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Wisconsin vs. Oregon: Prediction, pick, Rose Bowl odds, line, spread, kickoff time, game preview

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No matter what sort of playoff field encompasses the college football world, the “Grandaddy of The All” will also carry along with it heavy significance. There is no better scene in all of college football than a packed Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day, and that’s exactly what we’ll be treated two on Wednesday as this year’s representatives from the Pac-12 and Big Ten meet on the gridiron.

This year No. 6 Oregon and No. 8 Wisconsin have the honor of playing in the game. It’s an honor both are familiar with, as this will be Wisconsin’s tenth appearance in the game. Only six other schools (USC, Michigan, Ohio State, Stanford, Washington and UCLA) have played in more. Oregon isn’t far behind, as this will be the Ducks eighth time in Pasadena.

Both teams appeared in the game in 2012, when Oregon beat Wisconsin 45-38 in a Rose Bowl thriller. Here’s hoping the rematch provides the same level of excitement. What will go down in the 2020 Rose Bowl? Keep on reading for a full breakdown of the game along with our experts’ picks and some analysis on the spread.

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Storylines

Wisconsin: Through the first two months of the season, Wisconsin looked like a juggernaut. Not only did the Badgers get off to a 6-0 start, but they were crushing their competition. Then came a Saturday afternoon in Champaign that stunned the country as Wisconsin fell to Illinois 24-23 on a last-second field goal. A week later, the Badgers got spanked 38-7 by Ohio State and the luster was gone. They would rebound with four straight wins to claim the Big Ten West and earn a rematch with Ohio State, but despite a fast start could not hold on and lost to the Buckeyes 34-21. Now Wisconsin is hoping to do something it hasn’t done a lot of: win the Rose Bowl. I mentioned they’ve been to the game often, but the Badgers haven’t won a Rose Bowl since the 1999 season. It’s been three straight losses since then, with the last coming in 2011.

Oregon: Wisconsin had an inexplicable loss to Illinois during the season, and Oregon knows how it feels. The fact of the matter is, if not for a 31-28 loss to Arizona State late in the regular season, the Ducks probably wouldn’t be in this game. There’s a good chance they would have been preparing to take on LSU in the Peach Bowl after winning the Pac-12. Still, I wouldn’t expect Oregon to enter this game thinking about what might have been. This was a team that was one of the best in the country all season long, and a surprising loss to Arizona State didn’t change that. The last time the Ducks were in the Rose Bowl they were beating Florida State in the first College Football Playoff game ever played. The Ducks are hoping for the same result here, even if a win wouldn’t send them to the title game this time.

Viewing information

Event: Rose Bowl

Date: Wednesday, Jan. 1 | Time: 5 p.m. ET

Location: The Rose Bowl — Pasadena, California

TV: ESPN | Live stream: WatchESPN.com

Rose Bowl prediction, picks

This is going to be a great matchup between two teams who have gotten where they are thanks mostly to their defense. When breaking it down, I lean toward the Ducks. We’ve seen good defenses figure out ways to limit Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor this season and force Wisconsin’s offense to move the ball other ways. Time and again, Wisconsin has struggled trying to do so. I think Oregon can slow down Taylor, and Oregon’s offensive line can neutralize a strong Wisconsin pass rush. As a result, i think Oregon wins this game more often than not, so if I can get points, I’m not going to pass them up. Pick: Oregon (+2.5)