Northwestern Wildcats at Wisconsin Badgers – NCAAM January 20

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Northwestern at No. 10 Wisconsin (-12) O/U: 136

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Northwestern +12 (-110) +545 O 135 (-110)
Wisconsin -12 (-110) -725 U 135 (-110)

The 11-3 Badgers host the 6-6 Wildcats at the Kohl Center on Wednesday night for a Big Ten battle. The Badgers dropped one spot in the AP poll this week following a beatdown at the hands of Michigan, but they bounced back nicely with a 60-54 win at Rutgers last Friday. Northwestern had seemingly emerged as one of the biggest surprises in the country, starting the season 6-1, before dropping five in a row to fall to .500 for the first time all season.

This matchup is a tall task for the reeling Wildcats as not only have they lost five in a row, they have also lost five straight against the spread. Northwestern has given up 81 or more points in all five of their games during this current losing streak. In the Big Ten, the defensive challenges only seem to get harder in your next matchup, and now they have to deal with D’Mitrik Trice who averages 15 points per game while shooting 43.5% from behind the arc for Wisconsin. The Badgers are balanced machine offensively because they run a patient offense and have an obvious willingness to share the basketball and make the extra passes necessary to ensure optimum shot selection each possession. While Micah Potter is the only other player averaging double figures, the Badgers feature a total of five players averaging more than 9 points per game.

The line for this game provided by Betonline favors Wisconsin. But with a number of 12 points, there always is the chance of a backdoor cover in a game that in reality is not ever that close. If you want a safer Wisconsin bet, take them at -6½ for the first half. The Wildcats have given up 40 or more points in their last five first halves. The other best bet for this game is the Over of 136 points for the game. These two teams are a combined 15-10 for Overs this season. Wisconsin is thought of as a defensive juggernaut, but this season they have been so efficient on the offensive end that they have been an Over machine. Northwestern has not seen a total this small during conference play for a reason. Wisconsin will be able to score 75 points or more with ease,  meaning those who wager on the Over will need to rely on Northwestern to score a mere 61 points, a number the Wildcats have failed to reach only once this year.

The Bets
Wisconsin First Half -6½
-113
Over 136
+100
Joe Menzer / Author

Joe is an award-winning writer and editor who has covered the NBA, NFL, NASCAR, golf, various collegiate athletics and other sports for newspapers, Turner Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been on the beat for seven Super Bowls, six Daytona 500s and numerous NBA playoff series and All-Star Games. He once was dispatched to Rome, Italy to spend time with an NBA draft choice who opted to play overseas, after which he produced an award-winning series of stories. He also is passionate about fantasy sports and breaking down games in ways that even novice gamblers can use to make their most intelligent wagering decisions.