Big Ten Handicapping Selections: Nebraska Cornhuskers at #10 Michigan Wolverines

Nebraska Cornhuskers at #10 Michigan Wolverines
Crisler Center – Ann Arbor, Michigan

Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 6:30 pm Eastern, TV: Big Ten Network
Opening Line: Michigan -12 1/2
Current Line: Michigan -13 1/2
Opening Total: 138
Current Total: 136 1/2
Opening  Money Line: Michigan -1200 / Nebraska +760
Current Money Line: Michigan -1200 / Nebraska +760

Michigan is a 13.5 point favorite at home against Nebraska Wednesday.
Michigan is a 13.5 point favorite at home against Nebraska Wednesday.

The 16-5 Michigan Wolverines saw their 10 game winning streak snapped Sunday as they lost to Indiana 63-52 in Bloomington. It was the first Big Ten loss for the Wolverines, but they are still tied at 8-1 with Michigan State for the conference lead. Michigan looks to rebound as they host the 11-9 Nebraska Cornhuskers Wednesday night. The Corhuskers have won 3 of their last four games and are 3-5 in the Big Ten.

Michigan leads the series 9-2 against Nebraska. The Wolverines have won five straight games in the series. Nebraska has not beaten Michigan since 1964, and has never won in Ann Arbor or at a neutral site in the series. Michigan beat Nebraska 71-70 in Lincoln January 9. It was the only home loss of the season for Nebraska.

Nebraska is coached by Tim Miles. The Cornhuskers have losses to Massachusetts and UAB in a tournament in Charleston, Creighton, Cincinnati, Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan, Purdue, and Penn State. The Cornhuskers have key wins over Georgia in Charleston, Northern Illinois, Miami-(FL), Arkansas State, Ohio State, Minnesota, and Indiana 60-55 last Thursday. Nebraska is 12-7 ATS and the total is 9-10 this season.

Nebraska is outscoring teams 69-67 this season. The Cornhuskers are shooting 43.2% from the field and 35.5% from 3 point range. Nebraska makes 70.7% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 44.2% from the field and 32.7% from 3 point range. The Cornhuskers average 33.4 rebounds per game and opponents average 31 per game. Nebraska averages 10.4 assists, 11.4 turnovers, 7.3 steals and 3 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.1 assists, 13 turnovers, 5.4 steals and 3.2 blocks per game.

Forward Terran Petteway averages 18.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1 steal per game. Guard Shavon Shields averages 11 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. Guard Deverell Biggs averages 9.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1 steal per game. Guard Ray Gallegos averages 8.2 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists. Forward Walter Pitchford averages 8.3 points, and 4.4 rebounds per game. Forward Leslee Smith averages 7.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. Guard Tai Webster averages 5.6 points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. David Rivers and Benny Parker will also get significant time in the rotation.

Michigan is coached by John Beilein. The Wolverines have losses at Iowa State, to Charlotte in a tournament in Puerto Rico, at Duke, at Arizona, and at Indiana. Michigan is undefeated at home this season. The Wolverines have key wins over Long Beach State and Florida State in Puerto Rico, Stanford in Brooklyn, at Minnesota, Northwestern, at Nebraska, Penn State, at Wisconsin, Iowa, at Michigan State, and Purdue. Michigan is 10-8-1 ATS and the total is 10-8-1 this season.

Michigan is outscoring teams 76-64 this season. The Wolverines are #45 nationally in points allowed. Michigan is shooting 48.6% from the field and 39.1% from 3 point range. The Wolverines are #18 in field goal percentage and #32 in three point shooting. Michigan is #22 in free throw shooting at 74.8% from the line. Wolverine opponents are shooting. 43.7% from the field and 33.1% from 3 point range. Michigan averages 32.8 rebounds per game and allow 29.2 from opponents. The Wolverines average 14.9 assists, 9.6 turnovers, 5.7 steals and 3 turnovers per game. Opponents average 11.7 assists, 11.7 turnovers, 5 steals and 2.4 blocks per game.

Guard Nik Stauskas averages 17.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists. Forward Glenn Robinson III averages 13.1 points, 4.3 points, 1.3 assists, and 1 steal per game. Guard Caris  LeVert averages 12 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Forward Mitch McGary averages 9.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.5 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. He is out indefinitely with a back injury. Guard Derrick Walton, Jr. averages 8.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. Zak Irvin, Jordan Morgan, Jon Horford, and Spike Albrecht will also get plenty of time in the rotation.

Nebraska is 6-0 ATS overall and against Big Ten teams, 5-0 after a cover and against teams with winning records, 17-36 after a straight up win, and 9-19 against teams with winning home records.

Michigan is 5-0 ATS against teams with losing road records, 4-1-1 at home, 6-2-1 after failing to cover, 10-4 in Wednesday games, 7-3-1 overall, and 35-16-1 after a straight up loss.

Michigan is clearly the better team here despite winning by only one point at Nebraska last month. I like the wolverines to win at home, but 13.5 points seems like a lot. Nebraska stays within the number.

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