Big Ten Championship Game picks: No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes (-15.5, 57 over/under) vs. No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
*Game played at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
The Big Ten Championship Game features two of the best running backs in the country – Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor and Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins. Taylor ranks second in the FBS with 1,761 rushing yards and Dobbins is fourth with 1,657 rushing yards.
Both teams are difficult to run against, with Ohio State ranking third in the nation with 2.6 yards allowed per rush and Wisconsin ranking 16th (3.3).
But Taylor had an especially hard time against Chase Young and the Buckeyes defense earlier this year, rushing for a season-low 52 yards on 20 carries.
No team scores more than Ohio State, who is averaging 49.9 points per game. Wisconsin’s 35.8 points per game ranks 17th.
When Dobbins, quarterback Justin Fields and the rest of the Ohio State offense puts their foot on the gas, it’s awfully hard to stop them. The Badgers did not have an answer for Dobbins last time, where he rushed for 163 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries with three receptions for 58 yards. Wisconsin won’t have bad weather and sloppy conditions on their side to slow down Fields this time around with the game being played indoors.
Even though Ohio State is in the College Football Playoff no matter the outcome, teams are still playing for seeding. Depending on how LSU performs against Georgia earlier in the day in the SEC Championship Game, Ohio State might need some style points to hold onto the No. 1 seed.
This point spread has been fluctuating as much as any of the championship game lines. If you’re able to find this line at Wisconsin +17 or above, it’s worth considering. But at the current 15.5-point spread, Ohio State is the pick.
Pick: Ohio State -15.5
Record: College football picks against the spread
Regular season: 38-36-1