Most of the time gambling is nothing more than a coin flip you probably can’t afford to lose. But sometimes Vegas and an overzealous fan base moves a line to the point of gift status for the objective bettor.
In week one, we have a prime example.
LSU @ Wisconsin
Line: LSU minus 9
At the risk of DeVry firing me for my repeated critique of his alma mater, this one is too much of a lock not to gamble. The Badgers, in the midst of an ongoing quarterback competition featuring worse choices than Hillary and Trump, debut a new starting QB against what should be one of the most feared defensive units in the nation.
LSU returns more multi-year defensive starters than any other SEC Team to a unit that ranked as one of the best overall pass defenses of 2015. Add to that the addition of a formerly suspended highly-regarded defensive lineman, in a move that would make even Hugh Freeze proud after the Tigers suffered two camp injuries, and three consecutive top 8 recruiting classes reeled in by Les Miles, and the Tigers should have a wealth of defensive talent unmatched by any team not named Ohio State or Michigan on Wisconsin’s schedule.
If that wasn’t bad enough for the Badgers, new LSU Defensive Coordinator Dave Aranda coached with Paul Chryst and the Badgers until accepting a more than doubled salary to join coach Miles in Baton Rouge this offseason. Aranda was considered one of the best hires of the year, a rising star with an unparalleled knowledge of Wisconsin’s defensive system. For a reason that cannot be explained rationally, Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez declined to match the LSU offer, allowing his best young coach to leave for a soon-to-be opponent.
Yes, I realize the Badgers have a healthy (hopefully) Corey Clement returning, but aside from that, this is not only the most inexperienced Wisconsin team of the past decade, but perhaps the least talented. Wisconsin not only lost their starting quarterback, but all of 2015’s captains and their two leading receivers and tacklers, all while recruiting at a less heralded clip than during the Bielema era. This is not a recipe for success.
The Tigers do have the burden of traveling to Lambeau to face the Badgers in the home of the Packers, but with advantages at essentially every position, including Wisconsin’s best player Clement paling in comparison to possible first round pick Leonard Fournette, the addition of Dave Aranda, Wisconsin breaking in a new QB against a vicious front seven, and a new defensive coordinator vs. perhaps the best offense they’ll face all year, this looks to be an absolute country ass whooping.
A nine point line? Are you fucking kidding me? I would have bet this shit at -20, maybe higher. Start the season off right and earn a few weeks of beer money; you can buy books with the money your parents gave you later. It’s called syllabus week for a reason.
Pick: LSU 38, Wisconsin 10..
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