Friday’s College Basketball Betting Previews: Michigan-Iowa, Maryland-Wisconsin

Friday’s College Basketball Betting Previews: Michigan-Iowa, Maryland-Wisconsin article feature image
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Rick Ostenski-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jordan Poole

All three ranked teams on Friday’s college basketball slate reside in the loaded Big Ten. No. 5 Michigan travels to Iowa before No. 21 Maryland battles No. 24 Wisconsin in Madison.

Which side present more value in these two matchups? Let’s break them down.


>> All odds as of Friday at 9:30 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NCAAB odds and track your bets.


Betting Odds: Michigan Wolverines at Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Spread: Michigan -4.5
  • Over/Under: 143.5
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV: Fox Sports 1

The Wolverines (11-10 against the spread) have covered in six of their past eight contests while the Hawkeyes (10-11 ATS) have failed to tally a cover in consecutive games after going 5-0 ATS in their previous five games.

Fran McCaffrey’s bunch has been reeling over their past two games, but regression was expected.

Iowa has let up the highest 2-point percentage (56.1%) in league play, and that will likely continue against a Michigan team with the third-highest percentage (51.4%) in that department in their Big Ten games.

The 6-foot-7 Ignas Brazdeikis (15.1 points per game) — Michigan’s leading scorer — will go head-to-head with a physical defender in Tyler Cook, but Iowa’s leaky defense has been gashed by the dribble drive too often of late. The Wolverines’ ball handlers will be able to find seams for Brazdeikis and fellow big John Teske inside.

At the other end, the Hawkeyes’ attack has relied on the fifth-highest free-throw rate (FTA/FGA) in the nation. Nevertheless, the Wolverines have let up the second-lowest rate in that area, a part of the nation’s best Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (83.8 opponents’ points per 100 possessions). Iowa’s likely offensive struggles should allow Michigan to excel at its slow tempo.

According to our Bet Labs data, the Wolverines are 4-2 (66.7%) ATS as a single-digit road favorite over the past two seasons. Expect that trend to continue in Iowa City.

THE PICK: I took Michigan -3.5 last night, but like it up to -4.5.

Betting Odds: Maryland Terrapins at Wisconsin Badgers

  • Spread: Wisconsin -5
  • Over/Under: 130.5
  • Time: 9 p.m. ET
  • TV: Fox Sports 1

The Badgers (12-9 ATS) have covered in four straight while winning all of them outright. On the flip side, the Terrapins (12-9-1 ATS) have dropped two of their past three games — two of those straight-up losses.

In their latest meeting on Jan. 14, Wisconsin erased a 21-point second-half deficit before Maryland closed its Big Ten foe out in the waning minute via Anthony Cowan’s game-winning 3-pointer. The Badgers evening the series, with revenge on their minds, would be the usual approach for a conference rematch.

The Terps were limited in that one by the 6-foot-10 Bruno Fernando’s foul trouble, though, which capped him at 21 minutes.

Wisconsin has struggled to keep opponents off the line in conference play, and Maryland has generated the second-highest free-throw rate in the conference. Fernando is a major part of that, notching the 133rd-highest free-throw rate for a player in college basketball.

Fernando’s matchup with Ethan Happ, a Naismith Player of the Year candidate who also missed action in that game with foul trouble, should be a phenomenal watch. But look for the more lengthy Fernando and his teammates to expose the Badgers in that department by attacking the rim.

Moreover, Wisconsin is one of the worst rebounding units in the Big Ten at both ends of the court. Maryland ranks 18th in both defensive (23.6%) and offensive rebounding rate (35.7%), respectively, and its prowess for dominating the glass will allow it to control the tempo in what should be a tightly-contested battle.

Offensively, the Badgers rely on 34.3% of their offense from the perimeter, the second-highest rate in conference play. But the Terps are allowing the fourth-lowest 3-point percentage (31.1%) amid their league slate and should be able to stymie Wisconsin’s inside-out game because of it.

THE PICK: Maryland +5