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Book it: This week’s free college football pick (Wisconsin at Michigan)

One of these teams, Wisconsin, can’t wait to play after missing two weeks because of COVID. The other team, Michigan, hasn’t really looked like it’s wanted to play the past two weeks in getting embarrassed by Michigan State and Indiana.

The Badgers have a chance to win tonight’s game big if QB Graham Mertz is able to return from COVID protocol and play. As of now, his status for tonight’s contest remains questionable, so taking the Badgers to cover the -6.5-point spread certainly is a gamble.

But once Mertz is cleared to play, as I believe he will be, the number probably will go above -7. So, if you want Wisconsin under a touchdown, you’ll need to take the gamble early in the day and risk it that Mertz will play.

Wisconsin clobbered Illinois, 45-7, in its opener before being sidelined for two weeks. Michigan’s defense was lit up in last week’s 38-21 loss at Indiana.

As mentioned, motivation will be a big part of this game. The Badgers have plenty of it, while the Wolverines are reeling and won’t get any help from an empty Big House.

The pick: Wisconsin -6.5

Prediction: Wisconsin 34, Michigan 23

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Last week: 1-1 (won Notre Dame vs. Clemson, lost Georgia vs. Florida)

Season record: 6-4-1

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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