Odds & Pick for Indiana vs. Wisconsin Basketball: How To Bet the Total in Big Ten Matchup
Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: D’Mitrik Trice.
- Two stellar defenses are set to square off in the Big Ten on Thursday night in Madison.
- Both Indiana and Wisconsin rank in the top 10 in Defensive Efficiency, and the Hoosiers will be without their second-leading scorer.
- BJ Cunningham thinks that points to value on the total, as he explains why he's targeting the under.
Indiana vs. Wisconsin Odds
Indiana looks to make it three Big Ten wins in a row in Madison against No. 8 Wisconsin.
After back-to-back wins, head coach Archie Miller’s Hoosiers seems to have righted the ship, but they now face their toughest test of the season. Indiana is projected to finish in the middle of the pack in the Big Ten, and Hoosier faithful need to see results if Miller is going to be around next season.
The Hoosiers will be without their best guards on Thursday in Armaan Franklin, who is their second-most used player and averaging 12.7 points per game.
The Badgers are one of the most complete teams in the country and poised to compete for a Big Ten title with almost all of their starters back from last season. Greg Gard has one of the most experienced and tallest squads in the country this season, so Indiana may be overmatched on Thursday.
When Indiana has the ball
For Indiana, the offense runs through its best player: Trayce Jackson-Davis. He is the Hoosiers’ leading scorer at 20.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per game and has the third-highest usage rate in the Big Ten.
If Indiana is going to be successful offensively at the Kohl Center, Jackson-Davis is going to need to be dominant.
Indiana’s offense this season has been average in almost every category, which is not encouraging going into a matchup with one of the best defenses in the country without its second leading scorer.
If there is a frontcourt that can shut down Jackson-Davis, it’s Wisconsin’s. Micah Potter and Nate Reuvers stand at 6-foot-11 and have been denying at the rim all season, as their opponents only shoot 40.9% from 2-point range.
Gard might be the coach of the best defense in the Big Ten. A disciple of Bo Ryan, Gard has carried on the tradition of playing a conservative, gap-controlling, man-to-man defense, which has Wisconsin ranked sixth in Defensive Efficiency, per KenPom.
When Wisconsin has the ball
For Wisconsin’s offense to run efficiently, it has to play at a very slow pace. The Badgers rank 333rd in pace and have the third-lowest turnover rate in the country, per KenPom.
The Badgers pick-and-roll offense is incredibly efficient because all five guys on the court can usually light up from beyond the arc, shooting 41.4% from deep as a team.
Their backcourt of D’Mitrik Trice and Brad Davidson shoots over 42% from 3-point land, so Indiana better guard well behind the arc or else it will have little chance of keeping the Badgers in check.
The Hoosiers are also one of the best defenses in the country, ranking ninth in Defensive Efficiency, per KenPom. The reason they are so good is because they don’t have any glaring weaknesses. Indiana is above the NCAA average in almost every defensive category, so Wisconsin’s offense is in store for perhaps its most difficult matchup of the season so far.
Betting Analysis & Pick
This matchup is going to come down to Indiana’s offense. The Hoosiers should be able to slow down Wisconsin but if their offense cannot keep up with Franklin on the sidelines, the Badgers are going to roll in this one.
Both Indiana and Wisconsin play two of the slowest paces in the Big Ten, so I think we are going to see a rock fight between two of the best defenses in the country.
I have the total projected at 124.99, so I think there is value on the under at 130.5 points.
Pick: Under 130.5 (down to 129)