Top 'Over/Under' NCAA Basketball Pick: Wisconsin vs. Nebraska

Willie Bee

Thursday, January 15, 2015 12:22 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 12:22 PM UTC

Coming off an upset defeat last weekend, the Wisconsin Badgers try to regroup and replace their point guard for Thursday's college basketball odds matchup vs. the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Oh, this is indeed a sticky mess that Bo Ryan and the Wisconsin Badgers find themselves in. Can Bo and the Badgers find a new point guard for their battle with the Nebraska Cornhuskers? Will Bo have Frank the Tank -- aka Joe College -- at his disposal for the Big Ten Conference clash?

Tune in next week, same Bo Time, same Bo Channel.

Ok, so it's really tonight at 9 PM (ET) on ESPN2 when the Badgers and Cornhuskers get it on at Kohl Center. I just wanted to pay homage to my man Bo Ryan and got carried away.

BetOnline first hung a -17½ burden on Wisconsin, that spread currently at 15½ according to SBR's live NCAA basketball odds . No total has been released yet, and we'll come back to our lean there a bit later.

The answer to the first question is one that might take three weeks or longer to answer.  That's the minimum amount of time that Traevon Jackson is expected to miss following surgery on his right foot. The 6-2 senior suffered the injury in the loss at Rutgers this past Sunday, and will see an 84-game string of starts for the Badgers come to an end with Thursday's contest.

At least Ryan got some good news regarding Frank Kaminsky. The 7-footer was held out of the Rutgers game due to a concussion, but has been cleared to play against Nebraska.


Badgers Can Even Series With Bounce-Back Win
As hard as this may be to believe, the Cornhuskers have an ever-so-slight 11-10 lead in this series that dates all the way back to 1903. Nebraska pulled ahead in the rivalry with a 77-68 victory in Lincoln last March, what was the regular season finale for both teams.

Wisconsin had won the five previous meetings against the 'Huskers before that upset as 3 point road chalk. Four of those five came as Big Ten Conference foes, including both clashes at Kohl Center where the clubs split against the college basketball spreads.


'Huskers Look To Stretch Win Streak To 3
Tim Miles is hoping the second conference road tilt for Nebraska (10-6 straight up, 4-9 against the spread) goes much better than the first. The Cornhuskers opened the 2015 portion of their schedule at Iowa on January 5, dropping a 70-59 decision to the Hawkeyes to leave them 0-2 at the outside of the Big Ten slate when coupled with the defeat at Indiana on New Year's Eve.

Nebraska has since leveled that record at 2-2 with a pair of home wins and covers against Rutgers and Illinois. The Cornhuskers, who rank in the top 50 nationally holding opponents to a 60.7 PPG average, held both the Scarlet Knights and Fighting Illini under 50 points in the two victories, combining to harass Rutgers and Illinois shooters into 32-for-104 performances (30.7%).


"We Aren't Trading Apples For Apples"
Getting Kaminsky back should be a big boost for Wisconsin (15-2 SU, 10-7 ATS). The preseason All-American's all-around game was sorely missed in the upset loss at Rutgers, where the Badgers were favored by 15, and his presence on Thursday should help open up outside shooting where they managed to net only 5-of-21 from beyond the arc.

But we still have to expect at least some adjustment period out on the point where Bronson Koenig is expected to slide into Jackson's slot. Associate head coach Greg Gard believes Koenig can get the job done, but noted, "(The Badgers) aren't trading apples for apples in terms of (Jackson's) experience and play-calling and things like that."

Hey, the total on a Wisconsin game dropped to 119 from the low/mid 120s to the mid-130s just on word that Kaminsky was going to be held out. That total should jump back into the mid-120s with the big man back in the lineup, and with both clubs trending to the 'under' so far this season, that's the way I'm leaning with my NCAA Basketball pick in advance of the total coming out.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Early lean on the 'under'

Season: 15-19 (-5.90)

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