The Nittany Lions (12-5) were just +1.5 underdogs when the market opened for the Penn State at Wisconsin betting matchup but that line has jumped to +3.5. PSU has some value after getting back into the Big 10 win column with an 85-66 victory over Indiana as a -2 favorite and with some extra rest as their last game was six days ago.
The Badgers (11-5) having the line move in their direction is kind of interesting considering they are on a three game losing streak and Saturday’s 45-63 loss at Indiana was an embarrassment even as +5.5 underdogs. Over 70% of the betting public still likes UW in Madison, where Penn State has not won since 1995.
Penn State Back on the Right Path
The Nittany Lions had put together a five game win streak and were knocking on the door of the Top 25 prior to a 79-69 loss at Michigan (+4) followed by a 76-63 defeat against then #1 Purdue in a “neutral site” game at the Palestra in Philadelphia.
Despite a couple tough losses to the Wolverines and Boilermakers, Penn State bounced back nicely in an 85-66 victory over Indiana last Wednesday at the Bryce Jordan Center. That pushed PSU’s record to 9-2 at home, but they are just 1-2 on the road this season, losing by 10 to both Michigan and Clemson but also beating Illinois 74-59 in Champaign on December 10th as a +10 point underdog.
Penn State is 6th in the Big Ten in scoring (75.4 ppg) but have a tough matchup with Wisconsin’s #4 ranked conference scoring defense (62.9). Maybe the biggest thing working against the Nittany Lions though is location, as they’ve lost 21 straight road games in Madison.
Badgers Slipping a Bit
The Badgers have won 21 straight home games in the head to head series heading into the Penn State at Wisconsin betting matchup, but that’s not saying there weren’t some close matchups over that span. In their only matchup of last season, then #11 Wisconsin eked out a 51-49 win but did not come close to covering the -9 point spread.
One of the big reasons Wisconsin is on a three game losing skid is because leading scorer Tyler Wahl (13.2 ppg) has been out with an ankle injury. The good news is that Wahl has been upgraded to probable when Penn State visits the Kohl Center on Tuesday.
Even in Wahl’s absence and with three straight losses, the Badgers can take some positive lately with Chucky Hepburn scoring 14+ points in three of the last four and Steven Crowl going for 15+ in five of the last six. If those two can keep up with that production and Wisconsin gets Wahl back this is a tough Badgers squad.
Free Penn State at Wisconsin Betting Pick
There’s a ton of love on UW here and they are a fairly decent home team (6-2) who is likely getting their leading scorer back on Tuesday night. PSU did pick up a big win in Illinois though, and this is a team hungry to end their 21-game losing streak in Madison.
Free Pick: Penn State +3.5