Rose Bowl Picks & Predictions: Wisconsin vs. Oregon 1/2/12

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It’s the Granddaddy of them All in Pasadena, and here at Cappers Info, we are trying to beat the Rose Bowl betting lines when we make our Rose Bowl picks for the clash between the Oregon Ducks and the Wisconsin Badgers.

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Rose Bowl Matchup: Wisconsin Badgers vs. Oregon Ducks
Rose Bowl Date/Time: Monday, January 2nd, 5:00 ET
Rose Bowl Location: Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena, CA
Rose Bowl Odds: Oregon -6
Rose Bowl Total: 72
Rose Bowl TV Coverage: ESPN, ESPN3.com

The theme of the Rose Bowl is unfinished business. Last year, the Badgers were beaten in this very game by the TCU Horned Frogs in a game that they probably feel as though they should have won. Meanwhile just a week later, the Ducks were knocked off by an Auburn Tigers team that really was just a one man wrecking crew with QB Cam Newton calling the shots. Newton was relatively neutralized, but it was the offense that surprisingly failed in the National Championship Game. One of these teams is going to feel revitalized, while the other is going to be left with yet another offseason of the dismay of having lost a bowl game.

The possibility is there to have a ton of offense in this game. Both of these teams averaged well over 40 points per game this season, and both were able to drop at least 60 on opponents this year as well. Both teams love to get the ball going on the ground, and that includes with their quarterbacks. We know that both QB Darron Thomas and QB Russell Wilson can throw the pigskin, but it is what both can do when they get outside of the pocket that is truly dangerous. Wilson had the best year that a Wisconsin quarterback has ever had when he threw for 31 TDs against just three picks, while Thomas accounted for 2,493 yards and 30 passing scores.

The real battle though, is going to be the combination of RBs Montee Ball and James White against RBs LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner. White was a deserving Heisman Trophy finalist in our eyes, as he led the nations in touchdowns by a country mile with 38 scores. He had 1,759 yards on the ground, the most in the nation, and he added 255 more as a receiver. White, who had a second straight tremendous year while splitting the backfield with Ball, had 683 yards on the ground and 150 through the air, totaling six TDs. James probably would have been a Heisman Trophy candidate had he not gotten hurt and missed two games this year. Still, there is no shame in his 1,646 yards on the ground and 210 as a receiver. He also is a kick returner and punt returner at times and tallied 18 scores on the campaign. Barner is a beast as well, and he had 145 carries on the season for 909 yards and 11 trips to the end zone.

In the end, both of these offenses are out of this world, but we don’t think that there is that much of a difference that is going to make these teams separated by this many points. The Badgers are really the first team that has come out of the Big Ten in a long time that can play offense with some of the big boys in the other conferences, and that being said, it is really the exception to the rule that the Big Ten struggles in bowl games. We aren’t so sure that the Badgers are going to be able to claim the upset to give the Big Ten just its second win in this series since 2000, but we do think that they are going to keep this one within the number.

Free Rose Bowl Pick: Wisconsin +6

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Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Cappersinfo.com Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.

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