(10-8, 5-7 ATS)
(13-4, 9-4 ATS)
The Big Ten takes center stage on Thursday night for NCAA basketball betting action. The Wisconsin Badgers will look to avoid an unforeseen drop to a team that is up and coming, the Indiana Hoosiers.
This isn’t quite the year that Head Coach Tom Crean is going to complete the turnaround in Bloomington, but just winning a few games here and there is a huge key to help right the ship. An 80-61 win over the Michigan Wolverines stopped a six game skid, and it might have instilled some confidence in a team that was clearly lacking in that area. Christian Watford put up 17 points and 10 boards in that win in one of his biggest games of the year. He is the team’s top scorer at 16.4 points per game, but it is rare that he contributes in the other facets of the game. Verdell Jones III is normally a distributor, as he is averaging almost five helpers per game, but he came up big with 24 points to defeat Big Blue. Jones is the junior leader for a very young team that has been through the mill in recent years, and he is putting up 12.8 points per game on the average night. Rebounding is going to be a huge problem for the Hoosiers in this one, as this is a team that is only putting up 34.7 boards per game.
At times, it feels like Jon Leuer is putting up 34 boards on the average night just by himself. There’s no doubt that he is a man child in the post, and he is the reason that the Badgers are still grinding it out in the Top 20 in the nation coming into this week. He is putting up 19.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Wisconsin is also getting some great contributions from Jordan Taylor in the backcourt at 17.0 points per game. The third year man out of Minnesota has really shined this season, scoring at least 19 points in six straight games to help his team start off at 3-0 both SU and ATS this year at the Kohl Center in Big Ten play. The Badgers do all of the little things right. They are the best free throw shooting team in the land at 81.2 percent, and they are holding teams to just 56.4 points per game with their stout defense. Needless to say, this is really a club to look out for, not just now, but come March Madness time as well.
Though Indiana has at least a tad bit of confidence, it doesn’t have enough horses on offense to be able to hang around in this one. The Badgers are just mauling teams here at home this year, and this should be no exception. As long as we don’t see a number like a 15+ hit the board, the Badgers should be able to get the job done and make this one a runaway.
NCAA Basketball Free Pick: Wisconsin Badgers