attempts. Bucky has done this all season and the offensive front will again wear out Miami’s defense, especially in the second half when the game is decided in favor of Wisconsin.
NCAA Football Odds: Wisconsin 24, Miami 19
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