NCAA Basketball Picks: Virginia Cavaliers vs. Wisconsin Badgers

Virginia Cavaliers at Wisconsin Badgers
Wednesday, 11/28/12, 7:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN2
Opening Point Spread:  Wisconsin -9.5
Current Betting Line:  Wisconsin -9.5
Opening Total:  111
Current Total:  112
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Wisconsin Badgers are nearly unbeatable at the Kohl Center

Virginia has won three games in a row and will now try to improve upon its 7-5 all-time record in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, as it comes off an 80-64 victory over North Texas as 6.5-point home favorites.  The Cavaliers had five players score in double figures, while the team shot season-bests from the floor and three-point line.  Junior guard Joe Harris is the player to watch offensively, averaging 15.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.  Virginia is 3-1 ATS as a road underdog of 9.5 to 12 points over the last two-plus seasons, which can’t be ignored when making your NCAA basketball picks on Tuesday.

The Cavaliers are 2-4 on the road in this event, while they’ve compiled a 13-19 record away from home in four years under coach Tony Bennett.  Virginia went 7-4 on the road last season—with the seven wins being the most for the program since the 1986-87 campaign.  Harris must be defended on the perimeter due to hitting a career-high 51.9 percent of his shots from beyond the arc this year.

Wisconsin has gone 85-6 against non-conference opponents inside the Kohl Center under coach Bo Ryan, as it comes off a 77-70 win over the Arkansas Razorbacks as 8.5-point neutral-site favorites.  The Badgers are 9-7 against ACC teams in the Ryan era, while they’ve gone 6-7 all-time in this particular event.  Senior center Jared Berggren is averaging a team-high 15.2 points and leads the Big Ten with 15 blocks in six games.  Wisconsin is 19-9 ATS in non-conference action since 2010, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college basketball odds page.

The Badgers and Cavaliers have split their two previous meetings, but Bennett is certainly familiar with the program, as his dad was head coach at Wisconsin for five-plus seasons from 1996 to 2000.  Wisconsin’s .918 home winning streak since 2001-02 ranks fourth nationally.  It’s also important to note that 127 of the team’s last 169 home wins have come by at least 10 points.

Sports bettors will likely back the Cavaliers due to their 5-2 ATS mark versus Big Ten foes, while the Badgers are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games following a SU win.

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