College Basketball Picks: #20 Wisconsin Badgers at Minnesota Golden Gophers
#20 Wisconsin Badgers at Minnesota Golden Gophers
Thursday, February 14, 2013, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Williams Arena – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Opening Line: Minnesota -5
Current Line: Minnesota -5
Opening Total: 119
Current Total: 118 1/2
Opening Money Line: Minnesota -215 / Wisconsin +185
Current Money Line: Minnesota -205 / Wisconsin +175
Although both the Wisconsin Badgers and Minnesota Golden Gophers are 17-7 this season, Wisconsin is 8-3 in the Big Ten. Minnesota, meanwhile, is 5-6. The Badgers are a game and a half behind first place Indiana and Michigan St who are both 10-2. The Golden Gophers are in sixth place in the conference.
Minnesota leads the series 100-92, including 67-31 in Minneapolis. Wisconsin has won 16 of the last 20 games in the series, including 4 straight. The Badgers won 45-44 in Madison last month. In that game guard Traevon Jackson hit a 15 foot jumper with 4 seconds left as the shot clock expired to give the Badgers a one point lead. Minnesota missed a potential game winner at the end of the game. Needless to say, neither shot very well as Minnesota made 34.8% from the field and Wisconsin shot 37% from the field.
Wisconsin is coached by Bo Ryan. The Badgers have losses at Florida, Marquette, Iowa, and Ohio St, home losses to Virginia and Michigan St and to Creighton in a tournament in Las Vegas. Wisconsin has won 3 straight games. The Badgers have key wins over Cornell, Arkansas in Las Vegas, California, Green Bay, Milwaukee, Penn St, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, and Michigan Saturday 65-62 in overtime along with road wins at Nebraska, Indiana, and Illinois. Wisconsin is 8-14 ATS and the total is 9-10 this season.
Wisconsin is outscoring teams 67-57 this season. The Badgers are #11 in points allowed nationally. Wisconsin is shooting 42.7% from the field and 34.7% from 3 points range. The Badgers are #332 out of 347 teams in free throw shooting at just 61.9% from the line. Wisconsin averages 37 rebounds per game, and give up 29.5 to opponents. Badger opponents are shooting 40 % from the field and 30.4% from 3 point range. Wisconsin averages 13 assists, 6 steals, 4 blocks and 9 turnovers.
Forward/Center Jared Berggren averages 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game.Guard Ben Brust averages 11.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1 steal per game. Forward Ryan Evans averages 10.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. Forward Sam Dekker averages 8.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists. Forward Mike Bruesewitz averages 7 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.6 assists. Traevon Jackson, George Marshall and Frank Kaminsky make up the rest of the rotation.
Minnesota is coached by Tubby Smith. The Gophers started off the season 15-1 but have gone 2-6 since then. Minnesota has lost 2 straight games. The Gophers have losses to Duke in a tournament in the Bahamas, road losses at Indiana, Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Michigan St, and home losses to Michigan and Illinois Sunday 57-53. Minnesota has key wins over Toledo, Richmond, Memphis & Stanford in the Bahamas, at Florida St, at USC, Michigan St, Northwestern, at Illinois, Nebraska, and Iowa. The Gophers are 13-9 ATS and the total is 8-9.
Minnesota is outscoring teams 71-61 this season. The Gophers are shooting 45.6% from the field and 34.8% from 3 point range. Minnesota makes 68.7% from the free throw line. Minnesota averages 39.7 rebounds per game and gives up25.3 per game. The Gophers are #20 in rebounding, and #7 in rebounds allowed. Minnesota opponents are shooting 39.9% from the field and 34.2% from 3 point range. The Gophers average 16 assists, 9 steals, 6 blocks, and 14 assists.
Guard Andre Hollins averages 13.8 points, 3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Forward Rodney Williams averages 11.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game. He is probable with a shoulder injury after missing the Illinois game. Guard Austin Hollins averages 11.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 2 steals. Guard Joe Coleman averages 9.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. He is probable with an ankle injury. Trevor Mbakwe averages 9.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.7 blocks per game. Guard Wally Ellenson is out indefinitely with an Achilles’ injury.
Wisconsin is 2-5 ATS against teams with winning records, overall, and in Big Ten games, 2-6 in road games, and against teams with winning home records, and 1-4 after a cover. The road team is 7-3 ATS in this series recently. The under is 6-2 in the last 8 in Minneapolis in the series.
Minnesota is 5-2 ATS against teams with winning home records, 2-5 against teams with winning records, overall, and against Big Ten teams. The Gophers have covered 6 of the last 8 times against the Badgers.
Minnesota hasn’t been good recently, and Wisconsin has won 3 straight. This should be another close defensive struggle, similar to their game last month. Both of these defenses are among the best in the country, and the offenses are terrible, but it isn’t really a focus for either team.
Our expert college basketball picks are available now. We are releasing winners and key plays every day.