How To Bet The Big Ten Tournament Semifinals

Willie Bee

Saturday, March 11, 2017 4:32 PM UTC

Saturday, Mar. 11, 2017 4:32 PM UTC

A day after all four favorites on the NCAA basketball odds won, chalk took a beating in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament with three of four teams laying points going down. What started as 14 gets pared to just two today in the semifinals at Verizon Center.

(8) Michigan vs. (4) Minnesota

Day 3 of the conference tourney got underway with an entertaining back-&-forth affair between Michigan (22-11 straight up, 14-16 against the spread) and top-seeded Purdue. It took overtime to solve matters, the Wolverines pulling off the 74-70 decision as slight 2½ point underdogs on the NCAA basketball odds. The real difference-maker turned out to be at the free throw line where the Maize & Blue outscored Purdue, 18-6.

Despite a strong close to the season by winning eight of its last nine, Minnesota (24-8 SU, 19-11 ATS) remains the Rodney Dangerfield of the Big Ten. Maybe the Golden Gophers can command a little respect now after taking down Michigan State, 63-58. The win as slight underdogs was bittersweet for Richard Pitino's team that may have to play on without senior guard Akeem Springs who injured his right Achilles in the victory.

Minnesota was favored by 1½ at home a few weeks ago when the Wolverines came to Minneapolis for the only meeting between the two this year. That game went to OT before the Gophers grabbed the dubya, and today it's Michigan favored by 3 at Bookmaker with 137½ for the total. Their last three clashes skipped past the totals, and that's where I'm going with my play.

Free NCAAB Pick: Over 137
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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Wisconsin vs. Northwestern

Just when I thought Wisconsin (24-8 SU, 14-15 ATS) might be dead, the Badgers got back to basics and all but ended Indiana's NCAA hopes with a 70-60 decision in the conference quarters. The Badgers controlled the tempo in a throwback performance that would've made former coach Bo Ryan proud, and committed just seven turnovers while coming away with six steals.

Northwestern (23-10 SU, 20-10 ATS) used a 20-2 run in the second half to rally past Maryland in Friday's nightcap. Battling a very pro-Terrapins crowd, the Wildcats ruled the glass and got 17 points apiece from Vic Law and Scottie Lindsey to dispatch Maryland and avenge an earlier loss in Evanston. Now it will be the Badgers out for revenge after Northwestern upset Wisconsin in Madison as an 11½ point underdog nearly a month ago. It marked the 2nd-straight season for the Wildcats to pop the Badgers, and was just the fourth time in 15 meetings the favorite failed to cover.

BetOnline was first on the card with Wisconsin -5 and 124 for the total. That total is right in line with the past, and it's a little too low this time which is why I'm on another 'over' for my free college basketball pick.

Free NCAAB Pick: Over 124
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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