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Minnesota vs. Wisconsin Predictions, Odds

 

  • December 31, 2020
  • By Thom Cunningaham
  • VegasInsider.com

The newly ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers look to continue their impressive early season run, traveling to a top-10 AP-ranked school in the Wisconsin Badgers. Tip is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. (ET) from the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

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WHERE TO BET MINNESOTA-WISCONSIN

Michigan-Maryland Betting Odds

Line Movements

  • Spread: Wisconsin -8
  • Money-Line: TBD
  • Total: 143.5

Odds Subject to Change

Wisconsin is the home favorite, given an eight-point opening spread against the Golden Gophers. Oddsmakers still have conviction in the home Badgers, as the team lost its most recent home game to Maryland. The loss was surprising, dropping Wisconsin below .500 for the ATS this season.

Minnesota has barged into the AP Top 25 Rankings for the first time this season, backing voters with an 81-56 blowout victory over Michigan State. The Golden Gophers have now beat three straight March Madness teams, along with two overtime victories which builds the ability to overcome adversity in games.

The opening point total is 143.5, which the two schools have gone a combined 14-4 this season.

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Betting Analysis – Minnesota Golden Gophers

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 9-1
  • ATS: 5-4-1
  • SU - Home: 9-0
  • SU - Away: 0-1
  • O/U: 7-3

There are three names college basketball bettors need to know entering Big Ten play this season. Marcus Carr, Liam Robbins and Both Gach are all studs for this Minnesota team. Carr averages 24 points and 6.1 assists per game, while Robbins and Gach average a double-digit point total and over six rebounds.

They're all juniors as well, not to mention both Gabe Kalscheur (9.3 ppg) and Brandon Johnson (8.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg) are upperclassmen. This team is riddled with experienced playmakers, and a large chip on its shoulder.

They average the 16th-most blocks per game (5.3), 65th-most defensive rebounds per game (28.8), 79th-most total rebounds per game (39.8), 44th-most assists per game (17), 31st-most points per game (84.3) and most importantly shoot 30 free throws per game while hitting 22.7 of them. Both free throw averages are the best in the nation (out of 335 schools).

When reading the above resume for Minnesota, it's hard not to like this club. They present a ton of experience and control in the paint, which is key against a charge-drawing Wisconsin club. For Minnesota, using experience to make smart plays (avoiding Wisconsin charge-drawing trickery) and letting talent take over will be the key for a big road win here.

Betting Analysis – Wisconsin Badgers

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 8-2
  • ATS: 4-5-1
  • SU - Home: 7-1
  • SU - Away: 1-1
  • O/U: 7-3

The Badgers are going to be dangerous in this afternoon battle, mainly because they're coming off a home loss. This doesn't bode well for Minnesota, having to face a much more focused and determined Wisconsin team. What do the Badgers do well? Besides drawing charges, they're efficient.

The Badgers poise the 32nd-most efficient offense in the nation (114.1), and also have the 69th-most efficient defense that allows 60.6 points per game (25th-lowest). This is a very good defensive team, as Wisconsin has three players with a double-digit steal total.

Tyler Wahl has the most with 11, also posting 10 blocks which is the second-most on the team. D'Mitrik Trice and Brad Davison are the defensive catalysts however, each with 10 steals and Davison drawing so many charges its hard to keep count.

Both players exemplify Wisconsin's evenly efficient ratio on offense and defense. Both players average a double-digit point total, but Micah Potter is one of the most important players in the nation to his team. Potter averages 12.2 points per game to go along with 6.9 rebounds, which has actually dipped in recent games.

Potter is due to break out of his sluggish form, while senior Nate Reuvers also needs to step up. Wisconsin is the most experienced team in the nation, so they should at the very least break even in a game of wits with Minnesota. The two seniors that need to step up for a Badger win are Potter and Reuvers.

Minnesota is the more talented team on paper, so Reuvers scoring eight points or fewer in five of his last six games isn't going to cut it. Potter has scored 11 or less in three straight as well, so if both don't step up then Minnesota will win on the road (barring a sluggish game from one of their stars).

Inside the Stats – Minnesota Golden Gophers

  • PS/G: 84.3 (31st)
  • PA/G: 73.9 (247th)
  • Off Rtg: 110.1 (65th)
  • Def Rtg: 96.5 (165th)

Inside the Stats – Wisconsin Badgers

  • PS/G: 76.7 (113th)
  • PA/G: 60.6 (25th)
  • Off Rtg: 114.1 (32nd)
  • Def Rtg: 90.2 (69th)

Key Players to Watch

  • MINN - Marcus Carr (24 PPG, 6.1 APG)
  • MINN - Liam Robbins (13.1 PPG, 6.8 RPG)
  • WIS - D'Mitrik Trice (14.2 PPG)
  • WIS - Micah Potter (12.2 PPG, 6.9 RPG)

Minnesota-Wisconsin Predictions

This is a very difficult game to pick, even with a surprising spread for Wisconsin. Let's start simple, the odds. The point total has gone over in 14 of the last 18 combined games for both teams. Although this game has a great chance to go UNDER (both teams would have to fail in reaching 70), going against a 14-4 O/U isn't a good idea.

Minnesota being the better team on the road is a tough sell as well. Keep in mind that Wisconsin is one of the best team's in the nation, and playing at home should be leaned on more times than not. Also, the recent home loss should fuel this team to come out strong or at the very least finish strong.

Feel free to run with the Badgers at home, as the point total may come down to garbage time buckets. The spread is a bit worrisome, but if Wisconsin struggles they should see a strong end to the second half regardless of the first half score.

  • Score Prediction: Wisconsin 77 Minnesota 69
  • Best Bets: OVER
  • Best Bets: Wisconsin 2H

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