Wisconsin Badgers (14) at Indiana Hoosiers (12), Feb 13, Assembly Hall, Bloomington IN, 7 pm ET, Big Ten Network
by Matt of Predictem.com
Take two for the Hoosiers and Badgers as the two squads meet for the second time in the last two weeks, this time in Bloomington, 7 ET on the Big Ten Network. Indiana looks to even the season series after dropping the 1/31 contest in Madison and both teams are looking to add a quality win to their resumes.
The Badgers (19-4) are coming off a rare home loss, dropping a 67-72 decision against Purdue on Saturday. Wisconsin had earned two wins previous to the Boilermaker loss, taking games at Iowa and Minnesota. Sitting at 9-2 in the conference, the Badgers look to move ahead of the Hoosiers with a win and keep touch with Purdue in the Big Ten.
The Hoosiers (20-3) have reeled off three straight victories since the loss in Madison, most recently downing Ohio State 59-53 in Columbus on Sunday. At 9-1 in conference, Indiana will look to move closer to the Boilers with a contest against Purdue upcoming.
The Hoosiers opened at most sportsbooks as 4 point favorites with the over/under total for the game at 124.
On the year, the Badgers are 9-11 against the spread overall with a 5-3 road ATS mark. Wisconsin has scuffled in conference of late going 2-5 ATS in their last 7 Big Ten games.
The Hoosiers have gone 10-9-1 overall against the spread in 07-08 with a home ATS mark of 4-6-1. Indiana has played well against quality opponents, going 5-2 ATS against teams with at least a .500 record.
Wisconsin sports the nations top-ranked defense, allowing only 54.9 points per game. Couple that with the Badgers slower swing offense and you get the under at 11-4 in Wisconsins games. To further the under heavy trend, the Hoosiers and Badgers have played under the total in 4 of the last 5 meeting in the series.
Each team has been relatively injury free on the year, Eric Gordon has the sore left wrist, but only bit player C Eli Holman is on the Hoosiers injury list. Wisconsin is injury free, but is missing F Kevin Gullickson due to disciplinary reasons.
Wisconsin is a balanced squad with all players spending time in the post as well as the perimeter. G Trevon Hughes runs the point and leads the team at 12.7 points per game. C Brian Butch is right behind at 12.6 points and leads the Badgers on the boards at 7 a game. Marcus Landry has stepped up lately, bringing his points average to 11.1 on 50% shooting and chipping in with 5.4 rebounds per game. As a team, Wisconsin averages 68.9 points on 45.6% from the field and 34.7% from long range. The Badgers shoot 69.9% from the line, but hit 30 of 33 in the Purdue game.
Indiana is more star driven with super freshman Eric Gordon leading the way with 21.3 points per game and D.J. White right behind with 17.6 points per. White paces the Hoosiers in rebounding at 10.7 a game and Jemarcus Ellis leads with 4.2 assists a contest. Armon Bassett is the long range gun hitting on 46% from the arc. Indiana has the edge in the team numbers against the Badgers offensively. The Hoosiers shoot 47.2% overall and 36.8% from three to arrive at their 76.5 point average.
The game could hinge on the Badgers ability to control the scoring pace with their defensive intensity as Indiana will look to avenge the earlier loss with the help of the home crowd. When in doubt, bet the home team in Big Ten Conference games.
Matt’s Pick: I like the Hoosiers to win but the Badgers to cover in what should be a very CLOSE and low scoring game throughout!