NCAA Tournament Betting: Wisconsin vs. Arizona

Jeff Grant

Friday, March 28, 2014 12:52 PM GMT

Friday, Mar. 28, 2014 12:52 PM GMT

The Wisconsin Badgers have stepped up their defensive play in the NCAA Tournament, which makes them a dangerous underdog against the Arizona Wildcats Saturday night.

A physical win
Arizona faces a very difficult quick turnaround situation in this spot, as it comes off its most physical game of the 2013-14 season—picking up a 70-64 victory over the San Diego State Aztecs as 7.5-point favorites Thursday.

The Wildcats eventually wore down the Aztecs late—outscoring them by a 20-10 margin in the paint in the final 20 minutes.

College basketball handicappers will find that the program is 7-2 ATS in its last nine games in the Big Dance.


Quite a performance
Wisconsin had little trouble with Baylor’s size in the Sweet 16, as it picked up a visually-impressive 69-52 victory as four-point favorites Thursday, while going UNDER the betting total of 136. 

The Badgers have stepped up their play on the defensive end during postseason play, as they’ve allowed 164 combined points in three games.

It’s important to point out that the team has covered the number in seven of its last eight neutral site games.

Check out live NCAA Tournament Futures Betting Odds

Johnson
Wildcats guard Nick Johnson scored all 15 of his points in the final 2:46 of the game against the Aztecs, which is just below his 16.3-point average for the entire season.

The Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year has knocked down 45.2 percent of his shots from beyond the arc over his last six games. 

Johnson’s 602 points are the second-best single-season total in the Sean Miller era in Tucson.


Efficient on the offensive end
The Badgers are attractive underdogs on the SBR Odds page due to four of five starters averaging double figures, with junior forward Frank Kaminsky leading that group in scoring 13.6 points a contest.

Kaminsky has been even better down the stretch—averaging 18.5 points over the last four contests. 

Wisconsin's entire roster does a great job of protecting the basketball on the offensive end, which will eliminate fast-break opportunities and easy baskets for the betting favorite.


Outlook
I’ve developed a handicapper line favoring the Wildcats by 2.5 points, which offers little to no value on backing either side in the current marketplace. 

Sports bettors should only back Arizona if the number moves down to 2, while Wisconsin is worth a long look at 3.5 or higher.

[gameodds]14/262840/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

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