NCAA Basketball Picks: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Wisconsin Badgers

No. 13 Ohio State Buckeyes at No. 20 Wisconsin Badgers
Sunday, 2/17/13, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Wisconsin -3.5
Current Betting Line:  Wisconsin -4.5
Opening Total:  120
Current Total:  119.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Ohio State Buckeyes are 2-0 SUATS when the total is 119.5 or less this season
The Ohio State Buckeyes are 2-0 SUATS when the total is 119.5 or less this season

Ohio State snapped a two-game losing streak last time out, as it picked up a 69-59 victory over the Northwestern Wildcats as 17-point home favorites, while going OVER the total for a third consecutive contest.  The Buckeyes and Badgers are both 8-4 in Big Ten Conference play, which is why forward Deshaun Thomas must get his teammates ready for a physical matchup.  “It’d be a big boost for us,” he commented late in the week.  Thomas leads the conference in scoring with 20.2 points per game for a total of 485 points during the 2012-13 NCAA basketball season.  Ohio State is 2-0 SUATS when the total is 119.5 or less this season, which is important to consider when making your college basketball expert picks Sunday.

The Buckeyes have won four of their last six meetings with the Badgers, while compiling a 6-3 record when both teams come into a matchup ranked.  Ohio State is 122-49 versus league opponents during the Thad Matta era, including a 10-10 mark versus Sunday’s opponent.  Defensively, the squad ranks third in the Big Ten in allowing 59.1 points per game, while outscoring foes by an average of 12.5 points.

Wisconsin has played three consecutive overtime games, as it ended up on the short end of a 58-53 decision to the Minnesota Golden Gophers as five-point road underdogs last time out.  “We just did not hit free throws and had a couple tough turnovers,” stated Badgers head coach Bo Ryan.  The Badgers are 4-4 versus top-25 opponents this year, as they’ve played the second-toughest schedule in the nation to this point.  The program is 29-11 at the Kohl Center against ranked foes.  Wisconsin is 0-2 ATS as home favorites of 3.5 to 6 points this season, with the UNDER going 2-0 in that situation.

The Badgers lead the Big Ten and rank 11th nationally in allowing 56.5 points per game, which is important to note when looking over the college basketball odds page.  Ryan’s .707 win percentage in conference games is the best mark of any coach in Big Ten history, but just percentage points ahead of Matta in that category.

Sports bettors will likely back the Buckeyes due to their 9-3 ATS record on Sundays, while the Badgers are 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight conference games.

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