Two teams looking to get into a groove meet up in the January 30th Wisconsin at Penn State pick. The Nittany Lions had a two game win streak snapped last time out, but they still played well in an 83-79 loss at Ohio State as +7 point underdogs. That followed wins over Rutgers and Northwestern.
The Badgers bounced back from a 12-point home loss to Ohio State to get a 61-55 victory at Maryland on Wednesday. Wisconsin is still ranked 14th in the country after wins in three of their last four. They’re only 3-2 on the road, but have also won the last 10 meetings vs. PSU. Oddsmakers have UW as -4.5 favorites here.
Wisconsin Turning to Their Defense
The Badgers have the top defense in the Big 10, and they flexed those muscles in the win at Maryland on Wednesday as -3.5 favorites. Wisconsin forced the Terrapins to launch 30 three-pointers and were paced by 23 points and 12 boards from big man Micah Potter.
This is still a Wisconsin squad that was battered 74-62 at home the game prior by Ohio State. The Buckeyes hit 51% from the field and had a balanced attack with 7 players scoring at least 8 points. UW had at least four players score 11 points in that game, but it just wasn’t happening against a very good Buckeyes squad.
The good news for Wisconsin is that Penn State has the worst defense in the Big Ten, giving up 76.8 ppg. D’Mitrik Trice has put up at least a dozen points in nine straight games and UW has some senior leadership in PG Brad Davison. If Wisconsin can get their defense going, the Badgers offense has a sizable advantage.
Penn State Playing Well
Forget the +4.5 points, the Nittany Lions have outright win on their mind after a competitive loss to #13 Ohio State. Seth Lundy was great with 26 points in that game, but once again the PSU defense had it’s share of struggles in allowing Ohio State to shoot 52% from the field and shoot 21 free throws.
We still don’t know how good the Nittany Lions may be heading into the January 30th Wisconsin at Penn State pick. Like many teams around the nation, Penn State was hit by COVID postponements and were idle from December 30th through January 17th.
PSU showed some rust in an 8 point loss to Purdue and were defeated by 14 vs. a good Illinois team, but since then have beaten Rutgers and Northwestern as well as having the close loss to Ohio State. Lundy had the huge game vs. the Buckeyes, both Myreon Jones and Isaiah Brockington put up 15+ per game, and John Harrar has double digit rebounds in five of the last six. This PSU team isn’t as bad as their 5-7 record indicates.
January 30th Wisconsin at Penn State Pick
Is this the year for Penn State? They’ve had their share of struggles vs. the Badgers over the years, including losing 49 to 58 last year at home as +4 underdogs. The Nittany Lions have played well lately though, and they look to finally be back on track after the long COVID pause. If the PSU defense can step up just a little bit the outright win is possible.
Penn State 70 – Wisconsin 63
Free Pick: Penn State +4.5