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Champs Sports Bowl Wisconsin vs. Florida St.

December 26, 2008

College Football Betting - Wisconsin Badgers vs. Florida State Seminoles (Saturday 4:30 PM ET)

The Florida State Seminoles are playing the Champs Sports Bowl in their home state, but don't discount the chances of the Wisconsin Badgers.

The Badgers have played in Florida bowl games the last five years against tough SEC teams and while they went just 2-3 straight-up, they were 3-2 against the spread and easily could have gone 5-0 against the spread (ATS) with a couple of breaks in games that were close in the fourth quarter.

That bodes well against Florida State who has similar speed of an SEC team even though they play in the ACC.

The Seminoles are 5 -point favorites at, and a big 88% of current bettors are backing them. The game is being played in Orlando on Saturday at 4:30 pm ET. 

Wisconsin had a disappointing season in the Big Ten at 7-5 and just 5-6 ATS. They started out 3-0, had an awful four-game losing streak, then closed strongly at 4-1.

The key for the Badgers is getting the run game going with P.J. Hill and John Clay. Together, they combine to form the nation's 14th rated rushing attack at 212 YPG.

The Seminoles are not easy to run against, and Wisconsin is likely to have less success throwing with Dustin Sherer.

He took over for Allan Evridge during the losing streak, and while he improved steadily, the FSU pass defense is one of the best in the country led by Myron Rolle.

One big problem for Wisconsin will be protecting the quarterback. Sherer has been sacked 17 times, many of which because he held the ball too long.

That has the FSU defense licking their chops as they are sixth in the nation in sacks.

Florida State (8-4, 5-4-1 ATS) is making their 27th-straight bowl appearance and while they have the same legendary coach in Bobby Bowden, these are not the same Seminoles teams of the 1990's glory days.

FSU is has the country's 32nd-ranked run offense (180 YPG) with Antone Smith and Jermaine Thomas complimenting quarterback Christian Ponder who also likes to tuck it and run.

Passing yards have been more at a premium with Ponder and they are only 87th in the nation at 186 YPG. 

The Wisconsin defense has done a good job limiting yards both through the air and on the ground but they have been horrible in the red-zone.

That's why the Badgers are giving up more than 25 PPG and red-zone play will obviously have a big affect on this game as well.

There is some injury news for this game, Badgers linebacker Jonathan Casillas will not suit up which is a pretty big loss.

One final betting note: Florida State is 4-1 ATS this year when favored by less than 6.5 points, but all signs point to a close game and Wisconsin provides a lot of value versus the Money Line as well.

Check out picks or make your own predictions in the college football betting forum.

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