Wisconsin (10-11, 3-5) at Michigan State (18-3, 6-2)
When: Friday, January 26th 2018
Where: Breslin Center, East Lansing, MI
Time: 8:00 ET | TV: FOX Sports 1
Opening Odds: Michigan State -17
The Michigan State Spartans are quietly moving up the rankings in the national polls and will look to extend their winning streak to three games when they take on the struggling Wisconsin Badgers for the first of two meetings this season. After getting tripped up at home to rival Michigan on January 13th, the Spartans have easily won their last two games over Indiana and Illinois, while the Badgers have lost four of their last five games including an 18-point loss to Iowa on Tuesday. Wisconsin’s success hinges on the play of Ethan Happ, who leads the team in scoring (16.9 points), rebounding (8.6), assists (3.8) and field-goal percentage (56.4). Freshman guard Brad Davison is the only other double-digit scorer the Badgers have at 11.8 points, but Khalil Iverson has averaged 15 points and 3.5 assists over his last two games. Wisconsin’s offense could have a tough time keeping up with a Michigan State squad that averages 85.3 points and has five double-figure scorers in its starting lineup. Miles Bridges (17.7 points, 7.3 rebounds), Nick Ward (14.1, 7.5) and Jaren Jackson Jr. (11.9, 6.4, 3.4 blocks) make up one of the best frontcourts in the country and play extremely well defensively as well.
The Badgers have issues stopping teams from scoring inside, and that could be a huge problem against Michigan State. Wisconsin does have a pair of 6’10” players in Happ and Nate Reuvers in the starting lineup, but Iowa was able to score 44 points in the paint on 84.6% shooting (22-for-26), with eight different players recording a basket in the paint. The Badgers have recorded 71 blocked shots as a team – the same number as the Spartans’ Jackson has on his own. Guard Brevin Pritzl is finding his shooting touch, recording double figures in points in five of his last seven games while averaging 11.5 over that span.
If the Spartans could hold onto the ball better, they may be side-by-side with Purdue at the top of the Big Ten standings. Michigan State committed a season-high 25 turnovers in the win over Illinois – which only was offset by the team’s 68.2% shooting. Point guard Cassius Winston had the hardest night against the Fighting Illini’s press defense, turning over the ball eight times. The Spartans still have time to work on the ball-handling and their 14.4 turnovers per game, which ranks 12th in the Big Ten. Michigan State ranks No. 1 in the nation in field-goal percentage defense (35.3%), blocked shots per game (8.0) and rebound margin (+12.1).
This is a total mismatch here. All the Spartans have to do is go inside all night and they’ll win this by 20+. Wisconsin really doesn’t have an offensive weapon outside of Happ. This will get ugly.
Pick: Michigan State -16
- Badgers are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 Friday games.
- Badgers are 4-10-2 ATS in their last 16 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Badgers are 7-18-2 ATS in their last 27 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Badgers are 5-15-2 ATS in their last 22 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Badgers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss.
- Badgers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Badgers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. Big Ten.
- Badgers are 3-13-2 ATS in their last 18 road games.
- Badgers are 0-5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Spartans are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Friday games.
- Spartans are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
- Spartans are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS win.
- Spartans are 21-6 ATS in their last 27 home games.
- Spartans are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up win.
- Spartans are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
- Spartans are 34-16-1 ATS in their last 51 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
- Spartans are 35-17 ATS in their last 52 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Under is 4-0 in Badgers last 4 games following a ATS loss.
- Under is 7-1-1 in Badgers last 9 Friday games.
- Under is 6-1-1 in Badgers last 8 road games.
- Under is 6-1-1 in Badgers last 8 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Under is 6-1-1 in Badgers last 8 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Under is 5-1-1 in Badgers last 7 overall.
- Under is 5-1-1 in Badgers last 7 vs. Big Ten.
- Over is 5-1 in Badgers last 6 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Under is 7-3-2 in Badgers last 12 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Over is 7-2 in Spartans last 9 games following a straight up win.
- Over is 6-2 in Spartans last 8 home games.
- Over is 8-3 in Spartans last 11 overall.
- Home team is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings.
- Over is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.
- Under is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings in Michigan St.
- Badgers are 2-10 ATS in the last 12 meetings.
- Badgers are 1-10 ATS in the last 11 meetings in Michigan St.