Wisconsin at Michigan Betting Preview, Selection, Odds

Game: Wisconsin at Michigan (-6.5)

Sharp: Dave Miller

Selection: Wisconsin (+6.5)

Two of the hottest teams in the Big Ten will square off on Thursday evening at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor as Wisconsin (17-10, 10-6 Big Ten) battles No. 19 Michigan (18-9, 9-7).

Greg Gard's Badgers have won four in a row and five of their past six in large part due to taking care of the basketball as well as very good shooting from the perimeter. Wisconsin's accuracy from beyond the arc continued in its last game against Rutgers when it connected on 10 of its first 20 from 3-point land.

One of the main contributors has been 6-foot-10 junior Micah Potter, who has given this team a much-needed boost now that he is eligible after transferring from Ohio State. He gives the Badgers an inside presence, but he showed against the Scarlet Knights that he can be an asset from outside by connecting on 4-of-5 3-point attempts. In all, he scored 18 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in just 17 minutes, and he's providing the Badgers a much-needed complementary piece for fellow big Nate Reuvers, who is the team's leading scorer at 13.7 points per game.

Meanwhile, Juwan Howard's Wolverines are on a five-game win streak and have won seven of their past eight, and it's a run that has been fueled a lot by an efficient offense and sound defense. Michigan is coming off of a 71-63 win at Purdue, paced by freshman Franz Wagner's season-high 22 points and 19 from Isaiah Livers. Jon Teske added 11 points and found his shooting touch after struggling from the floor in the previous five games. But neither team shot over 40 percent, and guard Zavier Simpson missed all 10 of his field-goal attempts.

Wisconsin has won four of its six games against ranked teams this season, but Michigan is peaking at the right time. And this very much feels like a John Beilein-type of team right now ready to carry its momentum into the postseason. Expect Simpson to bounce back from his rough game, and the Wolverines will be determined to limit the effectiveness of the red-hot Badgers from beyond the arc. Gard's squad is 11-0 when it makes 10 or more 3-pointers.

The Badgers love to spread opposing defenses out, and almost 45 percent of their field-goal attempts come from downtown. One of the better things the Wolverines defense does, though, is limit opponents' 3-point attempts. Still, Gard's crew is getting 6.5 points, which is a lot for a team that's been playing really good basketball. It's also a team that plays at a slow tempo, so taking Wisconsin and the points would be wise even in a tough environment.


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