NCAA Basketball Picks: Wisconsin vs. Minnesota

Jeff Grant

Thursday, February 14, 2013 2:38 PM GMT

Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 2:38 PM GMT

The Wisconsin Badgers have been involved in numerous close games during Big Ten Conference play, which makes them dangerous road underdogs against the Minnesota Golden Gophers Thursday night.


Let’s take a closer look at the NCAAB betting odds for this high-profile affair at Williams Arena, with the opening tip scheduled for 7:00 p.m ET on ESPN.

Battle ground

Wisconsin has won three games in a row, including back-to-back overtime wins at home over the Michigan Wolverines and Iowa Hawkeyes, while going OVER the total in all three of those contests.  

The Badgers have had plenty of battles in Big Ten play, as eight of their 11 conference games have been decided by six points or less, which could make them worth a look on the college basketball odds page.

The time is now

Minnesota has dropped six of its last eight games, including a 57-53 setback to the Illinois Fighting Illini as 8.5-point home favorites Sunday, while going UNDER the total in five of its last six opportunities.

The Golden Gophers are certainly capable of getting back on track at this venue, as they’ve compiled a 78-25 record during the Tubby Smith era in Minneapolis.

Final five minutes

College basketball handicappers might want to get involved in live betting this matchup when 5:00 remain on the clock, as the Badgers have won 50 consecutive games when leading or tied at that juncture, while the Golden Gophers are 107-11 when leading in that situation.  

It’s significant in the second meeting of this series, considering Wisconsin held Minnesota without a field goal over the final 3:53 of its 45-44 victory as 3.5-point home favorites in Madison on Jan. 26.

[gameodds]14/220645/43/us[/gameodds]

Shooting percentage

The Golden Gophers knocked down just 34.8 percent of their shots in the first go around with the Badgers, but they should find better success from the field in this spot.  Minnesota is shooting 47.6 percent at home this year—a figure that would certainly get the job done in this spot.

Wisconsin is 14-0 when shooting a better field goal percentage than its opponents during the 2012-13 NCAA basketball season, but 3-7 when failing to do so.

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Golden Gophers as one of their college basketball betting picks Thursday night, as they’ve covered the number in six of the last eight meetings in this series.  Minnesota will control the paint due to leading the Big Ten in blocked shots and offensive rebounds.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Take the Minnesota Golden Gophers -4.5 at Bookmaker for your college basketball picks today.

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