Willie’s NCAAB season picks record: 19-14-1 (+4.25)
Thursday, 8 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
Free NCAAB Pick: Badgers ATS
Best Line Offered: BetOnline
“The pickin’s are slim,’ as my editor noted when handing out this week’s assignments. That is especially true for Thursday’s NCAAB odds card where we’re left with a lopsided matchup in Wisconsin between the Badgers and Savannah State Tigers to pique our interest on the betting front.
This literally is a battle between one of the best teams in the country against one of the worst. Still, sometimes it’s fun to watch the big boys beat up on the little ones, and the Big Ten Network will satisfy our sadistic desires by televising the tip at Kohl Center in Madison.
Savannah State Last In Nation Allowing 100+ PPG
The Tigers have lost four in a row, and five of six as they close in on the halfway point of a two-month road trip. That’s right, a two-month road trip, which is ridiculous. They last played at home on November 16, a 20-point loss to Gardner-Webb, and won’t be back until January 19 for their MEAC home opener. Even more ridiculous is the beating Savannah State suffered Tuesday night at South Dakota State. Getting 26 and trailing by 18 midway through the first half, the Tigers allowed the Jackrabbits to go on a 44-5 run to close out the stanza en route to a 139-72 final.
Savannah State is also catching Wisconsin in a bad mood following a 74-69 overtime setback at Marquette on Saturday. Getting 2 points at Bookmaker, the Badgers were pathetic from outside hitting just 5-of-24 from beyond the arc, and also left 11 points on the free-throw line where the team shot 10-of-21. Ethan Happ recorded a double-double with a season-high 34 points on 16-of-21 shooting from the field while the rest of the team shot 33% (11-33).
Badgers 1-4 ATS This Season At Kohl Center
The schools are meeting for the third time, each of the previous two meetings taking place in Madison during the 2007-08 and 2011-12 campaigns. The Badgers were favored by 25 in the December 2011 clash, and cakewalked to a 66-33 decision to also send “under” bettors back to the pay window. In both games, the Tigers couldn’t buy an early bucket, trailing 10-0 in the first meeting and falling behind 17-0 in the first five minutes of the second encounter.
After being frustrated by Marquette’s perimeter defense, the Badgers should be able to name their own score against Savannah State. The question is, despite having nine days off after this one, how long will Greg Gard keep his foot on the gas? I think long enough to lay the points for my free NCAA basketball pick as Wisconsin wins by 40+.