Wisconsin is a surprising favorite against Maryland.
The Badgers and Terrapins play at noon EST in Madison this Saturday, and it’s another opportunity for interim head coach Jim Leonhard to notch another win.
However, Maryland isn’t a scrub team. The Terrapins are 6-2, and when Taulia Tagovailoa is healthy, he’s a hell of a QB.
That’s why I was stunned to see the Badgers as -5.5 favorites Monday morning on DraftKings. As someone who has watched every Wisconsin game, that spread seems way too big for the Badgers.
Is this spread bait for Wisconsin fans to get disappointed?
Since Jim Leonhard took over, he’s 2-1 with wins over Northwestern and Purdue and a loss to Michigan State.
Fans love him, and we’re certainly hoping he gets the job. However, has anything changed enough to justify being nearly a touchdown favorite against a good Maryland team?
The Badgers are playing at home, but we were also playing at home when Washington State and Illinois embarrassed the program.
Now, putting my pessimism aside, there’s certainly things to like about Wisconsin. Since Leonhard took over after Paul Chryst was fired, the offense averages 37 points a game and Graham Mertz has nine touchdowns to one interception.
There’s no question the offense has improved. However, two of those games – Northwestern and MSU – came against bad teams. It’s hard to really judge playing against bad opponents.
I might just be a pessimist, but I see no reason to take Wisconsin at -5.5 until we prove we’re capable of consistently beating good teams. As of right now, it seems way too dicey to grab.