This spread is no doubt influenced by the Badgers' 31-point beatdown last week at Ohio State. As discouraging as that looked -- and there's little doubt this is a down year by Wisconsin's standards -- Illinois' 3-1 start still screams fool's gold. The Illini lost to the only team that provided ample resistance, Indiana, and it defies logic that the Illini held Wyoming, Illinois and Chattanooga to 9 combined points in three home wins. Bret Bielema's return to Wisconsin will be the pregame storyline, but the Badgers will get a needed win and cover a discounted number.
The Badgers defense isn't what it used to be. They couldn't stop the run game against the Buckeyes last week and it isn't going to get easier against the Illini and Chase Brown. Brown leads the nation in rushing yards at 604 yards. He is going to have an amazing game against this poor rush defense. Getting this at plus-seven is a great line for the Illini. This game is going to be a grind for both teams. It will be close throughout the game. Take the points in this low scoring game.