NCAA Basketball Picks: California Golden Bears vs. Wisconsin Badgers

California Golden Bears at Wisconsin Badgers
Sunday, 12/2/12, 4:00 PM EST, TV:  Big Ten Network
Opening Point Spread:  Wisconsin -6.5
Current Betting Line:  Wisconsin -7
Opening Total:  128.5
Current Total:  128.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The California Golden Bears have one of the best backcourts in the nation

California travels to Madison to face Wisconsin on Sunday inside the Kohl Center, as it looks to keep its perfect 6-0 record intact.  The Golden Bears ended up winning the DIRECTV Classic Championship, which included a 78-58 victory over Pacific as five-point neutral-site favorites last time out.  Five of the team’s six wins have come by double-digits, while it has out-rebounded each of its first six opponents.  California is 2-1 ATS as a road underdog of 6.5 to 9 points over the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 3-0 in that situation.

The Golden Bears are led by the talented backcourt of Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs, as they average a combined 42.0 points per game.  The duo has accounted for 252 of California’s 448 points this season, while shooting a spectacular 57 percent from the floor.  The program has won five of seven all-time meetings in this particular series, but has gone 15-15 ATS in non-conference action since 2010, which is something to consider when making your college basketball picks against the spread on Sunday.

Wisconsin owns a dominating 114-30 record in non-conference games under head coach Bo Ryan, which includes an 85-7 mark when playing inside this venue.  The Badgers have alternated wins and losses over their last four games, as they look to bounce back from a 60-54 setback to the Virginia Cavaliers as 10-point home favorites.  The early schedule is definitely a challenge for the team, facing five teams that qualified for last year’s NCAA Tournament.  Wisconsin is 9-4 ATS in December the last two-plus seasons, which can’t be ignored when looking at the college basketball odds page.

The Badgers have three probable starters that are averaging double figures in scoring, with senior Jared Berggren leading the way, scoring 14.7 points per game.  Wisconsin is 22-31 all-time versus members of the Pac-12 Conference, but hasn’t faced such a squad since beating Arizona in the Maui Invitational.  Watch the percentages on Sunday, as the squad is 4-0 when shooting a better field-goal percent than its opponent, while going 0-3 when failing to do so.

Sports bettors will likely back the Badgers due to their 6-2 ATS mark after an upset loss as a favorite, while the Golden Bears are 6-7 ATS in December.

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