The ninth-ranked Wisconsin Badgers will look to extend their winning ways when they hit the road to take on 12th-ranked Michigan State Spartans on Christmas day. While Wisconsin is on a red-hot roll, Michigan State will look to bounce back after suffering their first loss of the season the last time out. Now, let’s find out where the best betting value lies in this matchup so you can make your bets against their College Basketball odds.
NCAA Basketball Predictions – No. 9 Wisconsin at No. 12 Michigan State
Why Bet On No. 9 Wisconsin
Wisconsin has won four straight games and comes into this matchup fresh off a convincing 67-53 smackdown of Nebraska in their Big Ten opener on Tuesday. While the Badgers shot a miserable 1 for 15 on their first 16 field-goal attempts, Wisconsin still managed to lead 25-24 at the half.
“That’s why you rely on your defense, when you have a half or part of a half like we did in the first half where it’s hard to find the basket,” Badgers head coach Greg Gard said.
Wisconsin outscored Nebraska 42-29 in the second half to get the double-digit win while holding the Cornhuskers to a dismal 33.3 percent shooting mark from the field and 30.0 percent from beyond the arc.
The Badgers rank a stellar 15th nationally in points allowed (57.5 ppg) while holding their opponents to just 36.2 percent shooting from the field (14th). Offensively, Wisconsin averages a solid 77.3 points per game. While the Badgers don’t necessarily have a star go-to player, they share the ball well with four players averaging double figures in scoring. 6-10 junior forward puts up a team-high 13.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, but Wisconsin wants to be known for their defense according to their head coach.
“They want to be the best defensive team in the country,” Gard said. “That’s an everyday challenge. Obviously, experience helps … it takes a long time to become a good defensive team.”
- Badgers are 7-1-1 ATS in their last 9 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Badgers are 3-1-2 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS loss.
- Badgers are 6-2-2 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Badgers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games following three or more consecutive home games.
- Badgers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Friday games.
Why Bet On No. 12 Michigan State
Michigan State had won six straight to open the season, but the Spartans were smacked around in their embarrassing 79-65 loss against Northwestern in their conference opener on Sunday while trailing by double digits the entire second half after going into the break down 13 points.
Junior forward Aaron Henry scored a team-high 11 points, but the Spartans had no answer for Wildcats sophomore guard Boo Buie who went off for a game-high 30 points while draining five of six from downtown.
“Obviously still disappointed, not by the loss but just by how we played,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. “And yet, I’m going to look myself in the mirror and say, ‘You know what, there’s going to be some ups and downs and there’s going to be some mind-boggling days when you just say, ‘What’s going on?’ “
Still, head coach Tom Izzo said he expects his team to bounce back in this big matchup.
“I do think it was a learning experience for us, that you have to play with energy every single day,” he said. “We got some things worked out. We worked hard the last two or three days so that doesn’t happen again.”
Michigan State averages a healthy 82.0 points per game (57th) but give ups 73.3 points per contest defensively (214st).
- Spartans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Spartans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Spartans are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 Friday games.
- Spartans are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Spartans are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following a ATS loss.
No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers (7-1) at No. 12 Michigan State Spartans (6-1) General Info
- When: Friday, Dec. 25, 2020 at 12:30 PM ET
- Where: Jack Breslin Center, East Lansing, MI
- NCAAB Odds: Michigan State -2
- Total: 140
Expert Analysis and Prediction
I know Wisconsin has lost 12 straight road games against Michigan State, but I’m banking on the Badgers to snap that streak in this meeting as a value-packed 2-point road dog. Wisconsin has gone 7-1-1 ATS in their last 9 games against a team with a winning percentage above .600 and 6-2-2 ATS in their last 10 games against a team with a winning straight up record. Michigan State has gone an uninspiring 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall. Wisconsin recorded a thrilling 64-63 home win the last time these two met in February and now, I like the Badgers to go back-to-back!
Pick: Wisconsin 77 Michigan State 68