First place Big Ten showdown in Ann Arbor as the 9th ranked Wisconsin Badgers travel to Michigan to face the undefeated Wolverines. Juwan Howard’s guys are coming off a 25 point annihilation of Minnesota at home on Wednesday which followed a similar blowout of Northwestern last Sunday.
This will be a major step up in class for Michigan, however, as the Badgers are 4-1 in conference play including a road victory over Michigan State on Christmas Day. Ken Pom rankings actually have the Badgers ranked two spots higher than Michigan at fifth overall in the country.
Seven foot Michigan Freshman Hunter Dickinson has been phenomale for the Wolverines, averaging 18 points per game including a career high 28 in their aforementioned win over Minnesota last time out. The Badgers will counter with an impressive pair of bigs of their own in Nate Reuvers and Micah Potter. If they can out-physical the young Michigan Center and perhaps get him into foul trouble, this will change the entire complexity of this game.
Wisconsin guard D’Mitrik Trice has already demonstrated some clutch shot making ability this season, most notably in their recent double overtime win against Indiana last Thursday. He’s exactly the type of Senior leader that the Badgers will need to step up in order to secure their third straight win over a ranked opponent.
From a betting perspective, we don’t even need the Badgers to close out the game to collect with a four point cushion. We simply need Michigan to play a close game at home for the first time in over a month. The Wolverines are an excellent team, but they aren’t going to win every conference game by double digits. This is a perfect spot to grab the points and count on Wisconsin to keep this one within a couple possessions down the stretch.
PICK: Wisconsin +4 @ -110