We're still a few months away from the return of college football, but the anticipation is slowly building across the country with spring practices in the books. There's plenty of optimism surrounding the Wisconsin football team with first-year head coach Luke Fickell leading the Badgers into a new exciting era. Below, we continue our college football odds series with an over/under win total prediction for the Wisconsin Badgers.

The Badgers kicked off last season with high expectations, but those were dashed within the first month of the season after a second-half collapse against Washington State and blowout losses to Ohio State and Illinois, which led to the firing of coach Paul Chryst. Wisconsin also demolished cupcake competition in Illinois State, New Mexico State, and Northwestern, before losing in double overtime at the midway point in the season against Michigan State.

Wisconsin wrapped up the second half of the season with comfortable wins over Purdue and Maryland, and a nail-biting victory against Nebraska, sandwiched between hard-fought losses to Iowa and Minnesota. The Badgers capped off the rollercoaster year with a win over Oklahoma State in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl, which launched the Luke Fickell era.

Fickell changed Cincinnati football. With a 57-18 record, he's the winningest coach in the program's history. He inherits a talented roster, but the Badgers also lost some of their top stars to the NFL draft, including New York Jets second-round center Joe Tippmann and Pittsburgh Steelers second-round defensive tackle Keeanu Benton and fourth-round edge rusher Nick Herbig.

Can Wisconsin overcome those key departures and potentially win the Big Ten West? Without further ado, let's take a look at Wisconsin's over/under odds.

Here are the latest college football odds, courtesy of FanDuel

College Football Odds: Wisconsin Over/Under Win Total

Over 8.5 Wins: -128

Under 8.5 Wins: +104

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Why Wisconsin Could Hit The Under

The Badgers made our list of way-too-early college football playoff rankings heading into the summer, but they'll face some daunting tests as the implement a new system and philosophy on offense.

While they won't have to deal with Michigan or Penn State—two of the conference's top programs—at least during the regular season, virtually all of the Badgers' opponents present some legitimate challenges.

Ohio State is loaded with talent and has realistic playoff aspirations. Iowa still boasts a suffocating defense. Maryland brings back a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. Illinois still has pieces in place on defense. Nebraska has a plan for success under new coach Matt Rhule. Washington State boasts a strong ground game and a solid defense.

Minnesota has had Wisconsin's number in recent years and Purdue and Michigan State are moving in the right direction. Even Buffalo and Georgia Southern have surprisingly high implied win totals.

But aside from the tough schedule, the biggest factor in breaking down Wisconsin's over/under prediction is how well the new regime implements its system, and how they handle the inevitable growing pains. The Badgers are changing their identity as a power-based, ground-and-pound offense to an up-tempo Air Raid scheme under Luke Fickell and new offensive coordinator Phil Longo.

Why Wisconsin Could Hit The Over

Recent history indicates it might be a safer bet to take the over on Wisconsin's over/under prediction, as the Badgers have won eight bowl games and produced eight winning seasons (five with double-digit wins) over the last nine years.

Phil Longo has a long track record of developing quarterbacks and passing attacks, including North Carolina‘s Drake Maye. But he's not going to try to fit a square peg in a round hole—Longo knows how to conform his offensive philosophies to the talent on hand.

The Badgers put together an underwhelming recruiting class, but they did exceptionally well in the transfer portal. That includes former four-star quarterback and SMU transfer Tanner Mordecai, who has thrown for 7,152 yards with 72 touchdowns and 22 interceptions over the last two seasons for the Mustangs.

Tanner Mordecai replaces last year's starter, Graham Mertz, who transferred to the Florida Gators. Mordecai will benefit immensely from the arrival of USC transfer and standout receiver CJ Williams, who has the size, short-area quickness, and polished route-running skills to make a significant impact right out of the gate in Longo's offense.

Braelon Allen was thrilled with the addition of Williams, who will prevent opposing defenses from constantly stacking the box to try to contain Allen. Originally committed to Wisconsin as a defensive player, Allen has emerged one of the nation's top returning running backs, rushing for 2,510 yards and 23 touchdowns at an eye-popping 6.03 yards per carry in his first two seasons for the Badgers. Allen already owns the school record for the most consecutive games (seven) with 100+ rushing yards, and the longest rushing touchdown in school's history (96 yards).

And we haven't even gotten to the Badgers' star-studded defense. Despite the departures of Benton and Herbig, Wisconsin still boasts one of the most talented units in the country. Senior C.J. Goetz and Temple star transfer Darian Varner anchor the Badgers' deep group of edge defenders and Maema Njongmeta and Jordan Turner each pack a punch as an instinctive and physical presence at inside linebacker. The secondary is solid, and the defense overall is in good hands with coordinator Mike Tressel.

Final Wisconsin Over/Under Prediction & Pick

Wisconsin is currently fourth in the odds to win the Big Ten, but the Badgers are well-equipped to overcome the obstacles on their schedule and win their division this season. As the year progresses, health, depth, and leadership will be key factors for Luke Fickell and Wisconsin's over/under odds.

Final Wisconsin Over/Under Pick & Prediction: Over 8.5 Wins: -128