Jan 1, 2024 Reliaquest Bowl – LSU vs Wisconsin

Jan 1, 2024 Reliaquest Bowl – LSU vs Wisconsin

posted December 31

The Game

If you didn’t have enough RELIAQUEST as part of your life in 2023 then you’ll be glad to know that you can start the new year off with some SWEET RELIAQUESTING ACTION as LSU battles Wisconsin down in Tampa. The Tigers (9-3) dropped their opener to Florida St and fell to OIe Miss in one of the crazier games of the season (L 55-49) which meant that their hopes for a CFP berth were TOAST by the end of September. LSU was still in the thick of SEC West race later in the year but they couldn’t get past ROLL TIDE (L 42-28). Year one of the Luke Fickell regime in Madison didn’t go very smoothly (7-5) but they managed to end the regular season on a good note winning their final two contests (Corn, Gophers).

The Details

LSU -8.5 Wisconsin (57)


“Vegas” Implied Projected Score: LSU 32.75 Wisconsin 24.25

LSU offense vs Wisconsin defense

The Tigers moved like a TREMENDOUS MACHINE (#1`FBS scoring offense, #1 total offense) behind the outstanding play of Heisman Trophy winning QB Jayden Daniels but they’ll roll in this one with backup Garrett Nussmeier. He’s one of the most talented backup QBs in the country but he’s certainly not in the same universe as the great Jayden Daniels, particularly with his legs. The good news is that, as far as we know at press time, the Tigers will have both of their 1,000-yard future NFL WRs playing in this game (Nabers, Thomas) as well as #1 RB Logan Diggs, to go along with an excellent offensive line. The Badgers were decent on defense during the regular season (#28 total defense, #17 scoring defense) but they played a collection of TRASH BIN OFFENSES in the Big Ten and this is a yuuuge step up in class for their stop unit. The Badgers will be missing a few starters for this one and that won’t help.

Wisconsin offense vs LSU defense

The Badgers have been MEH on offense this year (#57 rush, #88 pass) and things don’t look promising in this game even tho they’re facing one of the worst stop units in the country (#101 total defense). Wisconsin QB Tanner Mordecai has a putrid 6-4 TD to INT mark and BUCKY will be without their top-two (!) RBs as well as their starting center. They lost some depth pieces at WR and that’s not good when you’re facing LSU because their soft spot is definitely on the back end. There’s no doubt that the offense will have success at times but it’ll be tough to score enough to stay within striking range. More potential bad news for Wisconsin is that they like to play at an above-average pace (why wouldn’t you when your offense stinks?) which means that BOTH teams will have plenty of possessions in this game.

Trends, Intangibles and More!

The weather looks perfect in Tampa for this BAD BOY so we don’t have to worry about insane Florida rain and wind…..LSU HC Brian Kelly is 8-6 SU in bowl games and recall that he was happy to take Purdue BEHIND THE WOODSHED in last year’s Citrus Bowl (W 63-7)…..Wisconsin HC Luke Fickell was 3-3 in bowl games whilst at Cincinnati……LSU was saddled with the #33 schedule per the Sagarin ratings…..The Badgers navigated the #66 docket.


The line has dropped a bit in the last 24 hours, probably because some greasy gambling mobsters had someone hiding under the salad bar in the LSU mess hall and found out that someone important is skipping the game. LSU should still be able to win this contest by double digits given their offensive prowess and the fact that Wisconsin (who isn’t good at full strength) is playing short-handed.


Lean – LSU -8.5

‘Official play’ implies this pick is one of our favorites of the week (perceived value, match-up, coaching, trends, etc.). We’re currently playing these picks for the same amount as the leans but it’s up to you how you want to manage your bankroll. Please see the Week in Review posts for more detail.

‘Lean’ implies we are placing a wager on the game.

‘No leanage’ implies we won’t have any action on the game.

Team totalsWe list the implied number based on the point spread and total when our analysis is posted. If a team total ends up being an official play we will post a widely available number at the time of pick release.