Rose Bowl Odds
The No. 6 Stanford Cardinal (11-2, 8-1 Pac-12) square off against the Wisconsin Badgers (8-5, 4-4 Big Ten) in the 2013 Rose Bowl presented by Vizio. This game kicks off at 5:00 EST on Tuesday, January 1st and will be nationally televised on ESPN. Taking a look at the odds in Las Vegas for the bowl games, I find a line of Stanford -6.5 over Wisconsin and a total set of 47.5 points.
Why Stanford Covers
The Cardinal are playing their best football of the season heading into this Rose Bowl. They have won seven straight games, which includes road victories over Oregon, UCLA and California in the process. They also beat Oregon State during this stretch, while topping UCLA again in the Pac-12 Championship.
Wisconsin really shouldn’t even be in the Rose Bowl. It finished third in its own division in the Big Ten, but it was gift-wrapped this opportunity when both Ohio State and Penn State were ruled ineligible for the postseason. This is a team that has lost five games on the season.
The Badgers will be dealing with a ton of distractions leading up to the Rose Bowl. That’s because head coach Bret Bielema decided to take the vacant Arkansas job, leaving former Wisconsin head coach Barry Alvarez to take over the team for this one game. Meanwhile, the Cardinal wont’ have any distractions under the guidance of underrated head coach David Shaw.
Stanford is 10-1 against the spread in its last 11 non-conference games. The Cardinal are 38-17-1 against the spread in their last 56 games overall. The Badgers are 0-5 against the spread in their last 5 non-conference games. Wisconsin is 0-6 against the spread in its last 6 games after scoring more than 40 points in its previous game.
Why Wisconsin Covers
The Badgers will at least have a familiar face guiding the program in Alvarez. With his credentials, he certainly commands respect. He’s the reason Wisconsin has become a Big Ten contender over the past couple decades, and Bielema owes his coaching career to Alvarez. These players won’t have a problem playing for this proven winner.
Wisconsin is going to be highly motivated because of all the negativity throughout the media it will have received leading up to the Rose Bowl. It will be hearing about how it doesn’t even belong in this game because Ohio State and Penn State are ineligible. Plus, it wants to make up for two straight heartbreaking Rose Bowl losses over the past two years, which only adds more fuel to the fire.
A closer look at the Badgers’ schedule this season shows that this is much better than an 8-5 team. Their five losses have all come by 7 points or less, including four by exactly 3 points. That 7-point loss came in overtime to Ohio State, which went 12-0 this season.
They have simply been on the wrong end of all the breaks this year. However, Wisconsin is coming off its most dominant performance of the season in a 70-31 victory over Nebraska in the Big Ten Championship. It racked up 640 total yards against the Cornhuskers, and it comes into the Rose Bowl with a ton of momentum after such a strong showing. That, coupled with the motivational factors, gives the Badgers a great chance of staying within a touchdown of Stanford.
I have selected Wisconsin to win this game. Take a look at my college bowl predictions to find all of my selections. Also, be sure to check out who Brandon Lee and Jimmy Boyd have picked in the Rose Bowl.