Michigan State Spartans at Wisconsin Badgers NCAAM Pick – February 1, 2020

For those of you that haven’t been staying up on my daily picks, you are really missing out! So far, in 2020 on college basketball, we have made thirty-four bets. Our record during those thirty-four bets? 24-8-2. That is 75% winners with a 43% ROI. Now, I always want to make sure that we aren’t overreacting to a small sample size, but the fact of the matter is that we have been killing the game so far in college basketball conference play.

Last night, we picked up another winner, our eighth win in our last eleven bets, when we backed the Rhode Island Rams at home against the VCU Rams. These two teams had just played two weeks before at VCU, and Rhode Island led the entire way and coasted to a nine-point victory. So, I was quite surprised that I could get the Rams as home underdogs in the rematch. So, I do as I almost always do, and jumped on the side of the home dog in league play and expected an easy cover.

The rematch was much higher scoring than the first affair, but at the end of the day, the result was the same. Rhode Island jumped out to a big lead early and coasted to an easy win as a home dog. Some of you may be asking yourself how could the books get a game like this, so wrong? Well, the truth is that they didn’t. The books opened up Rhode Island as small favorites, it was the public action that moved the number towards VCU and opened up so much value for us as sharp bettors.

The win was a huge one for Rhode Island as they have now won eight straight games and have moved into sole possession of second place in the A-10, just a game back of Dayton, and two games ahead of the next closest team. If you don’t think the Rams are going to be dancing in March, you need to get your head examined, this team is the real deal.

For VCU, they continue their struggles against elite teams. The Rams are now just 1-6 against the kenpom top-60 this year. With just nine games left on the schedule for VCU, six of them come against top-100 teams, so they will have a shot at picking up some quality wins and must take advantage of it, or they are at risk of being left out of the tournament. For today’s daily betting pick, we will head to the Big 10, where the Wisconsin Badgers host the Michigan State Spartans.

Today’s Game

  • Michigan State Spartans (16-5) at Wisconsin Badgers (12-9)
  • Kohl Center, Madison
  • 10:00 AM PST
  • TV: FOX

The Wisconsin Badgers will look to pick up a much-needed signature win today at home as they host the Spartans of Michigan State in Big 10 action. Wisconsin has lost three out of their last four games, all coming on the road in league play, and are happy to be back in Madison today, looking to pick up what would be their biggest win of the season.

For Michigan State, the Spartans finally broke through with a road win in Big 10 conference play, beating Minnesota on the road last week after losing their previous two conference road games. The Spartans are lurking just outside of the top-10 nationally in the most recent AP Poll after starting out the season at number one. Michigan State is tied with Illinois for first place in the Big 10, so there is no room for error in this one for Sparty.


  • Michigan State -5.5 (-110)
  • Wisconsin +5.5 (-110)
Money line:

  • Michigan State -240
  • Wisconsin +200
Total Points:

  • Over 128 (-110)
  • Under 128 (-110)

Michigan State Spartans

The Spartans are finally starting to look like the team that we all thought they were coming into the season. After starting out the year by losing three of their first eight games, they fell all the way down in the national rankings, after coming into the year as the consensus number one team in the country. But since then, the Spartans have won eleven out of their last thirteen games.

The combination of Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman give them the most talented one-two punch in the Big 10, and as is always the case at Michigan State, they are very well-coached. Tom Izzo has this team ranked in the top-5 in the nation for assists, rebounds, and assists to turnover ratio. In terms of efficiency, Michigan State is thirteenth on offense and seventeenth on defense, respectively. The data tells us this is an elite team and they certainly pass the eye test as well.

Wisconsin Badgers

The Big 10 is really good this year. The league could get as many as twelve teams in the NCAA tournament, and they are the highest-rated league in the land on kenpom. So, while the Badgers 5-5 record in league play might look at bit pedestrian at a glance, any team that can keep their head above water in this loaded league needs to be considered a very good team.

Wisconsin has an SOS of just four right now. They have played fourteen games against top-100 teams this season. And while they have certainly had their fair share of struggles away from Madison, at home, this team has shown they can play with, and beat, elite teams. At home this year, the Badgers are 9-1, with the one loss coming to an Illinois team that looks poised to win at least a share of the Big 10 regular-season title. And that loss came by just one point.

Who Do I Like?

I have been absolutely pounding home underdogs in the Big 10 this season, and my win rate has been north of 90% on those bets. Before seeing the Spartans win and cover last week in Minnesota, Michigan State was 0-3 ATS in league play on the road. On the road this year, Sparty is just 2-6 overall ATS.

And this has been the case with nearly the entire Big 10, as home teams have won 77% of the time in league play. And if you pull Nebraska and Northwestern’s seven home losses out of the mix, those are the only two teams in the league that have a losing record this year, home winning percentage in the Big 10 shoots up to over 85%.

The Bet

This is what I call a spot play. It is a nice spot, and you can basically ignore the team names. I have several trends that I like to bet that I can take advantage of in this game. I love betting home underdogs, particularly in league play. And the Big 10 has been my favorite league to bet this year. And I also get to fade the public once again.

I always like to say that a person is smart, and people are stupid, and that is personified perfectly when it comes to sports betting. The public just always seems to be on the wrong side. That opened up huge value for us last night in the Rhode Island game where the public backed the road team, and that opens up huge value for us in this one as well.

This number opened up at Michigan State -3-points. The public has been hammering Michigan State all morning long, and the number has moved two and a half points! That means we get to back a home team in the Big 10, a trend that the data tells us is certainly the side we want to be on, and we get two and a half points we don’t deserve. So, that is what I will take today. Give me the Wisconsin Badgers as home dogs today, getting +5.5 points!

The Bet: Wisconsin Badgers +5.5

My Pick
Jason Gray / Author

Jason is a true Las Vegas insider as he has called the sports betting capital of the world his home for sixteen years. Jason started out his career in gaming by running the biggest poker tournaments in the world and managing some of the biggest sportsbooks on the strip. Jason has transitioned out of casino operations and has been covering sports betting for the sports geek for just over two years. His main focus is on baseball, college basketball, and the NFL