No. 22 Wisconsin Best Bet At No. 14 Iowa In Big Ten Opener Friday

Willie Bee

Thursday, November 29, 2018 12:54 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018 12:54 PM UTC

The Big Ten dips its toes in the conference schedule this weekend, and we have a free basketball pick for the clash of ranked teams on Friday when Wisconsin visits Iowa.

Season Record: 14-8-1 (+5.55 units)

No. 22 Wisconsin (6-1 SU, 4-3 ATS) at No. 14 Iowa (6-0 SU, 2-4 ATS)Friday, 8 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)Free NCAAB Pick: Badgers ATSBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Friday nights are rarely big on college hoops action, but we’re reaching that point of the fixture when notable matchups on Fridays become even fewer and further between. So naturally, we sit up and take notice when the weekend tips with a battle of ranked teams that finds Wisconsin on the road at Iowa.

Access to the Big Ten Network or a ticket into Carver-Hawkeye Arena is the only way to catch the Badgers and Hawkeyes in their conference opener. The first of two meetings between the schools this season, the Iowa City crowd could be the difference in this tightly-lined affair with the scoreboard hurdle set in the low-140s.

Deep Rotation Has Helped Iowa To 6-0 Start

Greg Gard’s group quickly returned to the winner’s circle following their only loss of the campaign, coming on strong in the second half Tuesday to top NC State, 79-75, in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. The Badgers trailed by 12 early in the second half before Ethan Happ and Company caught fire. It wasn’t enough to cover a -6 line at Heritage, the 2nd-straight game Badger backers were left with losing tickets after Wisconsin fell to Virginia in the Battle 4 Atlantis finals. Happ has been doing a little bit of everything in the early going, averaging a double-double (18 ppg, 12.3 rpg) and adding 5.3 assists per contests.

Iowa’s perfect start hasn’t exactly come out of nowhere, but not many expected a 6-0 record from Fran McCaffery’s crew at this point. The Hawkeyes got our attention a couple of weeks back in the 2K Classic, upsetting then-No. 13 Oregon as 4-point underdogs on the NCAA basketball odds before blasting UConn for the tournament title. They narrowly avoided being upset by a mediocre Pitt squad in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday, escaping with a 69-68 decision as 11-point favorites after trailing at halftime.

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D'Mitrik Tr𝐈𝐂𝐄 is shooting 48.2% overall and 60% from 3-point range so far this season

That's included some big-time buckets along the way#OnWisconsin // #Badgers pic.twitter.com/IzE69Llkmu

— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) 28 de novembro de 2018
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Hawkeyes Looking For 3rd-Straight Win Over Badgers

These teams have gone back-and-forth over the years since first meeting in 1909, Wisconsin holding a slim 83-80 all-time advantage and Iowa holding bragging rights by winning the two most recent encounters. The Badgers had won three in a row in Iowa City before the Hawkeyes cruised to an 85-67 on their home floor last January as small chalk in the only meeting of the season. Three of the last four at Carver Arena hopped past the totals, and this is the first time in nearly five years the teams have met while both ranked in the top 25.

Both sides have taken on some strong opponents, and that should help add to a charged atmosphere in a contest that rates around a pick ‘em. I’m going with the Badgers by a bucket with my free college basketball pick.

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