NCAA Basketball Picks: Wisconsin vs. Michigan State

Jeff Grant

Thursday, March 7, 2013 3:33 PM GMT

Thursday, Mar. 7, 2013 3:33 PM GMT

Let’s take a closer look at the college basketball odds for this Big Ten Conference affair between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Michigan State Spartans. Where are we looking to place our sports picks?

The Michigan State Spartans have lost their last three games to ranked teams by a combined 13 points, but they land in a great situation to bounce back on their home floor Thursday night.

For another take on this game check out our NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day.

Shocking loss

Wisconsin doesn’t lose often at the Kohl Center, which is why the college basketball world was stunned with its latest effort—resulting in a 69-56 defeat to the Purdue Boilermakers as 14.5-point home favorites Sunday.

The Badgers are 11-8 straight up (SU) and 6-12-1 against the spread (ATS) versus teams with a winning record this year.

Facing top-flight competition

Michigan State is being offered at a bargain price by the college basketball odds makers, as it looks to put an end to a three-game losing streak, which includes a 58-57 setback to the Michigan Wolverines as five-point road underdogs Sunday.

The Spartans are 6-2 SU and 4-4 ATS after suffering three or more consecutive losses since the start of the 1997-98 campaign.

All about the shooting percentage

In handicapping this high-profile affair, I believe it will come down to shooting percentage, considering the Badgers are 17-0 when knocking down a higher number of shots than their opponent and 3-9 when failing to do so.

The Spartans are shooting 48.7 percent at this venue during the 2012-13 NCAA basketball season, which is 10 percentage points higher than the Badgers’ performance away from Madison. 

Michigan State earned a 49-47 victory as five-point road underdogs in Madison in the first meeting on Jan. 22, as it limited Wisconsin to 29.6 percent shooting from the field.

Betting trends 

College basketball handicappers need to realize that the Badgers have dropped their last seven games in SU fashion when tipping off as a road underdog of 3.5 to 6 points, while posting a 2-4-1 ATS mark in that situation.

On the other side, the Spartans are 24-3 SU and 18-8-1 ATS in their last 27 opportunities when playing as home favorites within the same point range.

Gear up for the NCAA Tournament wit one of our many NCAA Tournament Betting Guides.

[gameodds]14/223399/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Spartans as one of their NCAA Basketball picks Thursday, as the Badgers have failed to cover the number in seven of their last eight trips to East Lansing. 

College Basketball Pick:  Michigan State Spartans -4 at Bookmaker

Also take a look at my free picks for the Oregon vs. Colorado matchup.

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