Minnesota Golden Gophers at (5) Wisconsin Badgers (-14.5, 139.5 o/u)
The No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers (24-2, 12-1 Big Ten) will try to hot when they host the Minnesota Golden Gophers (16-11, 5-9 Big Ten) tomorrow at the Kohl Center in Madison (12:00 p.m. Eastern).
Wisconsin has been the class of the Big Ten all season, dropping just one conference game all season (albeit to last place Rutgers) and winning their last nine in a row.
On Wednesday, Frank Kaminsky and crew kept up their strong play, downing Penn State 55-47 on the road. Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan was pleased with the way his team defended, despite giving up 29 points (on 61-percent shooting) to dynamic Penn State guard D.J. Newbill.
“We kept trying to get stops on the other end … If Newbill wants to get a shot, he’s going to get a shot. With how strong he is with the ball and deception and change of directions. We wanted to be sure we didn’t let anybody else get hot. Fortunately, they didn’t,” said Ryan after the win.
Tonight, Wisconsin faces a Minnesota team languishing near the bottom of the Big Ten standings. After dropping back to back games to Indiana and Northwestern, the Gophers are now 5-9 in conference play.
Poor three-point defense doomed Minnesota in both games.
“I’m not sure I can go back and watch, but you give up 18 3s last game and 15 this one, you’re not going to win,” Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said after the loss to Northwestern. “So the better team won. You’ve got to give them credit.”
Wisconsin is just 2-4 ATS its last six against the Golden Gophers, but a solid perfect 5-0 SU in the last five at home against Minny. Overall, the Badgers are 14-11-1 ATS on the year, while Minnesota is 9-14-1.
The Badgers are laying a boatload (-14.5), but they’re a class (or two) above Minnesota and will be playing at home. Wisconsin minus the points looks like the better value.
(Photo credit: White & Blue Review (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode].)