NCAA Basketball Picks: Wisconsin vs. Virginia

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 1:20 PM GMT

The Virginia Cavaliers and Wisconsin Badgers will meet up for a second consecutive year, which could lead to more points than usual Wednesday night. Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA basketball odds for this Big Ten/ACC Challenge matchup.

A perfect start

Wisconsin is off to a perfect 8-0 start for the first time since 1993-94, as it comes off a 70-63 victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers as 6.5-point neutral-site favorites in NCAA basketball odds a week ago, while going UNDER the betting total for a third consecutive contest.

The Badgers are averaging 76.8 points per game—leading the Big Ten shooting 43.6 percent from 3-point range and ranking second shooting 48 percent overall.

Familiar foe

Virginia head coach Tony Bennett is a Wisconsin native, who starred at Green Bay and coached at Wisconsin for four seasons under his father.

The Cavaliers have gone 8-5 SU in this event, which includes a 60-54 victory over the Badgers last year, when sportsbooks had listed them 10-point road underdogs, winning the rebounding battle by a 36-18 margin.

Starting point

College basketball handicappers will have an interest in backing the road underdogs in this spot, considering all five of Wisconsin’s starters have led the team in scoring through eight games, while it happens to be the only team in the Big Ten to have five players averaging in double figures.

Badgers guard Ben Brust is the player to watch, as the senior led the team with 15 points in last year’s loss to the Cavaliers.

Getting after it

The Cavaliers rank third in the country in scoring defense by allowing just 53.5 points per game, which is made possible by their uncanny ability to rebound on that end of the floor—limiting second-chance opportunities for opposing teams.

Virginia has held all eight of its opponents below 50 percent from the floor and it allows the opposition to shoot just 37.2 percent overall.

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers take the total for their NCAAB basketball pick in this affair, as the OVER is 4-1 in the Cavaliers’ last five games versus Big Ten opponents.
College Basketball Pick: Over

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