Wisconsin (3-3) at Virginia (6-0)
When: Monday, November 27th 2017
Where: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, VA
Time: 9:00 ET | TV: ESPN2
Opening Odds: Virginia -8/122
A couple of defensive-minded teams meet on Monday night to open the ACC/Big Ten Challenge as the Wisconsin Badgers visit the Virginia Cavaliers on ESPN2. Many people will be tuned into the NFL game between Houston and Baltimore, but if you want to see a terrific College Hoops game, then tune in here. The 25th-ranked Cavaliers, who were not ranked in the preseason, are holding opponents to 52.3 points per game in winning their first six games of the season. Virginia has won all of its games by nine or more points but will be in for a challenge against the battle-tested Badgers, who take on their fourth ranked team of the young season. Wisconsin has lost all three of the previous contests against ranked teams – Baylor, UCLA and Xavier – but had a chance to win each of them and are coming off a 71-49 victory over Milwaukee on Friday. The teams split a pair of games in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge in 2012 and 2013 with the road team winning both.
All-American candidate Ethan Happ leads the Badgers in scoring (18.2), rebounding (9.3) and assists (3.7), but the junior forward is starting to get help from four freshmen making impacts. Guard Brad Davison (11.8 points, 14-of-29 from 3-point range) has made the biggest splash among the first-year players, although freshmen Aleem Ford, Kobe King and Nate Reuvers are getting increased minutes. Sophomore guards D’Mitrik Trice (10.5 points) and Brevin Pritzl (9.2) also contribute and combined for 22 points on Friday.
Sophomore guard Kyle Guy leads Virginia in scoring (15.8) and has hit 14-of-29 from 3-point range while senior backcourt mate Devon Hall is contributing 11.2 points per game. Senior forward Isaiah Wilkins (team-best 6.3 rebounds) was the go-to guy on Friday as he scored a career-high 19 points in the 70-55 championship game victory over Rhode Island and was named the MVP of the NIT Season Tip-Off. Senior transfer Nigel Johnson, who previously played at Kansas State and Rutgers, had a season-high 12 points in Virginia’s win over Rhode Island on Friday.
I really like this Virginia team with is dominating defense, but the offense at times goes cold, and Wisconsin is a team that can take advantage of that. Happ is a guy who can carry a team alone, but doesn’t have to. I’m taking the Badgers in this one based on the fact that they’ve played a tougher schedule thus far and won’t be intimidated.
Pick: Wisconsin +8.5
- Badgers are 18-6 ATS in their last 24 vs. Atlantic Coast.
- Badgers are 9-4-1 ATS in their last 14 non-conference games.
- Badgers are 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a ATS win.
- Badgers are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Badgers are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Badgers are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 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 win of more than 20 points.
- Badgers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Monday games.
- Badgers are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 road games.
- Badgers are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Cavaliers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
- Cavaliers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS win.
- Cavaliers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games.
- Cavaliers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Cavaliers are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
- Cavaliers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games.
- Cavaliers are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Cavaliers are 13-6-1 ATS in their last 20 Monday games.
- Under is 3-0-1 in Badgers last 4 games after allowing less than 50 points in their previous game.
- Under is 4-0-2 in Badgers last 6 Monday games.
- Over is 4-1-1 in Badgers last 6 games following a straight up win.
- Over is 3-1-1 in Badgers last 5 games following a ATS win.
- Under is 5-2 in Badgers last 7 vs. Atlantic Coast.
- Under is 25-12 in Badgers last 37 road games.
- Under is 6-2 in Cavaliers last 8 vs. Big Ten.
- Under is 23-9-1 in Cavaliers last 33 games following a ATS win.
- Under is 5-2 in Cavaliers last 7 overall.
- Under is 5-2 in Cavaliers last 7 non-conference games.
- Under is 27-12-1 in Cavaliers last 40 games following a straight up win.