Hoosiers To Bounce Back At Home Vs. Badgers In Big Ten Action

Indiana basketball

Willie Bee

Tuesday, January 3, 2017 2:22 PM GMT

Will home court help the struggling No. 25 Indiana Hoosiers on Tuesday night in a Big Ten matchup against No. 13 Wisconsin? Read on to see who our free NCAA basketball pick is in this important early-season conference matchup. 

It wasn't a very fun end to 2016 for Tom Crean and the No. 25 Hoosiers. Upset in their Big Ten opener and then embarrassed in an interconference matchup, they'll turn the page on last year and try to get off to a better start in 2017 with Tuesday's big battle at home against the No. 13 Badgers

A packed house at Assembly Hall in Bloomington will be on hand to see the crucial matchup that tips a little past 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. It's the only Tuesday tilt that pits a pair of ranked clubs. 5Dimes sent this one out as a pick 'em on the overnight lines, the spread shifting to the Hoosiers -1 by the morning. Scoreboard punters are deciding high or low on a 140-point mark.

 

Hoosiers Out To Start New Home Winning Streak

Wisconsin (12-2 straight up, 7-4 against the spread) is looking to extend its streak to nine consecutive wins and that won't be easy on a floor where the Hoosiers are a solid 90-12 (.882) over the past 5+ seasons. Greg Gard's group ran that string of victories to eight last week with a 72-52 triumph vs. Rutgers, defense providing the major story for the Badgers in that decision.

Favored by 13½ at home on the NCAA basketball odds last Wednesday, Indiana (10-4 SU, 6-6 ATS) opened its conference slate with an 87-83 loss to Nebraska that ended a 26-game winning streak at Assembly Hall for the Hoosiers. They didn't look anything like the same team that beat both Kansas and North Carolina this season, and then they came out flat in Indianapolis on Saturday against ranked  Louisville, the Cardinals building an early lead and coasting to a 77-62 final.

Indiana is likely to be without guard Devonte Green, who missed the Louisville game with a foot injury. The freshman was averaging almost 12 minutes per game for the Hoosiers, who also have forwards Juwan Morgan (shoulder) and OG Anunoby (ankle) at less than 100%.

 

Badgers Have Been Moneymakers In Bloomington

Indiana holds a 96-70 lead over the Badgers in a series that began back in 1910, and the Hoosiers have won the last two games in Bloomington. Wisconsin covered both of those games and eight of its last nine appearances at Assembly Hall, however. The two schools split their two meetings a year ago, each posting home victories. The tightly-played contest on this floor ended in a 59-58 dubya for the Hoosiers, who were 7½ point favorites and the 144-point total never threatened.

A big problem for the Hoosiers in their last three losses has been perimeter play on both ends of the floor. That puts a little extra pressure on guards James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson, who are the primary deep threats and defenders. I'm counting on a nice bounce-back effort from Crean's club with a play on the home team for my free college basketball pick. Season record: 18-7-1 (-0.70).

NCAAB Free Pick: Indiana -1Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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