Wisconsin vs. Michigan
Big Ten action on Sunday in Ann Arbor and we've got ourselves a rematch from last month when the Badgers hosted the Wolverines as eight-point home chalk in college basketball odds. Unfortunately for Wisconsin and those who bankrolled the Badgers it was clear from the opening tip that the Wolverines would not be intimidated in hostile territory and took command with a five-point lead at half which led to a 77-70 straight up win over their hosts. And for those that dared to dream that the big dog would indeed bite, they were rewarded handsomely with a +290 return on the money line in NCAAB odds.
But that was then and this is now. The venue has changed but the teams have not. Michigan is 10-1 straight up this season (7-2 ATS in lined games) and an astounding 42-3 over the past three seasons when playing at the Crisler Arena. They are coming off a solid 10-point victory over Ohio State as four-point road dogs in NCAAB odds.
On the other hand the Badgers have reeled off three consecutive victories but have covered the all-important number in only one of those wins. Wisconsin may not have a scoring juggernaut at their disposal but they do have a solid defense that has surrendered an average of 63.4 PPG.
So what do we make of this? Of course the squares will be trumpeting this as a must win for the revenge minded Badgers who will no doubt still be licking their wounds from the humiliating defeat they suffered at the hands of the Wolverines in front of their home crowd almost a month ago. But does that mean the Wolverines aren't aware that the Badgers may have a bit more jump in their step sprinting out of the blocks from the onset? I don't think so.
Here's the deal ladies and gents. Michigan distributes the ball better, they score more points per game and their field goal percentage is much better. Neither team really gets it done on the boards but if Michigan can attack the glass with greater ferocity this game will be over by the second-half. I'm looking for a big Michigan rout in this one.
In your NBA picks, take Michigan -4 at WilliamHill.com.
Minnesota vs. Northwestern
In the second half of our Big Ten tandem today we analyze the matchup between the Golden Gophers and the Wildcats. The hosts are bottom feeders in the Big Ten and have dropped their last two games both as two-point favorites in NCAA basketball odds over Nebraska where they lost 53-49 at home and then most recently got walloped 85-70 traveling to Michigan State.
Similarly Minnesota has struggled, dropping four of their last five yet getting covers in their last two contests. But Minnesota has revenge on their minds after a one-point loss to Northwestern earlier this month. This will be an interesting game because Minnesota can score but they're not particularly adept on the defensive end of the court while Northwestern is the complete opposite.
So is this a game you would even touch? I think it is though today's slate of games has me searching far and wide for an obvious weak spot that the oddsmakers are giving us. They're not giving us much but this Big Ten tilt might pay us off handsomely if we look to backing the road chalk here.
Minnesota has a big edge in scoring and on the glass. They will outrebound Northwestern which will lead to more scoring opportunities which they will convert from inside the paint. While the Gophers may not be an NCAAB powerhouse this season they have more than enough horses to get the job done over a relatively weak Wildcats squad.
Play Minnesota -3 ½ in your NCAA basketball picks.