Michigan State vs Wisconsin Odds, Pick: Target This Team

Michigan State vs Wisconsin Odds, Pick: Target This Team article feature image

Via John Fisher/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyler Wahl #5 of the Wisconsin Badgers looks on during the second half against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Kohl Center on January 06, 2024 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Michigan State vs Wisconsin Odds

Friday, Jan. 26
8 p.m. ET
Michigan State Odds
Point SpreadTotal PointsMoneyline
-115o / -105u
Wisconsin Odds
Point SpreadTotal PointsMoneyline
-115o / -105u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

Tom Izzo's Michigan State Spartans entered desperation mode a couple of weeks ago, and now many believe they are starting to turn the corner. The Spartans are now 4-4 in Big Ten play after three consecutive victories.

They now face a crucial test on the road in Madison, as the Wisconsin Badgers will host the Spartans on Friday evening. The Badgers escaped on Tuesday with a close win at Minnesota, but Greg Gard's team needs to bring a better effort throughout this contest.

On paper, these two teams are among the most talented in the Big Ten. Here's Michigan State vs. Wisconsin odds and a pick for Friday.

Check out our College Basketball Betting Hub for more NCAAB previews, predictions, news and analysis.

Michigan State Spartans

Despite their success over the last three games, I am not thrilled with Michigan State's recent performances. Besides the dominating win over Rutgers, the Spartans narrowly escaped against Minnesota and Maryland.

Realistically, they should have destroyed both teams, and the 10-point win against Minnesota should have been a more thorough drumming. The Spartans are 21st in Strength of Schedule, but that does not excuse them for their sloppy performances.

Their poor free-throw shooting continues to be an issues as the Spartans rank outside the top 230 teams in the nation in both free-throw frequency and accuracy. The Badgers do not allow opponents to get to the line often, so they should have an edge there.

The Spartans do not take many 3s either, but the Badgers' opponents are shooting 36% from beyond the arc. Expect Sparty to attempt more shots than usual from beyond the arc on Friday.

The backcourt duo of Tyson Walker and AJ Hoggard is critical for the Spartans' success, especially against the Badgers. The Badgers have an advantage in the frontcourt, including rebounding on both ends, so Walker and Hoggard need to carry Sparty more than usual.

Teams continue to struggle on the road in the Big Ten, so I am in no hurry to back the Spartans. They have the more talented team, but their recent performances show that they are still trying to mesh as a team.

Wisconsin Badgers

The Badgers have been arguably the most impressive team in the Big Ten thus far. Purdue might rank higher than Wisconsin in the AP Poll, but the Badgers have proven they are also Final Four contenders.

Wisconsin is among the better offensive and defensive rebounding teams in the country, which is why the Badges have accumulated trips to the free-throw line. They are shooting 78% as a team at the charity stripe, which is among the top 20 in the nation.

Sparty has a pair of impressive guards, but Wisconsin also has a strong backcourt duo with AJ Storr and Max Klesmit. Both have played key roles in the Badgers ranking sixth in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency as Storr leads the team in scoring while Klesmit is shooting a scorching 43% on 3s.

The Badgers will cash in on the Spartans' defensive 3-point regression, and I expect them to have a big day on offense. Their frontcourt tandem of Tyler Wahl and Steven Crowl should have an edge on the interior.

It's tough as is to win on the road in the Big Ten, and the Kohl's Center is a tough environment to play in. Free throws and 3-pointers will be the difference, and the Badgers have an edge at both.

Michigan State vs. Wisconsin

Betting Pick & Prediction

Lay the points with the Badgers at home. The Spartans have yet to prove they belong in the conversation as one of the best teams in the conference.

The Badgers also dominated in the first matchup of the season between these teams in a 70-57 win in East Lansing on December 5th.

Until they prove otherwise, I cannot trust the Spartans on the road against elite teams. I'm confident that their negative 3-point defensive regression could kick in.

The Badgers tend to dominate at home, and they should have a big day on the boards and beyond the arc. Their excellent free-throw shooting gives me confidence that they can ice the game late.

Pick: Wisconsin -3.5 (Play to -4.5)

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Nick Sterling
Jun 25, 2024 UTC