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2/11/2018 College Hoops Free Pick

Can Wisconsin Rediscover Their Home Magic Against #20 Michigan?

Wisconsin’s streak of 19 consecutive postseason appearances will likely come to an end this season unless they can pull off some magic in the Big Ten Tournament. Speaking of which, the last time the Badgers squared off with Michigan was last year’s conference championship – one which the Wolverines were able to capture 71-56. The 2/11 college basketball free pick is a matchup of two teams going in opposite directions moving forward as oddsmakers have made Michigan -4 favorites at the Kohl Center; something that would have once been considered blasphemous. Do the Badgers retain some of that home court mystique in an early Sunday game?

Can Michigan Adapt to Wisconsin’s Pace?

2/11 college basketball free pick
UM could use a big day from veteran Duncan Robinson who had just 3 points in the loss at Northwestern.

The last time Michigan took the court it seemingly set the game of basketball back to the Naismith days. The end result was a 61-52 Northwestern win in which UM scored just 20 points in the second half. The Wolverines liked the defensive grind as they have the #13 unit in the nation in opponents points scored. It was the offense that was frustrated however as the Wolverines like to get out and go in the transition game. Unfortunately for fans of the Maize and Blue, Wisconsin is methodical in how they slow the game down almost boring you into bad shots.

One bright spot in the Northwestern game was Moe Wagner who scored 20+ points for the first time in seven games. The 6’11 F will need another big day in the 2/11 college basketball free pick against one of the Big Ten’s premier players in Ethan Happ. Unfortunately for Michigan, the only regular season matchup between these two teams comes on the road. UM has dropped three straight away games and is just 3-5 away from Ann Arbor this season.

Do the Badgers Have a Run in Them?

2/11 college basketball free pick.
Freshman Aleem Ford gives the Badgers some matchup advantages today.

The only team Wisconsin has beaten in the past 10 games is Illinois (2-8) so it would be easy to think that the Wolverines come in to Madison and dominate today. That being said, you have to look at the fact that Wisconsin has played 7 of those 10 games away from their own court. The Badgers are a respectable 9-5 at home this year and play four of their last five at the Kohl Center including today. Wisconsin has the 27th toughest schedule in the nation so with a strong late season run and a few wins in the Big Ten Tournament maybe, just maybe, UW could get some love from the selection committee.

Of course when considering the Badgers for the 2/11 college basketball free pick you still have to look at those losses no matter where they occured. In conference Wisconsin has lost to Rutgers, Nebraska (2), Iowa, Northwestern, and Maryland. This resume has some Badgers fans wondering if the prodding gameplan (307th in points scored but 43rd in points again) has been solved. Then again, a win today over #20 Michigan can restore their faith.

2/11 College Basketball Free Pick Betting

The line has jumped from a MICH -2 open to MICH -4 with and 64% of the public bettors are favoring the Wolverines. For as bad as Michigan has supposedly been on the road this season, they are still 5-2 ATS their last 7 away tilts. UM is also 7-0 ATS after a SU loss and even 5-0 their last Sunday games which can be hard to prepare for. Throw in the fact that the Wolverines have 4 days of rest compared to Wisconsin (and their largely 7 man rotation) having just 2 and it may swing this contest Michigan’s way.

Free Pick: Michigan Wolverines -4

 

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Carl Taylor

Every loss is a chance to learn a lesson. That being said, wins are so much more enjoyable. Follow along to tap into the wisdom I've learned from 20 years as a sports bettor.

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