Wisconsin vs Rutgers Picks and Odds

Brevin Pritzl driving past defender

Wisconsin’s Brevin Pritzl (1) and Rutgers’ Caleb McConnell (22) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin won 79-71. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
  • #9 Wisconsin (10-3) battles Rutgers (7-4) on Friday, Jan. 15, at 7 pm ET
  • Neither the Badgers nor the Scarlet Knights are at their best right now, coming off of losses by double-digit points
  • The odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and a pick, can be found in the article below

With Wisconsin coming off its first beat down of the season, and Rutgers limping through a three-game losing skid, Friday’s matchup between these Big Ten foes (tip off at 7pm ET) can serve as a bounce back game for one — and insult added to injury for the other.

The Badgers retain a top-10 ranking in NCAA Division I, but they’ll need a win over the Scarlet Knights to even have a chance of retaining that footing. Here’s how the odds look for this matchup:

Wisconsin vs Rutgers Odds

Team Moneyline Point Spread Total
Wisconsin N/A -3 (-110) Over 135 (-110)
Rutgers N/A +3 (-110) Under 135 (-110)

Odds as of Jan. 14th, 2020.

How They’ve Fared Recently

Wisconsin got, for lack of a better term, punched square in the mouth on Tuesday, taking a 77-54 road defeat against unbeaten Michigan. The Wolverines have beaten all but one opponent by double-digit margins, and they made no exception for the talented Badgers. Wisconsin went ice cold in the middle of the game, at one point being outscored 43-6.

The Badgers shot 20-of-65 (30.8%) from the field, which is just a display of cold shooting. For a team that has shot 40.5% from 3-pt. range so far (ninth in D-I), that figures to be more of an anomaly than anything.

Their only other losses came by two against Marquette and by six against Maryland, both of which rank in KenPom’s top 50. The Badgers also have five KenPom top-50 wins, most notably beating #23 Minnesota, 71-59.

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Rutgers cruised into the early stages of conference play as a bit of a surprise success, starting the season 6-0 — including a statement win over #14 Illinois. Then, in the five games since, they’ve plummeted back to Earth.

The Scarlet Knights have lost three in a row (and four of five), with a trio of recent losses coming by double-digit margins. And hey, all of their defeats have come against KenPom top-50 teams, but that’s not a good enough excuse for them — to be great, you’ve gotta beat great teams.

Like Wisconsin, Rutgers is excellent at taking care of the basketball (both teams rank in D-I’s top 10 in turnover rate). Friday’s game should be pretty fundamentally sound.

ATS Analysis

Neither team has a winning record against the spread, which always makes things a little tricky. Wisconsin is 5-7-1 ATS, with losses in three of their past four. Rutgers is 5-5-1 ATS, with consecutive losses (and three of five).

The Scarlet Knights are 4-1-1 ATS in recent home games, though, while the Badgers are 1-2 ATS on the road this season. One thing both sides align on is the point total. Together, they’ve seen the over hit in 15 of 24 games (62.5%).

Head-to-Head Matchup

In the past two seasons, Wisconsin has beaten Rutgers two of three times straight up — but Rutgers has covered two of three times ATS. Both teams return most players from last year, although Wisconsin has the edge in returning starters, four to three.

The Badgers also have the edge overall, as a simply better team in pretty much all facets. Did they get embarrassed against Michigan last time out? Yes. But that should serve as a wake-up call, not the beginning of the end.

Wisconsin is 11th in D-I in adjusted offensive efficiency and seventh in adjust defensive efficiency. A team with that kind of effectiveness should rarely be bet against.

Pick: Wisconsin -3 (-110); Over 135 (-110)

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