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Wisconsin Michigan Betting – Badgers Fend Off Young And Pesky Wolverines

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/6/2014 1:56:13 AM

Online betting players will be treated to a battle of youth versus experience on Wednesday, when a battle-tested Wisconsin heads to Michigan to face the young Wolverines, who need to continue their hot play to get on the NCAA Tournament bubble. Michigan isn’t going to roll over for the Badgers, but they’ll make enough mistakes to give the Badgers the victory.

  • What: NCAA Basketball Betting
  • When: Wednesday, February 23rd, 6:30 PM ET
  • Where: Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Pick: Wisconsin Badgers

Why Bet On Wisconsin (20-6, 10-4 Big Ten)

The Badgers sit at No.12 in the rankings, and they bounced back from a loss at Purdue by beating Penn State to put them two games behind Ohio State in the Big 12. You can’t really take much from their loss at Purdue on February 16th as the Badgers were coming off their massive come-from-behind win over the Buckeyes, and Wisconsin is always a threat because of their defense. The Badgers are second in the country in points allowed, holding the opposition to 41.8% from the floor, and they are physical without committing a lot of fouls (fourth in the NCAA). We’ve also said this before, but offensively the Badgers are as sound fundamentally as anyone in the country, leading the country in assist-to-turnover ratio and free-throw percentage. Senior forward Jon Leuer (19.3 points, 7.3 rebounds) and junior guard Jordan Taylor (17.8 points, 4.8 assists) are still the sparks for Wisconsin’s offense, but also got 22 points from senior forward Keaton Nankivil (9.8 points, 4.5 rebounds) in the Penn State win. The Badgers need secondary scoring if they’re going to go far in March, and Nankivil’s three-point shooting will be a major key.

That is the problem with the Badgers: if you can contain them into being a two-player team, Wisconsin becomes far less dangerous. Also, the Badgers can be a poor defending team on the perimeter (195th in three-point defense), which is better than trying to go inside on them.

Why Bet On Michigan (17-11, 7-8 Big Ten)

NCAA basketball betting players should count the Wolverines out of the running for March Madness…oh should they? The Wolverines have won six of their last eight after an overtime victory at Iowa, and five of those wins were by nine points or less. A win over the Badgers would be a big feather in their cap, and they can definitely win the Big Ten tournament if the stars align. The Wolverines are still very young, led by the guard duo of sophomore Darius Morris (15.4 points, 6.9 assists) and freshman Tim Hardaway Jr. (13.2 points, 3.9 rebounds), who is quick to shoot the trey just like his father was. For having such a young backcourt, the Wolverines take good care of the ball (22nd in assist-to-turnover ratio). Not only is the backcourt young, but the Wolverines as a whole are pretty green as they have no seniors on the roster, with four juniors and only two of them (swingman Zack Novak and guard Stu Douglass) play a substantial role. The team is basically learning as they go along, and even their losses (Syracuse, Kansas, two to Ohio State) have been close.

But by and large, the Wolverines are still learning and they hit a lot of three-pointers because they shoot a lot (37th in three-pointers, 154th in percentage). They’re only average at the foul line (68.9%, 172nd in percentage), and they’re a small team who doesn’t rebound well (223rd in rebounding margin). It’s going to be fun to see what Michigan will be in a year or two, but right now, the Wolverines are a work in progress.

How The Game Will Play Out

The NCAA basketball betting line for this game shouldn’t be very large, given the Wolverines’ recent run and a decent 6-3 ATS mark at home. But the Badgers have been good as of late in Ann Arbor, posting a 4-1 SU and ATS record at Crisler Arena, which cancels their 4-5 ATS record away from Madison. The Badgers beat the Wolverines by 16 in Madison on January 5th, but the game was closer than that as Wisconsin pulled away in the second half. The Wolverines are young and full of confidence and they’ll be ready to go on Wednesday. The key will be the point-guard battle between Taylor and Morris, but if Wisconsin is smart they will take advantage of their side inside with Leuer and Nankivil, who can shoot from the outside, but they’ll need to go in the post in this game. Michigan will keep it close so watch the spread, but take Wisconsin in your sports betting picks on Wednesday.

Wisconsin Michigan Betting Pick: Wisconsin Badgers

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