Wisconsin vs. Northwestern: Bet Wildcats -1.5 As Our Big 10 NCAA Basketball Pick

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 4:19 PM GMT

The Wisconsin Badgers visit the Northwestern Wildcats in what is the fifth game of the Big 10 season for each of these entities. Check our free NCAA basketball pick & our betting analysis.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Northwestern -1.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

Wisconsin vs. Northwestern
When these teams met last season, Wisconsin recorded a pair of victories by counts of (65-50) as 20 point home chalk and (81-58) as 13 point road favorite on this court. But, much has changed for each of these teams in the last 10 months with the pendulum now swinging the way of the Wildcats.

 

Betting Analysis
I am fully aware of a 15 point line swing in this game, based on the pointspread in last year’s meeting. But, one look at these teams’ records and you can see that the adjustment has not been nearly enough. As a result, this is a game of perception/reality with the public and linemaker still perceiving the Badgers to be better than they are, while envisioning downtrodden Northwestern to be their usual lower-echelon Big 10 entry. Nothing could be further from the truth!  One look at the teams’ records confirms that reality. For, Northwestern is 14-3 SU on the season, while Wisconsin is 9-8 SU, including 1-3 SU in Big 10 play. Let’s go inside the events of the last 10 months to find out why there has been such change.

The read on Wisconsin is simple. From their 36-4 SU Final Four team of last season, the Badgers lost their 2 best players, Sam Decker and Frank Kaminsky to the NBA. Gone also are PG Gasser and Traevon Jackson, a pair of experienced guards. When Wisconsin lost their opener at home to W. Illinois (69-67) as 26 point home chalk, it flashed a red flag. FCB (final crushing blow) was the retirement of legendary 14-year Wisconsin HC Ryan in late December! Now, the program is in the hands of long-time Asst. and current HC Gard. Other than a home pasting of Rutgers (79-57), it appears the slowdown is underway in Madison. But, it has resulted in a 0-3 SU slate (excluding Rutgers) with no game exceeding 123 points. But, if they believe they will be leading a Wildcat team, whom they are used to dominating, they are clearly mistaken!  

Under 3rd year HC Collins, this Wildcat team is far superior to the unit that won a combined 29 games L2Y. In fact, they are already 14-3 SU for the season with losses to only Top 10 teams, N. Carolina and Maryland, as well as Ohio St. With road wins at Nebraska and Minnesota by 9 and 25 points, they have proven they can dominate the lower-echelon of the Big 10.

Wisconsin may contain the pace for a limited time, but should the flood gates open, they will be hard-pressed to play catchup! I invite you put the NCAA basketball odds in your favor and join me with my NCAA basketball pick with Northwestern.