Providence vs. Wisconsin Odds & Picks: How to Bet This Gavitt Tipoff Games College Basketball Affair
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Nate Watson.
Providence vs. Wisconsin Odds
-115o / -105u
-115o / -105u
Most of the 2021-2022 Wisconsin Badgers basketball team has gone onto its next venture, while Brad Davison remains as one of those classic “he’s still in school” guys.
The Providence Friars lost David Duke Jr. to the NBA, and Greg Gantt and Jimmy Nichols to the transfer pool. The rest of their roster remains intact. Both teams have their first Power-6 conference matchup of the season in this game. With new faces populating each lineup, Wisconsin seems a bit more depleted, so the edge could be with the Friars.
Providence loses a key figure in David Duke Jr. He was the second-leading scorer on last year’s team and led the Friars in assists and steals. That said, Nate Watson and Noah Horchler returning for an extra year of eligibility gives Ed Cooley plenty to work with this season. In fact, A.J. Reeves returns along with the additions of Al Durham from Indiana Justin Minaya from South Carolina via the transfer portal. Jared Bynum steps into huge shoes at the point guard spot with Duke going to the NBA, so this is the most critical piece to this team’s success this season. Luckily, Bynum averaged around 27 minutes per game last year, so he is not a novice.
It is nearly impossible to replace the production from a player like Duke, but Cooley will have more of a trial-by-committee to do so. Likely, this team will continue to play through the block with Nate Watson down low. This should slow the pace of the game. Providence ranked 27th in Adjusted Tempo last season, per KenPom. It utilized about 18.2 seconds per possession, as well. With the centerpiece of its lineup returning (outside of Duke), it will still be giving the ball to Watson often.
This season the Friars also revitalize the rebounding department by adding Minaya and then Rafael Castro and Legend Geeter via recruiting. They ranked 249th in defensive rebounding last season, so negating a major weakness could help, especially with Wisconsin’s bigs.
Wisconsin lost a litany of ballplayers after last year. It no longer has Nate Reuvers, D’Mitrik Trice, Aleem Ford, Micah Potter and Trevor Anderson. It did, however, add Chris Vogt from Cincinnati, Jahcobi Neath from Wake Forest and Chucky Hepburn among plenty of others via recruiting. There is a chance, though, Greg Gard has a tough time propelling this into a NCAA Tournament berth.
The early-season struggles will persist in the the Badgers’ first test against a fellow large-conference team. They will shake the ice off soon, but it will take a little while.
Chucky Hepburn has shown his abilities on the defensive end with four steals against Green Bay, but he only put up three points in 24 minutes. Jonathan Davis looks to be the main source of their offense from the guard position, outside of Davison. Steven Crowl has stepped up in a massive way, manning the block at 7-feet. He scored 18 in that Green Bay game and has 15 boards in their two games combined. He could be a tough matchup on the glass, but like Providence, they will be playing through the block.
Providence vs. Wisconsin Betting Pick
Providence has added depth in the frontcourt from a season ago. Nate Watson will hold his own with Crowl in the block. Wisconsin has just lost far too many pieces from last year’s team to trust it this early in the season.
Providence added strong role players in Al Durham and Justin Minaya via the transfer portal, so it has improved far more in the offseason than the Badgers. Take the Friars +7.5 (-110) and play to +5.5 (-110). Wisconsin is far too overvalued for overhauling its entire starting lineup from last season.
Pick: Providence +7.5 (-110), play to +5.5 (-110)
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