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Michigan State vs. Wisconsin betting odds, preview, and pick

Profile Picture: Jason Ence

Jason Ence

January 21st, 2022

The Michigan State Spartans will try to keep pace in the Big Ten title race when they travel to Madison for a pivotal game with the Wisconsin Badgers on Friday night.

Let's dig into this matchup, beginning with the latest betting odds.

Sat, January 22 2022, 2:00 AM

Wisconsin

Moneyline

-175

Spread

-3.5

Total

O 139.5

Michigan State

Moneyline

+140

Spread

+3.5

Total

U 139.5

Spartans are coming off upset to Northwestern

Michigan State suffered a stunning defeat at home to Northwestern last weekend, the first road win for the Wildcats against a top 10 team in five years. The Spartans shot made just six of their 21 3-point attempts, and were out-rebounded by the Wildcats for the second time in their two meetings this season. They also had 17 turnovers in the defeat, a consistent problem for a team averaging 14.5 per game on the season, and has negated their stellar 0.639 assist-to-basket ratio, good for sixth-best in the nation.

Big man Marcus Bingham Jr. has seen his minutes rapidly decline after a strong start to the season. He leads the team with 7.1 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game, but saw just 12 minutes of action in the loss and sat out the final 10 minutes. Over Michigan State’s last three games, he has played a total of 48 minutes, and has scored just 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds. The previous three games, he averaged 14 points and 11 boards.

Gabe Brown and Max Christie pace the team in scoring at 14.2 points and 10.4 points per game respectively, with six other players averaging between 6.4 and 9.7 points per game. The big concern for the Spartans is the drop-off in play from guard Tyson Walker. During a four-game stretch in December, Walker had four straight games scoring in double figures, and he had 41 assists in six games. Since the turn of the year, he has scored just 24 points in four games, and has topped five assists just once.

Badgers are having their best scoring season in years

Wisconsin is averaging 72.6 points per game, by far the highest number in the seven-year tenture of head coach Greg Gard. A key reason is the Badgers' 12.4 turnovers per 100 possessions, the second-best mark in the nation. Point guard Chucky Hepburn is the first true freshman to start for the Badgers in 20 years, and he's coughed up the ball just 21 times all season.

It also helps to have a national player of the year candidate dominating for you, as sophomore guard Johnny Davis is averaging more than 22 points and 7.5 rebounds this season. Davis leads Wisconsin in assist and steals as well.

Guard Brad Davison is making the most of the attention paid to Davis, with the fifth year senior averaging career highs of 15.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. The pair are picking up the slack for a thin bench, with nobody outside the starting five averaging more than 3.1 points per contest.

Winners of seven straight, the Badgers are second in ESPN's strength of record ranking this season, with their five Quad 1 wins tying them for the most nationally, and their nine Quad 1 and Quad 2 victories pacing the field. With big wins over Houston, Ohio State, and Purdue, they are making a strong case as a real title contender.

Spartans vs. Badgers Betting Trends

  • Michigan State is 1-4 ATS in its last five games
  • The Over is 6-2 in Michigan State’s last eight games
  • The Under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings between these two teams
  • Wisconsin is 5-0 ATS in its last five games
  • The Over is 7-0 in Wisconsin’s last seven games
  • Wisconsin is 14-2 SU when it has fewer turnovers than its opponents

Spartans are simply turning it over too much

After allowing just one team to top 65 points in their first eight games, the Spartans have allowed seven teams to do so since. They have been getting pushed around on the glass lately, in large part due to the waning minutes for Bingham.

His absence means they won’t be able to take advantage of the foul troubles often suffered by Wisconsin’s Steven Crowl and Chris Vogt. It also means that Davis should be able to get into the paint early and often with little concern. Additionally, Wisconsin simply does not turn the ball over, whereas Michigan State cannot protect it enough to pull off a win against a superior opponent.

Wisconsin should cover the spread easily at home, and I like them to do so. Take the Badgers and lay the points, and combine it with the over for a Game Parlay, with just one of Wisconsin’s last six games failing to reach 140 points.

Score prediction: Wisconsin 75, Michigan State 66

Michigan State vs. Wisconsin pick: Wisconsin -3.5

GAME PARLAY: WISCONSIN AND OVER 140 (+210)

Michigan State vs. Wisconsin pick powered by The Quant Edge

Our predictive engine is calling for Wisconsin to win and Michigan State to cover.

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