NCAAB Sunday February 26th Wisconsin at Michigan Betting Preview
Tournament Chances Take a Blow for Loser of This Game
Of course anything can still happen in the Big Ten Tournament, but the Wisconsin at Michigan betting matchup on Sunday is a big one for both teams’ NCAA tourney hopes overall. Both the Badgers (16-11) and Wolverines (16-12) have looked like world beaters at times this season, but have mostly been marred by inconsistency.
These teams just met on Valentine’s Day with Wisconsin picking up a 64-59 win in Madison as -1.5 point favorites. It’s not a huge shocker the Wolverines lost that game considering they are just 3-5 on the road this season, but we might see a different story back in Ann Arbor where UM is 11-4 on the year. Location has been huge in the Big Ten this season, a big reason why Michigan is a -5.5 favorite in Sunday’s matchup.
Why Wisconsin Can Cover +5.5 Points
Simply put, this is your stereotypical Wisconsin team that runs the 350th slowest pace out of 363 Division I teams and gives up just 62.8 ppg (largely because of that tempo) which is 27th fewest in the country. Low scoring games like the Wisconsin at Michigan betting matchup is expected to be (O/U 129.5) just make it harder for a team to cover the -5.5 points.
The weird thing about the Badgers is that their defense might only be getting better down the stretch as evidenced by Wednesday’s 64-52 win over Iowa. Not that the 18-11 Hawkeyes are a super great team, but they score 80.4 ppg (20th) and 52 was their second fewest tally of the season.
Wisconsin’s offense will always be an issue in every game they play, but getting a season high 23 points from Connor Essegian in the first meeting with Michigan was a good sign. Steven Crowl added 11 points and 12 rebounds in that matchup even against a big Wolverines post team and Tyler Wahl was solid on Wednesday with 11 points and 14 rebounds vs Iowa. This is not a team that will dazzle you, but will play good basketball.
Why Michigan Can Cover -5.5 Points
Wisconsin has put up some solid defensive numbers lately in holding six of their last eight opponents to 61 points or less. The thing is, five of those games were at home and the Badgers have given up 73+ in their last two conference road games at Penn State and at Nebraska (although both did go to OT).
Michigan has looked good going 5-2 in February, a sign they might be ready to turn things around ahead of another nice run in postseason play. Aside from the 5-point loss in Wisconsin this month, the Wolverines other defeat this month was 62-61 against #17 Indiana even though it did come at home as -3 point favorites.
Juwan Howard’s club is not invincible at home as we saw in the loss to the Hoosiers, but they are still pretty good in Ann Arbor with an 11-4 record. This is the first time Wisconsin is visiting the Crisler Center since January of 2021 when the Wolverines won 77-54 and Michigan holds a slight 6-4 edge SU over the past 10 meetings.
Free Wisconsin at Michigan Betting Pick
Both teams seem to be warming up at the right time of year and the lean would be to take the Badgers plus the 5.5 points in this spot. Wisconsin is such a weird molasses team though that they seem like they should be an under play at least through the end of the regular season.
Free Pick: Under 129.5