Wisconsin Badgers (13-2 SU, 8-4 ATS, 5-7 O/U) vs. Purdue Boilermakers (13-3 SU, 8-5 ATS, 8-4-1 O/U)
NCAAB: Sunday, January 8, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. EST
The Line: Purdue Boilermakers -2.5. Total: 138
The Wisconsin Badgers will be trying to extend their winning streak to 10 games when they visit the Purdue Boilermakers at Mackey Arena on Sunday afternoon. Wisconsin is off to a strong start in Big Ten competition with victories over Rutgers and Indiana. The Boilermakers bounced back from an overtime loss to Minnesota by beating Ohio State on Thursday.
Purdue forward Caleb Swanigan scored 27 points in his team’s 91-80 home victory over Wisconsin last March. Even better this season, the 6-foot-9, 250-pound sophomore is averaging 18.3 points and 12.9 rebounds per game. He ranks second nationally in the latter category. There have been six 20-point, 20-rebound games recorded by Big Ten players since the 1996-97 campaign. Swanigan has four of them–all this season. He most recently accomplished the feat last weekend, delivering 28 points and 22 boards in an overtime setback against the Golden Gophers. Swanigan also leads the Big Ten with 105 free-throw attempts, of which he is making 77.1 percent.
The Boilermakers are riding some momentum on the heels of their win over the Buckeyes, but few teams are playing as well as Wisconsin right now. UW is in the midst of a nine-game surge and most recently defeated Indiana 75-68 win in Bloomington on Tuesday.
Wisconsin’s trio of Nigel Hayes (13.7 ppg), Bronson Koenig (14.3 ppg), and Ethan Happ (13.1 ppg) average a combined 41.2 points per game. They are the three Badgers scoring in double-figures at the moment, with no one else on the team averaging more than 8.5 points per contest (Zak Showalter). Happ is also pulling down 9.4 boards per game, while Hayes is contributing averages of 5.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists. Defensively, the Badgers are the league’s best at 59.4 points allowed per game. Three players are averaging at least one steal per outing.
The Wisconsin Badgers are:
- 7-1 ATS in their last eight overall
- 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games against the Big Ten
- 5-0 ATS in their last five games against teams with winning records
The Purdue Boilermakers are:
- 3-1-1 Over in their last five overall
- 11-5-1 Over in their last 17 home games
- 7-2-1 Over in their last 10 games against the Big Ten
Swanigan is going to need a supporting cast in this one, because Wisconsin is the best defensive team in the Big Ten and it has the bodies to bang with Swanigan down low. Indiana recently made only five three-pointers against UW and turned the ball over 13 times compared to its opponent’s seven TOs. The Badgers are 7-1 ATS in their last eight overall, 12-4 ATS in their last 16 against the Big Ten, 5-0 ATS in their last five against winning opponents, and 19-7 ATS in their last 26 following a win. Don’t be surprised if those trends continue.