After being off in Week 3 of the college football season, the Wisconsin Badgers are back in action for Week 4 against another top-ranked team in the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
In perhaps one of the biggest games on their schedule, the Badgers will travel to Chicago, Illinois, to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears, on Saturday.
This is a matchup of two top-20 teams, and not only is this FOX’s Big Noon game, but it will also be this weekend’s location of College GameDay. There is going to be a lot of attention on this matchup, as there should be.
Heading into the matchup, the Badgers are listed as 5.5 point favorites against the Fighting Irish, according to most sportsbooks.
Coming off a bye week, Wisconsin should be more than prepared for this matchup in Chicago.
They come in as the favorites, but they need to prove they can compete with a good team after getting outplayed by Penn State to start the season. Although they only lost by 6 points in that matchup, They were not able to pinpoint anything on offense.
This game will be all about the Wisconsin defense being able to out-compete the Notre Dame defense.
While Wisconsin ranks second in the nation in total defense, they only have one takeaway through their first two games, and that was in their blowout of Eastern Michigan. Knowing that, the Badgers believe they still have plenty of room to improve on that side of the ball.
The next step is getting the ball back by producing turnovers rather than forcing punts.
Notre Dame Preview
After a convincing win this past weekend against the Purdue Boilermakers, Notre Dame will head into this matchup with a 3-0 record on the season.
This matchup will start a tough three-game stretch for the Irish as they will have Wisconsin this week, #8 Cincinnati the following week, and then they follow that up with a matchup against the Virginia Tech Hokies in Blacksburg before their bye week.
This past weekend was a pickup week for the Irish. Most people doubted their ability to remain with the top contenders due to two close wins in contests versus now 0-3 Florida State and Toledo.
The focus of this matchup will be Notre Dame transfer quarterback Jack Coan against his former team in the Wisconsin Badgers. Just a few years ago, Coan led the Badgers to a Big Ten title after their starter Graham Mertz went down with an injury.
Notre Dame improved their play mightily this past week against Purdue, and they need it coming into this matchup against a fully rested Wisconsin team.
The spread is close in this matchup at 5.5 points, and that leads me to want to take Notre Dame at +5.5 since there is a good chance they outright win this game.
This will be a defensive matchup and very well may come down to a late-game field goal. Both of these teams played closely to Penn State, and that will factor into both of their performances this weekend.
I’m taking ND at +5.5.
Betting Pick: Notre Dame +5.5 (-110)
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