Oddsmakers have set Iowa as -5.5 favorites when hosting Wisconsin in the January 27th college basketball free pick. That’s not too high of a number on the Hawks, who have won four in a row and have gone 9-1 in the last 10 though. Of course, there’s also value on the Badgers as they swept the series last season and have won 8 of 10 vs. Iowa.
Wisconsin Looks Trying to Find Consistency
The Badgers sit in the middle of the pack in the Big 10, being one of 9 teams with at least four conference losses. Wisconsin needs a bounce back game in the January 27th college basketball free pick after being destroyed 51-70 at Purdue on Friday as +4 point underdogs.
The loss at Mackey Arena was the Badgers’ 2nd defeat in the last three games. Counting a home loss to 1st place Illinois it’s been a less than stellar season for the Badgers. Greg Gard’s team can still climb the ladder in the Big 10 though, mostly by beating the teams on top of them. That starts with Iowa on Monday and then with a big home tilt with Michigan State on Saturday.
An outright win at Carver-Hawkeye Arena isn’t out of the realm of possibility for UW. The Badgers have taken 4 of the last 5 in Iowa City including a 66-72 win last season. The Badgers also upended Iowa 65-45 last March. Despite a down year (by their standards), Wisconsin still has that stifling defense. UW’s 61.1 ppg allowed is 20th in the country and the O/U for this tilt is 137.
Hawkeyes Eyeing a Shot at First
Iowa is just 1.5 GB from Michigan State and Illinois for 1st place in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes have quite the gauntlet this week, visiting Maryland on Thursday before hosting the Illini on Super Bowl Sunday. Could the Hawkeyes be in danger of the ????Look Ahead Game???? vs. Wisconsin? Probably not considering the struggles Iowa had with UW last season.
The Hawkeyes have won four in a row and 8 of 10 largely behind the play of Luka Garza. The national P.O.Y. candidate has gone for 27+ points in three straight. Garza has helped Iowa to an 80.2 ppg average that ranks 18th in the nation making Monday’s tilt a true offense vs. defense matchup.
The reason Iowa has been so successful this season is because they are far from a one man team. Joe Wieskamp has put up 18+ in 6 of 7 games, CJ Fredrick put up 21 two games ago against Michigan, and Ryan Kriener has went for double digits three straight games off the bench.
January 26th College Basketball Free Pick
Wisconsin has lost by 12 and 19 in their last two road games, is another away beat down coming on Monday? Iowa has just one home hiccup this season, an early season loss to DePaul. The Hawkeyes haven’t been completely dominant at Carver-Hawkeye lately though, coming back from a halftime deficit to beat Rutgers by 5 and beating Michigan by 7 in a back-and-forth game. Considering Wisconsin’s recent success vs. the Hawks, this one should stay close.
Pick: Wisconsin Badgers +5.5