Wisconsin Badgers Bookie News Aug 21: Inside Linebacker Depth a Big Plus

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The Wisconsin Badgers had the 10th shortest odds of winning the National championship game in 2018 and this has to have bookies either excited or worried depending on the actual outcome.  Use of a powerful Price Per Head platform will certainly help to quell any fears.

The key to Wisconsin’s success in 2017-2018 will likely hinge on their inside linebacker depth.

Once Chris Orr and Jack Cichy were both out last season, Leon Jacobs promptly moved back to inside linebacker.  And as Jason Galloway of madison.com explains, Jacobs will likely be a starter at outside linebacker and, as such, “UW could expect more out of its next wave of players on the inside for added depth, particularly if the Badgers suffer another injury at the position”.

Junior Arrington Farrar moved from safety to inside linebacker this spring, while sophomore Griffin Grady and redshirt freshman Mike Maskalunas are also battling for practice reps, Galloway also noted.

The Badgers have more depth at inside linebacker than perhaps any other position on the field.

“We’re pretty used to (replacing guys),” Orr said. "Every day, even if everybody was healthy, you take the same approach. People are going to go down, whether that be for a season, a game, whatever the case may be. I think if you prepare the same way as if you were the starter, it sounds a little cliche, but if you do it, there won’t be a drop off."

Last month, SB Nation suggested that this Badgers team might be the most Wisconsin football team ever thanks to it’s in-house strength.

Wisconsin is an obvious Big Ten West favorite, though there will be tests. Last year’s top two running backs are gone, as are All-American left tackle Ryan Ramczyk, all-conference defensive backs Leo Musso and Sojourn Shelton, and security-blanket quarterback Bart Houston. The Badgers are on their third defensive coordinator in three years (the price of success), and Chryst promoted Leonhard despite the former UW star having just one year of coaching experience.

A new backfield for a run-heavy team and green leadership for a defense that has had to carry significant weight? That has to make you a little nervous, right?

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