NCAA Tournament Picks: Belmont vs. Wisconsin Odds and Predictions
by Vegas Sports Informer - 3/16/2011
The Belmont Bruins and the Wisconsin Badgers will face off in the first round of the NCAA tournament at 7:25 p.m. EST on Thursday in Tucson. This appears to be a matchup between two totally opposite squads, as one team loves to push the ball up-and-down the court at both ends while the other loves to play in-your-face defense and a methodical half-court offense.
Both teams stand a great chance of winning this matchup and this game is one of the most popular upset picks of the first round.
How the Teams Enter
No. 13 seed Belmont Bruins (30-4 overall, 19-1 league) won the Atlantic Sun Tournament and the Bruins were easily the best team in the conference. The No. 4 seed Wisconsin Badgers (23-8, 13-5) received an at-large bid out of the Big Ten, but the Badgers undoubtedly play in the tougher conference than the Bruins.
Belmont vs. Wisconsin Betting Storylines
The Belmont Bruins are already the media favorite in this game and if you watched the ESPN Bracketology Special, the Bruins have won this game already. Yes, Belmont had 30 victories and, yes, they are a very experienced team. However, let these kids play before we throw out the winner.
Belmont will want to push the ball and get this game on a fast pace, and if the Bruins do that then the Badgers could be in trouble. Belmont is averaging 80.4 points per game and the Bruins have three starters that average double-digits. But in two out of the three losses that the Bruins had this year they were unable to score more than 65 points. Belmont is a deep team and they rotate 11 guys in and out and this could bother the Badgers. This is the strategy the Bruins used all season long and Thursday night we should see fresh faces trying to win this one for the A-Sun. But again, the Belmont Bruins will need to make this game an up-tempo affair if they want steal a victory from the No. 3 team from power conference like the Big Ten.
I’d have to say this game is much more important for Wisconsin because of the media loving Belmont. Another reason this game is important for Wisconsin is because the last game the Badgers played they only scored 33 points against Penn St. Wisconsin will need to slow down the pace in this game (with their tough, in-your-face man-to-man defense), and if the Badgers can hold the Bruins to less than 65 points then the Badgers win this game with ease. The Badgers defense is holding opponents to just 58.3 points per game and that is the key to this matchup Thursday night. The Badgers have played tougher opponents than Belmont and the Badgers will be the crowd favorite as Wisconsin fans travel well and are loyal.
Belmont vs. Wisconsin Betting Odds and Trends
Wisconsin is a five-point favorite, according to the college basketball odds, with the total at just 126. Wisconsin is 23-8 overall, 2-2 on a neutral court and 15-12 against the spread while Belmont is 30-4 overall, a perfect 6-0 on a neutral court and 7-4 ATS.
Belmont is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 nonconference games.
Wisconsin is 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games on a neutral court.
The ‘over’ is 11-5 in Belmont’s past 16 games on a neutral court.
The ‘under’ is 12-3-1 in Wisconsin’s last 16 games on a neutral court as a favorite.
NCAA Tournament Picks: Belmont vs. Wisconsin Predictions
With both teams playing such opposite styles we fully believe defense wins this one and Wisconsin plays outstanding man-to-man ‘D’. I originally made the Badgers a 5-6 point favorite in this game so when this number was posted I thought this game had some value. Wisconsin will be looking to erase their bad showing against Penn State and as I stated the Badgers defense holds the Bruins offense down so that Wisconsin can advance to the next round. Take Wisconsin and give up the five points.
Vegas Sports informer looks to dominate the March Madness brackets with his expert college basketball picks. VSI has notched nine of 11 winning nights for his college basketball handicapping and he looks to destroy the bookies for this weekend’s March Madness picks.
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