Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#869 Wisconsin 135.5 vs.
#870 Iowa -5.5
Monday, January 27, 2020 at 8:30pm EST
Written by Nick Cowie

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#869 University of Wisconsin-Madison
#870 University of Iowa
12-8
14-5
8-12
13-6
9-11
7-12
66
80
61
70

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The No. 19 Iowa Hawkeyes will play host to the Wisconsin Badgers this Monday night on their home floor. Despite their national ranking, the Hawkeyes are still down in fifth place in the Big 10. Wisconsin is down in seventh place. Iowa should have some confidence after winning four games in a row, including big wins over ranked Maryland and Rutgers teams. Wisconsin comes in off a loss to Purdue and have alternated wins and losses in their last four. Both teams would love to get a win here to get an edge in the gauntlet that is a Big 10 schedule.

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Wisconsin's road struggles continue on the road

The Wisconsin Badgers are at the middle of the pack in the Big 10 but they can hold their own with the best of them. They hold wins over ranked teams like Maryland, Penn St., and Ohio St. Despite these big wins, they have struggled for consistency, losing games to lesser competition. The Badgers have been great on their own floor, racking up a 9-1 home record. Unfortunately, they have been very bad away from home with a 3-7 road record. With no one on the team averaging over 14 points, this Wisconsin offense has trouble getting their scoring going on the road.

For Wisconsin to win this game, they need to find a way to stop Lukas Garza. The Badgers are not the type of team that can get into a fire-fight and expects to come out on top with their 66.5 points per game. The defense of the Badgers has been great, allowing an average of just 61.1 points. Opponents shoot just 41 percent from the field. They will need to use this defensive pressure to try stopping Garza down low. The Badgers are not a particularly great rebounding team and could have some trouble with the size of Garza. This Badgers team lands far more turnovers than their opponents and will need to take full advantage of those opportunities to have a chance.

Iowa continues to dominate at home

The Iowa Hawkeyes are holding down the nineteenth ranking in the country despite their early struggles in the Big 10 schedule. They are on a roll right now with impressive wins over Rutgers and Maryland. Iowa has been a tough team to deal with at home. They are 9-1 on their home court. The only home loss this season came to DePaul in the home opener back in November. Their powerful offense thrives at home, putting up 85 points against a top Rutgers defense as well as a 90 point performance in a win over Michigan. Wisconsin has a solid defense of their own so Iowa will have to find a way to keep that offensive power going.

With three players averaging double figures and five different players averaging eight or more points per game, the Iowa offense is deep and powerful. The clear leader of the offense is All-American candidate Luka Garza leads the way. The junior center averages a double-double with 23.2 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. In his last three performances, Garza scored 33, 27, and 28 points. He is on fire right now and will be trouble for this Wisconsin team. He has been wildly consistent all season with a 56 percent mark from the field. Garza is also surprisingly good from three for a big man with a 39 percent mark from deep. Garza is one of the hardest players to deal with in the country and will look to stay hot on Monday.

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The Iowa Hawkeyes have been unstoppable at home. Their offense has been an entirely different animal when playing at home. Garza has dominated in the pain and is one of the best players in the country right now. Wisconsin is a great defensive team, but they do not have the offensive firepower to keep up with Iowa. Despite how good the Wisconsin defense is, it is unlikely that they can hold the Hawkeyes in the 60's like they will need to to get the win. Wisconsin has not shown enough on the road this season to have any confidence in them here.

Prediction: Iowa Hawkeyes -4.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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This game could end up low scoring but I do not have enough faith that the Wisconsin defense can hold Iowa down enough for the under. Garza is likely to dominate the paint in this game and will put up numbers at least in the 20s. Wisconsin is not the best offensive team in the world, but they should have no problem getting at least into the 60s in this one. This game could go a number of ways, but scoring in the 140s is the most likely outcome.

Prediction: Over 135.5
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Written By Nick Cowie

Nick graduated with an environmental science degree and is a freelance writer, covering anything from fighting to forestry. He is a washed up swimmer and a sports and comedy enthusiast.