NCAA Basketball Picks: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Wisconsin Badgers

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Wisconsin Badgers
Saturday, 2/1/14, 12:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Wisconsin -4.5
Current Betting Line:  Wisconsin -5
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Ohio State Buckeyes are 5-3 ATS as underdogs the last two-plus seasons
The Ohio State Buckeyes are 5-3 ATS as underdogs the last two-plus seasons

Ohio State is 1-5 SUATS over its last six games, as it attempts to bounce back from a 71-70 overtime defeat to the Penn State Nittany Lions as 13-point home favorites Wednesday, while going OVER the betting total of 133.  The Buckeyes are 11-11 SU against the Badgers under head coach Thad Matta, which is important to consider when making your NCAA basketball picks.  The squad ranks third in the country in 3-point field goal percentage defense—leading directly to allowing just 58.9 points per game.  Ohio State is 5-3 ATS as underdogs the last two-plus seasons.

The Buckeyes are first in the conference with a +3.8 turnover margin, with point guard Aaron Craft being a major factor in that all-important statistical category.  Ohio State will need a major offensive performance from senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. if it plans on pulling off an upset in this spot, as he’s scored 10-plus points in 12 of his last 17 games.

Wisconsin has never dropped three consecutive games at the Kohl Center under head coach Bo Ryan, as it looks to move past a 65-56 setback to the Northwestern Wildcats as 17-point home favorites Wednesday.  The Badgers are enjoying their best offensive season under Ryan, averaging 74.3 points per game—up 9.3 points per game from a year ago.  The team has four of five probable starters scoring in double figures, with sophomore forward Sam Dekker leading the way at 14.0 points a contest.  Wisconsin is 23-8-1 ATS in its last 32 opportunities as home favorites of 3.5 to 6 points.

The Badgers have compiled a 33-11 SU record at home against ranked opponents, while compiling a 191-20 overall mark at this venue under Ryan.  Wisconsin has won 102 of its last 104 games when shooting a higher field goal percentage than its opponent, but one of those defeats came against the Indiana Hoosiers earlier this season.  The team is third in the Big Ten Conference in shooting 37.3 percent from beyond the arc during the 2013-14 campaign, which is up from 33 percent a year ago.

Sports bettors will likely back the Badgers due to the favorite being 8-1 ATS in the last nine meetings in this series.

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