College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Indiana vs. Wisconsin: How to Bet Big Ten Affair
Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Trayce Jackson-Davis
- Indiana takes on Wisconsin in a Big Ten affair.
- The Badgers have surprised early in the season, while the Hoosiers have one big win over St. John's.
- D.J. James breaks down the matchup and offers up his best bet.
Indiana vs. Wisconsin Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The Wisconsin Badgers host the Indiana Hoosiers in their first Big Ten contest of the season. Indiana has one under its belt — a 13-point victory over Nebraska — but Big Ten road games are another animal.
These two teams have amongst the strongest defenses in all of college basketball. The Hoosiers play through their prolific post, Trayce Jackson-Davis, on almost every possession, while the Badgers’ offensive strengths lie in their backcourt with Johnny Davis and Brad Davison.
Wisconsin could very well win this game closely, but its ability to control the tempo is the story here. That means the total should be in play.
Indiana has a victory over St. John’s, but other than that, it doesn’t have much of a resume. At the very least, the Hoosiers have not established themselves enough to warrant a bet on the spread in this one.
That said, their most significant weakness, which could come into play here, is their inability to be disciplined with the ball. They rank 300th in all of college basketball in turnover rate on offense.
Wisconsin is the best team Indiana has played, and playing the Badgers in Madison makes this task even taller.
In fact, Davis and Chucky Hepburn will cause plenty of chaos for Xavier Johnson. The fact that 11 players on the Indiana roster are averaging at least one turnover per game is an almost unachievable statistic.
One area the Hoosiers should be able is exploit is getting to the free-throw line. Wisconsin has the tendency to send some opponents to the charity stripe.
Jackson-Davis already has 58 free throw attempts on the season. This will be a cheap way to earn some points for Indiana, and Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson have the ability to earn second chances off the glass, as well.
On the other hand, the Hoosiers are only collectively shooting 69.7% from the strike this season. If Wisconsin can mop up the defensive rebounds — like it did against Houston — it will be able to eliminate Indiana’s talent advantage on the block and in turn, limit free throw attempts.
Wisconsin has been strong on the defensive side in the paint. The Badgers are only allowing opponents to hit 43.3% of their two-point shots.
The trial-by-committee style with role players in the post has worked for them, thus far. Steven Crowl and Tyler Wahl are the main contributors down on the block, so they should be able to contain Jackson-Davis — at least a bit.
The Badgers also play at one of the slowest paces in all of college hoops. Per KenPom, they rank 302nd in Adjusted Tempo, as they hold opponents to an average of 17.9 seconds per possession and take up an average of 18.1 seconds per possession on offense.
Given how they also do not turn over the ball much, look for the Badgers to control the pace of play.
Finally, Wisconsin cannot hit outside shots. The Badgers are only shooting 31.7% from downtown on the season, which ranks 234th in the NCAA.
In addition, they rank 146th in offensive rebounding, which is not encouraging when facing posts like Jackson-Davis and Thompson.
This is one of the main reasons to avoid betting the spread because Wisconsin’s offensive trips could only result in one shot for the majority of the game.
Indiana vs. Wisconsin Betting Pick
Wisconsin will dictate how this game is played, at least regarding time of possession. The Badgers are not potent enough offensively to side with on the spread.
Perhaps being a home-court favorite will give them a slight edge and less whistles.
The under should be in play the whole time, though. Take it at 132 and play it to 130. If Wisconsin hits shots early, then it should outplay the projection and could even cover its spread at -3.5.