Odds & Pick for Wisconsin vs. Michigan Basketball: Underdog Badgers Should Cover On Road Against Wolverines
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: Micah Potter
- Michigan enters the day as one of just eight undefeated teams left in the country.
- Wisconsin has won its last four Big Ten road games and the Badgers' style could give the Wolverines fits in this top-10 battle.
- Check out Mike Randle's full betting preview and pick for Wisconsin vs. Michigan below.
Wisconsin vs. Michigan Odds
Michigan has surged up the rankings, up three spots to No. 7 in the last week. The Wolverines are one of only eight undefeated teams in the country, and sit alone atop the Big Ten standings.
They have only one game with a margin of victory of fewer than 10 points, but face their biggest test of the season on Tuesday against No. 9 Wisconsin. Will the top-10 battle be any different?
Very few teams have been more impressive this year than Michigan. The Wolverines are a perfect 10-0, including 5-0 in conference play. They have won their last four games by an average of 16.5 points per game.
The key to their offense has been center Hunter Dickinson. The 7-foot-1 freshman has been one of the best players in the country, and dominated No. 16 Minnesota with 28 points and eight rebounds. He has 11 or more points in every game this season, including three double-doubles. Dickinson’s incredible efficiency (73 percent shooting) has contributed to a Michigan offense that ranks seventh-best in the country with a 62 percent team average from inside the arc.
Michigan head coach Juwan Howard surrounds Dickinson with fantastic perimeter scorers that are strong from three-point range. Seniors Isaiah Livers (38.5 percent), Eli Brooks (36.6), and Mike Smith (43.5), join sophomore Franz Wagner (35.3) to provide long-distance accuracy. The Wolverines are also strong on the free-throw line, shooting a conference-best 80.7 percent against Big Ten competition.
But for all their successes, Michigan does have exploitable weaknesses.
They have struggled with turnovers in conference play, with an offensive turnover percentage of 19.6, the worst in the Big Ten per KenPom. The Wolverines had a surprising 31 combined turnovers in consecutive games against Penn State and Nebraska. They also allow opponents to shoot 36.4 percent from beyond the arc, currently 12th in the Big Ten.
These are both areas Wisconsin can attack.
The Badgers rank fourth in the nation in three-point shooting at 41.4 percent. They are third in the country in offensive turnover percentage, per KenPom. Wisconsin can shoot the three, and almost always win the turnover battle.
The Badgers also excel at two-point defensive, allowing opponents to shoot only 41.2 percent from inside the arc. Look for Dickinson to face his biggest challenge so far this season.
Dating back to last season, Wisconsin has shown the ability to win big road games in conference. The have won their last four consecutive Big Ten road battles including:
- 81-64 at Nebraska (February 15)
- 81-74 at Michigan (February 27)
- 60-56 at Indiana (March 7)
- 85-76 at Michigan State (December 25)
The Badgers’ slow, methodical style will take advantage of miscues, keeping games close, even on the road. Wisconsin limits mistakes and takes full advantage of opposing teams’ turnovers.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Wisconsin has faced a challenging schedule of opponents that play in a variety of ways. The Badgers have faced up-tempo teams in Eastern Illinois, Minnesota, and Rhode Island, as well as slower-paced teams such as Louisville and Loyola Chicago. Their last four opponents all reside inside KenPom’s Top 50.
The Badgers usually impose their will on the opposition, making teams play at their pace. Wisconsin held Louisville, Nebraska, and Minnesota to 59 points or fewer, and it took Indiana two overtimes to get to 73.
Michigan has played incredibly well and is among the favorites to win the Big Ten regular season title. However, they are unlikely to go undefeated in conference play, and a veteran Wisconsin team is the type of opponent that will give the Wolverines trouble.
In a very close Big Ten battle, I’ll grab the 3.5 points in a game the disciplined Badgers can certainly win outright.
Pick: Wisconsin +3.5 | Play down to Wisconsin +3