Wisconsin has one of the most experienced rosters in the country, and the Badgers are regarded by some observers as a viable contender for the national title. They start their season Friday at 9 p.m. ET by hosting Conference USA stalwart Western Kentucky. The Badgers are 37-point favorites, up from an open of 34, and the over-under for total points scored is 52, up one from where it opened. Before locking in your Wisconsin vs. Western Kentucky picks, listen to what SportsLine Expert Emory Hunt has to say.
Hunt is the founder and CEO of Football Gameplan, which has been supplying analysis of all levels of football since 2007. The former college football running back joined SportsLine in 2016 and has provided his followers with winning seasons in college and pro football. What's more, Hunt is looking to build on his incredible success involving these clubs. He is a perfect 7-0 when selecting games involving either Wisconsin or Western Kentucky, so you'll definitely want to see his picks before making yours.
Hunt knows the Badgers return 10 starters on offense, led by a seasoned offensive line that will anchor their signature physical style. Running back Jonathan Taylor came up 23 yards shy of 2,000 in his freshman season and is among the favorites for the Heisman Trophy. Quarterback Alex Hornibrook improved as the season wore on and finished with 2,644 yards and 25 touchdowns.
Wisconsin has several key playmakers to replace on a sterling defense that ranked first in the Big 10 and third in the country, allowing 13.9 points per game. Senior linebackers T.J Edwards and Ryan Connelly provide experience in the middle.
Just because the Badgers have a potent offense and top-tier defense doesn't mean they'll cover a five-touchdown-plus spread. Western Kentucky reached a bowl last season and historically is in the mix for the Conference USA title.
This could be a rebuilding year of sorts for the Hilltoppers, who lost several key contributors to graduation. Chief among them was record-setting quarterback Mike White, who is now competing for a roster spot on the Dallas Cowboys.
But Western Kentucky returns the bulk of what should be an improved offensive line and seven starters on defense. The secondary should be a strength, led by seniors Drell Greene and DeAndre Farris.
We can tell you Hunt is leaning Over, but he knows a key x-factor will decide the spread outcome, and he's only sharing it at SportsLine.
Who covers Western Kentucky Wisconsin? And what x-factor determines the spread? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you should jump on Friday from a seasoned expert who is 7-0 in games involving these teams.