Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Sports statistician Paul Bessire predicts that Melvin Gordon and the Wisconsin Badgers will beat LSU in Saturday's season opener in Houston.
Here is some of what he had to say:
Whereas Wisconsin has to overhaul its defensive front seven, LSU is turning over its skill position players. Head coach Les Miles has already said that at least two quarterbacks will get time within the game, neither of which (like McEvoy) has started at this level before. The starting running backs and wide receivers will all be either freshmen or sophomores. With lack of experience at the skill positions for LSU and a reboot of the defensive front seven for Wisconsin (a net wash), plus elite secondaries and two great offensive lines, this game is incredibly close in the numbers. The lone difference (assuming true neutral field) is Wisconsin's proven star play maker in Melvin Gordon. Incoming freshman for LSU Leonard Fournette will get buzz going into the game, but look for Gordon to shine the brightest and end the contest on top.
According to 50,000 games played by the Predictalator, Wisconsin wins on average 51.4 percent of the time and by an average score of 30-28. As five point underdogs winning outright in the predicted upset (our closest projected game of the day on Saturday), Wisconsin covers the spread 58.1 percent of the time, which would warrant a $60 wager from a normal $50 player. The OVER (50) is actually the strongest play in this game and one of the stronger plays of the entire week. It covers 61.3 percent of the time, enough to justify an $94 play from a normal $50 player. A total of seven picks cover greater than 60 percent in the simulations this week.