Oddsmakers are expecting a close one in Tuesday’s Michigan State at Wisconsin betting matchup, with the Spartans (11-4) a slight -1.5 favorite over #18 UW (11-3). MSU has won six straight including a 59-53 win over rival Michigan on Saturday to cover the -3.5 point spread.
The Badgers just had a six game win streak of their own snapped in a 79-69 loss at Illinois on Saturday, failing to cover the +7.5 number. Wisconsin was missing the presence of their leading scorer (13.2) and second leading rebounder (6.4) Tyler Wahl, who remains questionable with an ankle injury.
Michigan State Thriving on Defense
The Spartans pushed their win streak to six games over the weekend despite scoring less than 60 points for just the second time this season. That’s not a complete shocker considering Michigan State ranks 10th in the Big Ten in scoring (70.4 ppg) but holding Michigan (74.5 ppg) 20 points below their average in the 59-53 win was the latest great defensive showing for Tom Izzo’s squad.
MSU has now held five of their last six opponents below 60 points, and the Michigan State at Wisconsin betting matchup looks like another low scoring affair with an O/U of 126.5. The Badgers score the third fewest points in the conference (68.5) and are possibly without their leading scorer on Tuesday.
One thing Michigan State has going for them in this matchup is that they’ve fared pretty well in the head to head series, winning 7 of the last 10 against Wisconsin including a 69-63 win to eliminate the Badgers from the Big Ten tournament last season.
Badgers Hope for Wahl Back
Wisconsin had put together six straight wins to climb up to #14 in the country – even if some of them were close like a 64-59 home win over Maryland, beating Iowa in OT, and squeaking by Minnesota by three points. That streak was broken in a 69-59 loss in Champaign on Saturday, but there wasn’t a ton the Badgers could have done with Illinois shooting better than 50% from beyond the arc in that game.
Wisconsin would definitely take Wahl back from his ankle injury suffered in the January 3rd win over Minnesota, but they did get some nice contributions elsewhere on Saturday. Chucky Hepburn scored 22 vs. the Fighting Illini while Steven Crowl had 20 with 12 rebounds. Hepburn is averaging 18 points his last two games while Crowl has 20+ in two of the last three.
Free Michigan State at Wisconsin Betting Pick
Michigan State is hot but Wisconsin has won six of their last seven so this game is shaping up to be a gold old fashioned Big Ten battle. It’s somewhat surprising that the Spartans are a -1.5 road favorite for this matchup, but 55% of the betting public do like Michigan State here.
The Badgers are 6-1 at home this year, and although Izzo has led the Spartans to wins in 10 of the last 13 head to head matchups this feels like one that Wisconsin gets.
Free Pick: Wisconsin +1.5