NCAA Basketball Picks: Michigan State vs. Wisconsin

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 1:52 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 1:52 PM UTC

The Wisconsin Badgers enjoy one of the better home-court advantages in college basketball, as they try to snap a three-game losing streak to the Michigan State Spartans Tuesday night.

Let’s take a closer look at the betting odds for this Big Ten Conference matchup.

Spartans move past Buckeyes

Michigan State won its fifth game in a row Saturday, as it picked up a 59-56 victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes as three-point home favorites, while going UNDER the posted total of 129. The Spartans finished with a 34-14 scoring edge on the paint, while also posting a plus-nine differential in terms of second-chance points. The program is 1-9 against the spread (ATS) after allowing 60 points or less this season.

Defensive breakdown

Wisconsin had its 11-game streak of holding opponents to 60 points or less snapped last time out, as it suffered a 70-66 setback to the Iowa Hawkeyes as one-point road favorites, while going OVER the total for the first time in five contests. The Badgers’ starting five combined to score just 31 points in that particular affair, while the entire team shot 23.1 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes. 

Series dominated by the home team

Sports bettors definitely need to realize that the home team has won 13 of the last 14 games in this series when played on a college campus, as they prepare to make their NCAA basketball picks Tuesday night. Wisconsin is 13-9 overall against Michigan State under the direction of coach Bo Ryan, including an 8-1 mark at the Kohl Center. The host has tallied a money-making 13-4 ATS record in the last 17 meetings.

Appling is the key

Keith Appling has averaged 12.0 points in his career against the Badgers, including 16.3 in three meetings last season. He’ll need to maintain that level of play if Spartans intend on winning back-to-back trips to Madison, especially with Draymond Green’s departure to the NBA. Appling has led the squad in scoring 10 times during the 2012-13 NCAA basketball season.

Quite a venue

The Badgers are always worthy favorites when playing at this venue, as they own the conference’s best home record for Big Ten games with a mark of 86-9 since the start of the 2001-02 season. The NCAA Basketball odds reflect this home advantage, as the Badgers are wearing the -5.5 price tag.

Over the last 12 years, 133 of Wisconsin’s 176 home wins have come by at least 10 points. It’s also important to note that the program is a remarkable 22-6 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 to 6 points in its last 28 opportunities.



I’m going to recommend that readers back the Michigan State Spartans as one of their sports picks against the spread, as they’ve gone 11-7 ATS as an underdog since 2010. Wisconsin has yet to host a powerhouse in the conference this year—that will change Tuesday night.

College Basketball Pick: Michigan State Spartans +5.5
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