Expect a defensive struggle when the Northwestern Wildcats (13-10, 4-6 Big 10) and Wisconsin Badgers (10-13, 3-7 Big 10) clash at Kohl Center. The game’s Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 130 points with Wisconsin opening as a 3-point favorite. Action starts at 8:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, February 1, 2018.
Northwestern Wildcats at Wisconsin Badgers Odds Preview
In the Wildcats’ last contest, they lost to the No. 24 Michigan Wolverines, 58-47. Northwestern’s Scottie Lindsey had a solid performance, leading both teams in scoring with 15 points on 5-for-11 shooting. Michigan had a turnover percentage of 8.2 (better than their season average of 13.1). Northwestern, on the other hand, held the Wolverines to an offensive rebounding percentage of 12.9 (below their season average of 27.6).
The Badgers are hoping for a better outcome after their 74-63 loss to the Nebraska Cornhuskers in their last contest. Ethan Happ was Wisconsin’s leading scorer with 25 points on 8-for-19 shooting. Nebraska had a turnover percentage of 8.1 (better than their season average of 14.4). Wisconsin, on the other hand, held the Cornhuskers to an effective field goal percentage of 0.446 (below the 0.517 mark opponents have averaged against Wisconsin this season).
Half-court execution will be of utmost importance when a pair of the NCAA’s slowest-paced teams square off. Wisconsin currently ranks 345th in possessions per game (64.3) and Northwestern is 271st (67.9).
Of Northwestern’s 20 games that accepted bets, 12 have finished under the projected point total, while 11 of Wisconsin’s 22 games have finished under the O/U total. The Wildcats have the clear advantage straight up (SU) (13-10 vs. 10-13), but both teams have similar against the spread (ATS) records. Northwestern is 8-12 ATS, while Wisconsin is 8-14 ATS.
Happ has been on fire over the last five games for Wisconsin, averaging 18.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.4 steals per game.
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams, after splitting two games last season. The Badgers won the last matchup 76-48. The Badgers dominated every facet of the game. They had a fantastic offensive rebounding percentage of 38.7 and a great effective field goal percentage of 0.579. For those same stats, the Wildcats were 25.0 and 0.375, respectively.
Northwestern Wildcats at Wisconsin Badgers ATS Prediction
Free Basketball Pick: SU Winner – Northwestern, ATS Winner – Northwestern, O/U – Under
- Wisconsin is 6-6 ATS at home, while Northwestern is 3-7 ATS on the road.
- The total has gone over in 8 of the Badgers’ 12 home games, while 5 of the Wildcats’ 10 road games have gone under.
- Northwestern ranks 104th in three pointers attempted per game (23.2) while Wisconsin ranks 231st (19.2).
- The Wildcats average 4.7 blocks per game, which ranks 32nd in the nation. The Badgers rank 127th in blocks allowed per game (3.7).
- Northwestern ranks 209th in rebounds per game (34.1) while Wisconsin ranks 275th (31.4).
- Wisconsin is 2-3 ATS with 2 overs, 2 unders and 1 push in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Northwestern is 2-3 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over.
- The Badgers have been outscored by an average of 9.4 points in their last five games. On the season, Wisconsin has defeated opponents by an average of 1.2 points.
- During their last five games, the Wildcats have scored an average of 61.0 points per game (10.8 below their season average) and allowed an average of 65.0 points per game (1.7 below their season average).