Free College Basketball Picks: Illinois at Wisconsin Odds
by George Monroy - 1/7/2014
The Wisconsin Badgers ripped through the early portion of their schedule while rattling off 15 straight wins. The Badgers already have two huge victories over a pair of Top-25 teams—then No. 11 Florida Gators and the No. 22 Iowa Hawkeyes—to go along with nine double-digit victories. Wisconsin is not a team looking to rest on its past accomplishments as it will face the No.23 Illinois Fighting Illini on Wednesday and will then play the Indiana Hoosiers and Michigan Wolverines over the next 10 days. If the Badgers can get out of that brutal stretch of games without a loss, the team could very well be ranked No. 1 in the nation.
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The Illinois Fighting Illini are no strangers to playing the best teams in the nation as Wednesday’s matchup with the Badgers will be their third game against a Top-25 opponent in the last month. Illinois is coming into game with four straight wins and will be looking to hand the still-undefeated Badgers their first loss of the season. Let’s take a closer look at the matchup with predictions and analysis.
Illinois at Wisconsin Betting Story Lines
Wisconsin is not particularly impressive or dominant in any one single area, but the team does play an efficient and effective brand of basketball and has been racking up wins as of late. The Badgers are still undefeated, but more importantly are covering 66 percent of their spreads with a 10-5 ATS record. The squad is a bit under-the-radar and was not expected to be this good.
The Badgers have four double-digit scorers and are being led by the 14.1 points and 6.3 rebounds of sophomore Sam Dekker. However, the team is not much of a scoring threat and averages only 75 points per game. Overall, Wisconsin shoots well from all areas of the floor and is ranked 88th in the nation in field goal percentage. The squad held the No. 22 Iowa Hawkeyes to 39 percent shooting during its last matchup on Sunday.
Illinois has two losses on the season—one of them to the then-No.15 Oregon Ducks. The squad is being led by the 18.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists of guard Rayvonte Rice. Illinois averages only 72 points per game but plays a smothering type of defense that has kept most of its opponents in the low 60s.
The team is coming off an impressive 20-point victory over Penn State on Saturday, where the squad put on one of its best performances of the year. Illinois held Penn State to 29 percent shooting from the field by only allowing the team to make 17 shots the entire night. Illinois also out-rebounded its opponent 44-33.
Illinois at Wisconsin NCAA Betting Odds and Key Trends
Wisconsin opened as a 10.5-point favorite over the underdog Fighting Illini at BetOnline. Wisconsin is 4-0 ATS during its last four Wednesday games and 4-1 ATS over its last five games following a SU win. The team has also won four of its last five overall matchups. Illinois is 3-0-2 ATS during its last five overall games and 3-0-3 ATS against teams with a winning SU record. Head-to-head, the over is 5-1 during the last six meetings, while the favorite has covered 12 of the last 16 matchups. Illinois is also 0-5 ATS over the last five over games between the two teams.
Free College Basketball Picks: Illinois at Wisconsin Betting Predictions
Wednesday’s matchup between Wisconsin and Illinois is a huge Big Ten Conference rivalry. The Badgers are on an impressive winning streak, but they played close games during their previous two matchups against ranked teams. Wisconsin does not score a lot of points and prefers to slow down the pace of the game, which is something that falls perfectly into Illinois game plan. Both squads are familiar with each other and will probably play a low-scoring, back-and-forth game that stays in the high 60s to low 70s. Wisconsin might win this matchup, but all the value is on taking a very good Illinois team plus the points.
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