Wisconsin Badgers 2022 College Football Preview
July 30, 2022
Record – 9-4
ATS – 7-6
The Badgers got beat up early with a tough schedule dropping games to Penn St, Notre Dame, and Michigan. They turned things around after that 1-3 start and rattled off seven wins in a row. All they needed to do for a berth in the Big Ten Championship was take down Minnesota but they couldn’t GIT ER DONE (L 23-13). If you didn’t enjoy watching Iowa crap down their leg vs Michigan in the title game you can thank the Badgers.
Wisconsin Badgers 2022 Outlook
The Wisconsin offense was what you thought it would be LY, just with extra-crappy QB play. They finished #21 in the FBS in rushing offense thanks to the eventual emergence of RB Braelon Allen (1,268, 6.8!, 12 TD) but QB Graham Mertz was a major disappointment (10-11 TD to INT). The rushing attack will be devastating with the return of Allen and #2 RB Chez Mellusi (815, 5 TD) but Mertz loses his top-three THROW GAME targets including their fine TE Jake Ferguson. The Badgers have a new OC (Bobby Engram, Ravens staff) and a rock-solid offensive line, so maybe, just maybe they can figure things out? We don’t have much confidence in the offense and Mertz needs to get a lot better if the Badgers wanna be a serious Big Ten player. <grabs popcorn>
Wow. Brick wall, yo. The Badgers finished last season ranked #1 in the FBS in total defense allowing an impossible 239 YPG and they were #4 in scoring defense (16.2 PPG). DC (and eventual HC somewhere) Jim Leonhard has his work but out for him this year with only three returning starters back on this side of the football. The DL looks like your typical Badgers front on paper and features an excellent NT in Keeanu Benton. Wisconsin regularly reloads at LB but they lost a pair of stars (and the team’s top-two tacklers) in Leo Chenal and Jack Sanborn. The Badgers were #4 in the FBS in pass efficiency defense LY (55.5%, 9-16 TD to INT) but undergo a complete overhaul in the secondary this season which has us a bit concerned. Wisconsin went BIGLY in the transfer portal to shore up the back end so we’ll see how that turns out. Probably very well knowing Leonhard, but you never know.
Things look decent with the return of punter Andy Vujnovich (46.4, 40.2 net LY) and KR Stephan Bracey (32.2, TD) but they’ll need to find a replacement for PK Collin Larsh (17-22 FG, 39-40 XP LY).
Overall – The Badgers start the season with three straight games vs TOMATO CANS but have a tough draw from the East (Ohio St, Michigan St, Maryland). They travel to face Iowa but get the Gophers at home to end the campaign.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Nothing overly-spooky is noted.
Season Win Total
per BetOnline July 30
Over 8.5 -140
Under 8.5 +110
The Badgers need to go 6-2 in Big Ten play to hit the ‘over’. They’ll lose at Ohio St and have four or five other tough conference games.
HC Paul Chryst has been a MONEY BURNER vs Vegas as home chalk posting a record of 17-24-1 (41%).
The Badgers will run the ball and play good defense as per usual but we don’t think the stop unit will be dominant and the QB situation is still a bit scary. They’re a legit division contender but don’t look much better than a few other teams in their division. We’ll look elsewhere in the West division futures market for “value”.
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