January 26, 2018
There is one pick today.
Take Wisconsin +17 spread against Michigan State for 3% of the bankroll.
There is no question that the Wisconsin Badgers have struggled this season and are clearly in a transition year. they come into this matchup having lost 4 of their last 5 games and are likely going to break their longstanding streak of making the NCAA tournament this season. That being said, this is still a prideful team and tonight, have the opportunity to face the #6 ranked team in the country as they travel to take on the Michigan State Spartans in a nationally televised game.
These type of high profile and nationally televised games often bring out the very best in teams, even ones that have struggled like Wisconsin has. While their offense has been inconsistent this season, they do still play a hard-nosed style of defense which is what we believe is going to keep them in this game tonight. The Spartans, as good as they have been this season, have struggled as of late, especially when it comes to protecting the basketball. Turnovers have plagued this team, and they committed 25 against a sub-par Illinois team their last time out. With the style of defense that the Badgers play, turning the ball over that many times, should give Wisconsin the chance to keep pace in this contest.
The oddsmakers have listed the total in this matchup in the mid-130 range, which indicates that they expect a much lower scoring game. If that is indeed the case, that is the style of play that lends itself extremely well to the Badgers. Slowing down the tempo of the game and limiting the number of possessions by Michigan State is key to beating the Spartans. While we're not convinced that Wisconsin can pull off the outright upset, we do believe that they will put in a strong enough performance to stay within this generous number of points.
While Wisconsin has failed to pile up wins, they are still a big-name program that is capable to put forth a stellar performance, each and every time they step on the floor. This is their chance to gain national exposure against one of the top teams in the country and show everyone that they can still compete. Michigan State has been bulldozing their opponents on their home floor all season long, winning by an average of 28 points per game, but at some point, they are going to play in a closely contested battle, and we believe this particular matchup presents the perfect opportunity for such a contest. The Spartans will need to likely play the perfect game in order to cover this lofty spread and while it is certainly possible, we don't believe it is likely.
It is one thing for a team to continue to win in blowout fashion, however, it is completely different when you need it happen to cash the winning ticket. A majority of the betting public are backing the Spartans simple because of the perception of these two teams this season and are therefore willing to lay an inflated price simply due to the fact that Wisconsin is viewed as a "poor team" this season. The oddsmakers realize this and have increased the spread on this game a couple of more points than we believe it should be. This is an ideal opportunity for the sportsbooks to take a ton of action on the Spartans, only to pull the rug out from under the betting public. Whether Wisconsin keeps this game close or somehow manages to get a late couple of baskets when they game is out of reach to sneak in a backdoor cover, we believe the value on this matchup is with taking the points. Michigan State will likely win this game, but the points will come into play.
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