Big Ten Championship Betting Picks: #4 Wisconsin Badgers vs #2 Ohio State Buckeyes

2013 Big Ten Championship
#4 Wisconsin Badgers vs #2 Ohio State Buckeyes
Sunday, March 17, 2013, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
United Center – Chicago, Illinois
Opening Line: Ohio State -1 1/2
Current Line: Ohio State -2
Opening Total: 117
Current Total: 117 1/2
Opening Money Line: Ohio State -130 / Wisconsin +110
Current Money Line: Ohio State -135 / Wisconsin +115


Ohio St is a slight favorite against Wisconsin in  Sunday's Big ten Championship game in Chicago.
Ohio St is a slight favorite against Wisconsin in Sunday’s Big ten Championship game in Chicago.

All season there were 5 elite teams in the Big Ten. Indiana Michigan st, Ohio St, Michigan and Wisconsin dominated the conference all year. It isn’t really a surprise that two of those teams are playing for the Big Ten title Sunday in Chicago. The 25-7 Ohio Buckeyes were 13-5 in the Big ten and finished tied for second with Michigan St a game behind 14-4 Indiana. The 23-10 Wisconsin Badgers were 12-6 and tied with Michigan for 4th.

Wisconsin beat Michigan 68-59 in the quarters Friday, and then upset top seed Indiana 68-56 in the semifinals yesterday. The Badgers have won 3 straight games. Ohio St beat Nebraska 71-50 in the quarterfinals, and beat Michigan St 61-58 in the semifinals. The Buckeyes are playing in their fifth straight Big Ten title game. Ohio St is on a 7 game winning streak.

Ohio State leads the series 84-67 against Wisconsin, including 3-1 in neutral site games. The two teams split the season series this year with each winning at home. Ohio St won January 29 in Columbus 58-49. Wisconsin crushed Ohio St in Madison 71-49 February 17.

Wisconsin is coached by Bo Ryan. The Badgers have losses at Florida, Marquette, Iowa, Ohio St, and Minnesota  home losses to Virginia, Michigan St twice, and Purdue and to Creighton in a tournament in Las Vegas. The Badgers have key wins over Cornell, Arkansas in Las Vegas, California, Green Bay, Milwaukee, Penn St twice, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio St and Nebraska, along with road wins at Nebraska, Indiana, Illinois and Northwestern. Wisconsin is 13-17-1 ATS and the total is 14-14 this season.

Wisconsin is outscoring teams 66-56 this season. The Badgers are #10 in points allowed nationally. Wisconsin is shooting 42.6% from the field and 33.8% from 3 points range. The Badgers are #322 out of 347 teams in free throw shooting at just 63.5% from the line. Wisconsin averages 36.9 rebounds per game, and give up 29.6 to opponents. Badger opponents are shooting 39.4% from the field and 30.1% from 3 point range. The Badgers are 37th or better in both categories. Wisconsin averages 13 assists, 6 steals, 4 blocks and 10 turnovers.

Forward/Center Jared Berggren averages 11.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game.Guard Ben Brust averages 11.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1 steal per game. Forward Ryan Evans averages 10.4 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2 assists per game.  Forward Sam Dekker averages 9.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.4 assists. Forward Mike Bruesewitz averages 6.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.9 assists. Traevon Jackson, George Marshall and Frank Kaminsky make up the rest of the rotation.

Ohio St is coached by Thad Matta. The Buckeyes have losses at Duke, Illinois, Michigan St, Michigan, and Wisconsin along with  home losses to Kansas and Indiana. Ohio St has key wins over Rhode Island and Washington in a tournament in Connecticut, Long Beach St, Nebraska twice,  at Purdue, Michigan, Iowa, at Penn St, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan St, Northwestern twice and at Indiana and Illinois. Ohio St is 18-11-1 ATS and the total is 12-17.

Ohio St is outscoring teams 70-58. The Buckeyes are #21 in points allowed. Ohio St is shooting 45.6% from the field and 35.9% from 3 point range. Ohio St makes 69.2% of their free throws. The Buckeyes average 35.4 rebounds per game and give up 28.6 per game. Ohio St opponents are shooting 39.5% from the field and 32.4% from 3 point range. The Buckeyes are 39th in field goal percentage allowed. Ohio St averages 14 assists, 7 steals, 4 blocks, and 11 turnovers.

Forward Deshaun Thomas averages 19.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. Guard Lenzelle Smith, Jr. averages 10.3 points, 5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. Guard Aaron Craft averages 9.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. LaQuinton Ross averages 7.5 points and 3 rebounds per game.  Sam Thompson averages 7 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.1 assists. Evan Ravenel  averages 5.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Shannon Scott averages 4.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Amir Williams averages 4.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game.

Wisconsin is 5-1-1 ATS after a straight up win, 4-1-1 against teams with winning records, 3-1-1 after a cover, and 8-3 in neutral site games. The under is 9-4 in the last 13 in this series.

Ohio St is 5-0 ATS against teams with winning records, 4-0 after a win, overall, and against Big Ten teams, 4-1 after a cover, 11-4 in Sunday games, and 5-2 in neutral site games. The favorite is 7-1 ATS in the last 8 in this series.

The last time these two teams were on the court, The Badgers destroyed the Buckeyes. That also happens to be the last time Ohio St lost a game. Wisconsin can play with any team in the country, but they are inconsistent. If they can’t run their system that involves a lot of passing until they find the open man, then they usually lose. These are two of the best defensive teams in the country. Each held the other to 49 points in their win this season. I like Ohio St, but Wisconsin can certainly win.

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