Michigan State vs. Wisconsin Odds, Picks & Predictions: Can Badgers Topple Spartans in B1G Tourney? (Friday, March 11)
John Fisher/Getty Images. Pictured: Johnny Davis.
- The Michigan State Spartans take on the Wisconsin Badgers in Friday Big Ten Tournament action.
- The Spartans are coming off a victory over Maryland, while the Badgers had a double bye.
- Check out Kyle Remillard's full betting guide and top pick below.
Michigan State vs. Wisconsin Odds
|Michigan State Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Wisconsin will kick off its Big Ten Tournament against Michigan State after earning the double-bye for finishing second in regular-season conference play.
Michigan State earned the 7-seed from its 11-9 record in regular-season conference games. After starting Big Ten play 5-0, the Spartans dropped seven of their last 11 matchups. The last two wins came against Maryland, and Tom Izzo’s group nearly collapsed down the stretch, blowing a 20-point second-half lead in the tournament yesterday.
Wisconsin has done nothing but impress this season, finishing with a 24-6 record. The Badgers suffered a disappointing loss to Nebraska in the season finale, which cost them the regular-season title.
Izzo has had the Badgers number, defeating them three times in a row in the postseason. Meanwhile, Wisconsin looks to get over the hump and make the Big Ten semifinals for the first time since the 2017-18 season.
Michigan State looked like it would cruise past Maryland while holding a 20-point lead with 13 minutes remaining. The Terrapins turned up the defensive pressure and forced the Spartans to cough up the basketball 16 times, including many turnovers down the stretch.
Maryland had a 3-point attempt to take the lead with 12 seconds remaining that came up short to send Michigan State to the quarterfinals.
Maryland had an 83%-win probability based on the quality of shots taken in the game, according to ShotQuality.
The Spartans’ Achilles’ heel has been their inability to take care of the basketball. Tom Izzo’s squad ranks 274th in the nation in turnover percentage while averaging 14 turns per game. The offense has double-digit turnovers in all but one game this season. That will likely come back to bite MSU as it faces a Wisconsin offense that ranks second nationally in turnover percentage.
Michigan State has shot a ridiculous 39% from 3-point territory this season. The offense has four players who have taken over 60 attempts, converting at over a 37% clip.
In their victory over the Badgers, the Spartans shot 50% from deep. But in the rematch, Wiscy held them to just 21% on its 14 attempts.
Wisconsin will likely enter postseason play with a chip on its shoulder after its tough loss to Nebraska to end the regular season.
The Badgers do all of the little things right; they don’t turn the ball over and crash the defensive boards.
The offense utilizes terrific ball movement around the perimeter and looks to work inside out to open clean attempts from outside. Greg Gard will have his offense grinding out each possession, making Michigan State work on defense to limit the transition opportunities.
The Badgers are led by All-American guard Johnny Davis, who is averaging 20 points to go along with eight rebounds. Davis is a serious contender for the Wooden Award and dominated Michigan State this season, scoring 25 points in both matchups.
There’s a little bit of concern over the health of Davis, who seemed to be in discomfort after getting tripped to end the Nebraska game. But all signs indicate that he’s good to go for this matchup.
Michigan State vs. Wisconsin Betting Pick
The Spartans survived and advanced in their first-round matchup with Maryland. But unless they catch fire from downtown, they likely won’t be so lucky in this matchup.
When Maryland turned up the defensive pressure, the Spartans crumbled. Now they face a hungry Wisconsin defense who has been chomping at the bit to get to Indianapolis to avenge its loss to Nebraska.
Though they split the season series, Michigan State’s win came over a shorthanded Wisconsin group that was missing Tyler Wahl. Wahl is a pivotal inside presence inside for the Badgers who has put up 12 points and six rebounds per game.
The turnover battle will be the crucial factor in this matchup. Michigan State has turned the ball over an average 14 times per game while Wisconsin’s offense almost never coughs up the ball.
Extra possessions will be the key factor for Wisconsin’s offense, which will control the tempo and end the Spartans’ hopes for a Big Ten Tournament title.