Two of the best scorers in the conference meet up in the January 6th Iowa at Wisconsin betting matchup. The Badgers’ Johnny Davis had 37 points to key Monday’s 74-69 upset over #3 Purdue in West LaFayette. Now Wisconsin is back at the Kohl Center where they are 6-1 on the season.
Iowa’s Keegan Murray leads the country in scoring with 24.5 ppg and was doing his thing on Monday as well with 35 points to key an 80-75 win over pesky Maryland. The Hawkeyes have won four straight in this series, and even got a win in Madison last season 77-62 behind 30 points from eventual player of the year Luka Garza – who is off to the NBA.
Which Style Wins Out?
Thursday night’s matchup is a testament of wills between Iowa’s high scoring offense that leads the Big Ten with 87.4 ppg while Wisconsin’s defense is 3rd in the conference allowing just 63.6 ppg. The 11-3 Hawkeyes have bounced back with four straight wins after a three game losing skid against Purdue, Illinois, and Iowa State – all quality teams.
It’s been Keegan Murray that has fueled Iowa’s bounce back as he hit 5 of 6 three pointers in the win over Maryland. That helped Iowa get to 1-2 in conference play and it was Murray’s third time in the last four games scoring at least 29 points.
Murray is going to have a tough time against a good Wisconsin defense that held Purdue – a top 5 scoring team in the country – to 24 first half points on Monday. The Hawkeyes are the #2 scoring team in the country with 87.4 ppg, and have scored 90+ in three of the last four overall.
Wisconsin Avoids the Letdown
The Badgers (11-2) only have a couple days to savor Monday’s win over Purdue as +13 point underdogs, with a key conference battle in the January 6th Iowa at Wisconsin betting matchup where UW is a -3 point favorite. The Badgers have rattled off three wins in a row following their 18-point loss at Ohio State on December 11th. Aside from the Purdue win, UW has also beaten Indiana 64-59 at the Kohl Center for a 2-1 conference record.
It’s going to be a good show when Murray and Johnny Davis go at it on Thursday night. Davis is Wisconsin’s leading scorer (22.3 ppg) and is 3rd behind Murray and Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn (22.5) not just in the Big Ten but the entire country. Davis has 20+ in 8 of the last 9, and is an active rebounder averaging 12 boards in his last two.
Even though these two teams have different styles (offense vs. defense) their roster makeup is very similar. Murray and Davis are elite scorers, while Brad Davison and Jordan Bohanon are veteran ball handlers with a ton of experience entering their 5th and 6th seasons respectively. Fran McCaffrey has been at the helm of Iowa since 2010, Greg Gard with Wisconsin since 2015.
Free January 6th Iowa at Wisconsin Betting Preview
This feels like a toss-up game between two well coached teams with supremely talented scorers. Wisconsin is at home, but they are also in a letdown spot after the big win over Purdue on Monday. Ultimately in a game that could go either way, taking the points seems to be the way to go.
Iowa 74 – Wisconsin 69
Free Pick: Iowa +3