Underdog Hawkeyes Get The Nod At Wisconsin

Willie Bee

Thursday, March 2, 2017 1:55 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 2, 2017 1:55 PM UTC

A late-season slide has Greg Gard looking for answers to help his Wisconsin Badgers who are double-digit favorites on the NCAA basketball odds tonight at home vs. the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Season: 41-37-3 (+0.30)

What the devil is going on in Madison? A virtual lock for the top seed in the Big Ten Tournament a couple of weeks ago, the Wisconsin Badgers have dropped four of five and now in a fight to finish in the 2-3-4 slots.

The good news is the Badgers stay at home for their final two games and hopefully recharge with the help of their fans at Kohl Center. They'll face a couple of tough opponents, however, first taking on the Iowa Hawkeyes tonight before finishing things off Sunday against a Minnesota squad also in the hunt for a top 4 seed and the 2-round bye that goes with it. ESPN begins its broadcast at 9 PM (ET), BetOnline showing Wisconsin -11 and 146 for the total.


Hawkeyes On 2-Game Win Streak, Badgers In 2-Game Skid

Iowa (16-13 straight up, 11-13-2 against the spread) would appear to be NIT fodder at best right now, the only chance at an NCAA Tournament appearance resting on winning the conference tourney. Fran McCaffrey's guys have picked it up a notch the past two games, but a couple of 3-game losing streaks during conference play really did the Hawkeyes in.

Offense triggered the victories last week, both on the floor and against the NCAA basketball odds, first in a 96-90 home win over Indiana in a pick 'em before a nice little 83-69 upset at Maryland. A 6½ point underdog vs. the Terrapins, Jordan Bohannon connected on 8-of-10 shots from beyond the arc to account for all 24 of his points while Tyler Cook recorded a double-double (21 pts, 10 rebs).

Wisconsin (22-7 SU, 12-14 ATS) was on the road last week and fell by 10 twice, first as 7 point chalk against Ohio State before an 84-74 setback at Michigan State as a 3 point favorite on Sunday. Poor free-throw shooting let the Badgers down in the loss to the Spartans, and it was lackluster defense that cost them against the Buckeyes.


'Over' Has Cashed In 7 Of Last 9 Encounters

Despite it being so late on the conference slate, this is the only scheduled meeting between the longtime rivals this season, and thanks to winning the last six, Wisconsin has the 83-79 edge as the schools get together for the 163rd time. The Badgers and Hawkeyes also met just once last season, Wisconsin pulling off a 67-59 decision in Iowa City as a 6½ point underdog. It was Iowa's first home loss in about 54 weeks, and the Hawkeyes haven't won in Madison since the 2010-11 campaign. Last year's battle and the last meeting at Kohl Center in 2015 never made it to the totals, the only 'under' winners in the last nine matchups.

Underdogs have cashed eight times in the last 10 collisions, and given Wisconsin's recent slide, that's how I'm playing my free college basketball pick this time around.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Iowa +11Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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