Juwan Howard’s team is finally back in action for the February 14th Michigan at Wisconsin pick. UM hasn’t been in action since a January 22nd, 70-53 win at Purdue as just -5 favorites. The layoff includes a mandatory 14-day break with no practice due to COVID, so don’t be surprised if the Wolverines come out a bit rusty on Sunday.
Of course Michigan is still a very good team at 13-1 and #3 in the country. They face a stiff test right out of the gates in a visit to Madison however. The Badgers 11-2 at the Kohl Center this season, and bounced back from a loss to Illinois with a 61-48 win at lowly Nebraska as -11 favorites.
It’s All About the Rust for Michigan
There are some that say the Wolverines paused their layoff a bit longer than needed to avoid a matchup at Illinois on Thursday, but Michigan is back nonetheless on Sunday. The Wolverines could come out of the gates firing after having the last 20+ days off, or they very well could be rusty too.
It’s all about how the Wolverines are effected by the break coming into the February 14th Michigan at Wisconsin pick. Before the pause, UM had won 9 of their last 10 while boasting the #3 scoring offense in the Big Ten and the #2 defense. Wisconsin, has the top D in the conference though, allowing just 62.4 points/game.
Michigan will bring a balanced scoring attack into Sunday’s game. 7’1″ Hunter Dickinson is a load and is the Wolverines leading scorer (15.1ppg) but had been held to 20 points total the last three games. Isaiah Livers has gone for 20+ in two straight and Franz Wagner has at least a dozen in six of the last eight.
Badgers Out for Revenge
Sunday marks the second meeting of the year between these two teams, and the first one wasn’t pretty for Wisconsin, losing 54-77 as +2.5 road underdogs. The Wolverines used their scoring depth in that game with four players pumping in at least a dozen points. Wisconsin got 20 from D’Mitrik Trice as the contest’s leading scorer, but shot just 20-65 (31%) from the floor.
Wisconsin was about equally as cold in Wednesday’s win over Nebraska. The Badgers shot 20-62 from the floor (32%) but were bailed out as Nebraska shot just 37%. The concerning thing is that the Cornhuskers have the 2nd worst defense in the Big Ten.
The Wolverines have won 2 of the last 3 on the road in this series but the teams haven’t played in Madison since a 64-54 Badgers win in 2019. Wisconsin won in Ann Arbor last February before the 23 point loss earlier this season.
Free February 14th Michigan at Wisconsin Pick
64% of the public likes the Wolverines in this one after the long layoff. That has moved the line to a PK, and as much as Michigan is very well rested the Badgers are also very good at home and are seeking revenge for an earlier beat down in Ann Arbor.
Wisconsin 69 – Michigan 64
Free Pick: Wisconsin PK