Badgers & Wolverines Stay 'Under' In Big Ten Battle

Michigan Wolverines player

Thursday, February 16, 2017 2:23 PM GMT

Michigan has yet to win three straight conference games, but the Wolverines are favored on the NCAA basketball odds to do just that tonight in a showdown with Wisconsin.

It has been a strange season in the Big Ten where Michigan State got off to a slow start with a tough non-conference schedule and Indiana has petered out of late on the league slate. Even the Michigan Wolverines looked dead in the water after beginning conference play 2-4, and it was all punctuated this past weekend when nary a Big Ten team made the early release of top 16 seeds for next month's Big Dance.

Michigan has been coming on, however, and the Wolverines can make a big statement at Crisler Center tonight (7 PM ET) with a win over the Wisconsin Badgers. We've seen very little if any, movement on the spread, Bookmaker listing the Wolverines at -1 currently. The total has been on a steady rise, however, starting at 125 and moving up to 128½.

After meeting just once a year ago, the Badgers and Wolverines are getting together for the second time this season. It's the 163rd clash between the two, Michigan owning a 91-71 advantage after Wisconsin posted a 68-64 win in Madison just about a month ago. It was the 5th-straight win in the series for the Badgers, but the Wolverines grabbed the cash as 10½ point underdogs on the NCAA basketball odds. That continued a recent trend for the 'dogs who are 14-3 ATS since the start of the 2007-08 campaign. Two years ago when they last collided in Ann Arbor, Wisconsin pulled off a 69-64 overtime win as 10½ point road chalk.

 

Badgers Need Win To Hold Sole Possession Of 1st In BIG Standings

Wisconsin (21-4 straight up, 11-11 against the spread) laid an egg at home this past Sunday, falling to Northwestern by a 66-59 count in a game the Badgers were favored by 11½. It was the first defeat for Greg Gard's gang in Madison this season and just the second conference setback after spinning off eight consecutive victories.

The loss left the Badgers with a precarious half-game lead atop the Big Ten over a Purdue squad that is idle until Saturday. Wisconsin returns home this Sunday for a matchup against Maryland, that contest part of our free college basketball picks slate. The only injury of note is Bronson Koenig who suffered strained a calf vs. the Wildcats. He made just one field goal in eight tries, going 0-for-5 from 3-point range, but is probable for tonight's encounter.

 

UM Seeking 1st 3-Game Win Streak On Conference Slate

Michigan (16-9 SU, 9-13 ATS) just finished its sweep of the Hoosiers with Sunday's 75-63 win in Bloomington. Getting 2½ points on the road where they were 0-6 this season, John Beilein's boys were led by Derrick Walton Jr's 25 points and came away with eight steals while committing just eight turnovers.

The fan in me makes it tempting to take the Badgers plus points every time. But the two times they've been an underdog this season -- against North Carolina in the Maui Championship and at Purdue about five weeks ago -- went sour. Instead, let's take advantage of the total moving up and play the 'under.'

 

Free NCAAB Pick: Under 128½ 

Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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