Wisconsin Badgers vs. Michigan Wolverines Pick 2/27/20

by | Feb 27, 2020 | cbb

Wisconsin Badgers (17-10 SU, 12-12-3 ATS) vs. Michigan Wolverines (18-9 SU, 15-11-1 ATS)

When: Thursday, February 27, 7 p.m.

Where: Crisler Center, Ann Arbor, Mich.

TV: ESPN2

Point Spread: WIS +6.5/MICH -6.5 (GTBets - Deposit $150 and get $150 FREE!)

Total: O/U 132.5

Last Time Out:

Wisconsin defeated Rutgers 79-71; Michigan beat Purdue 71-63

Scouting the Badgers:

Is Wisconsin for real, or are the Badgers nothing more than a home court hero? Wisconsin has won five out of six contests to get itself back above .500 in the Big Ten, but the Badgers won four of those games at the Kohl Center, and the fifth win was in Lincoln, where the Cornhuskers are barely treading water. The one road game against a competent team was at Minnesota, and Wisconsin got blasted 70-52 in Minneapolis. In fact, the Badgers have come up short in their past four non-Nebraska road games, with only Iowa allowing Wisconsin to keep its deficit to single digits.

So that begs the question of whether the Badgers are even capable of that against a good team, and past performances suggest that they are. When they faced the likes of Ohio State and Penn State earlier this year, they won both games away from home, which is about the only thing that’s been in their argument against being a home-court hero. But Nate Reuvers and company haven’t answered those questions successfully in a month, which has left the Badgers right on the bubble for the NCAAs.

Scouting the Wolverines:

This season, if you can win consecutive games in New Brunswick and West Lafayette, you’re doing something right. It’s the way Michigan has won both games that really makes you sit up and pay attention; however: the Wolverines have done it with defense. Michigan didn’t rely on its shooting to get the job done against Rutgers or Purdue, shooting 26 percent or less from behind the arc in both games. Instead, the Wolverines took control of the game by shutting down their opponent’s attempt to shoot their way back into the game. Rutgers shot just 16.7 percent from the arc, and Purdue was a little better, hitting 25 percent.

Ever since getting into Big Ten play, defense has been the name of the game for Juwan Howard’s crew. Of Michigan’s nine wins in the Big Ten, the only one where the Wolverines allowed their opponent to top 70 points was a December 6 win over Iowa, which boasts one of the strongest offenses in the nation. Against more reasonable offenses (read: not Iowa), Michigan has held nine straight opponents to 69 points or less, and the Wolverines have managed to win seven of those games while losing two others by three or less.

X-Factor:

Turnovers. These are defense-oriented teams that love to force their opponents into mistakes, but mistakes might be hard-pressed to find in a game like this, as neither team turns the ball over more than 11 times per game. In this day and age, that’s a very low number, and it’s why these two teams have both been doing a lot of winning as of late. The team that can force their will on their opponent and force them into mistakes — or missed shots — will likely be the team that grabs a victory here.

Wisconsin will Cover if:

The Badgers can keep hitting from the outside. Wisconsin has shot 37 percent or better in each of its past four games, and it used the 3-point shot to perfection against Rutgers, riding 50 percent shooting from deep and the hot hand of Micah Potter to a win. The Badgers don’t have to be quite that accurate, but they need to hit pretty regularly to win.

Michigan will Cover if:

The Wolverines can keep up the defense and keep Wisconsin from getting going. The Badgers are a slightly different team than they’ve been in years past when they were all defense, no offense. Now they’re mostly defense, a little offense, and teams have to be prepared to take away their shooting while still playing the Badgers’ tempo. Michigan is well-positioned to do it, but it will require patience on their part.

Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread:

These two teams haven’t just been collecting wins, they’ve also been cover machines as of late. Michigan has covered in seven of its past eight games, while Wisconsin has covered its past four at home and pushed two of its three road games. But I have to take Michigan here. Mainly because of the fact that the Wolverines are playing better overall, and they’ve been winning with defense. Wisconsin’s offense is good, but it’s not good enough to take over a game the way that a truly great offense can. Meanwhile, Michigan’s defense has excelled at taking 3-point shooting teams out of the game.

The under is a little too low for my taste, but I don’t have any whesitation backing the Wolverines to get another cover this spread at home. Give me Michigan. Where are you betting your picks? Did you know that you could be laying -105 odds instead of the more expensive -110 your book is socking you? Making the switch to reduced juice sports betting will save you THOUSANDS of dollars over the long term and trumps ANY bonus you can ever receive! Click here to start betting smart at -105!

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